Dr. Sawyer's lived experiences as a Black male, father, mentor, educator, and scholar have played a significant role in determining his academic and research focus.
Although Don is a sociologist, his research and teaching are interdisciplinary and contribute to multiple areas of inquiry. He has accumulated a body of research that focuses on race, social justice, Black and Latino males in urban schools, youth resistance, hip-hop culture, and the reentry experiences of formerly incarcerated individuals.
Selected Academic Work
Public Sociology and Community Engagement
Dr. Sawyer is the Founder of a visual project focusing on formerly incarcerated men in New Haven, CT, using mini-documentaries to disrupt negative perceptions of people reentering society from prison.