Romi Crawford is an assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was previously the curator and director of Education and Public Programs at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and from 2000–06 she was director of the Visiting Artists Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Crawford founded the Crawford and Sloan Gallery, where she curated exhibits such as Group Retrospective: Selected African-American Photographers 1973–1993 and Urban Style Politics. Her research revolves primarily around the topic of race and its relation to American visual and popular culture. Over the years she has received several grants to conduct research on the 19th-century Native American and African-American sculptress Edmonia Lewis. Her work on early 20th-century African American and Jewish "race films" has led to a broader consideration of en-ghettoed art practice in the United States.
Crawford has published in Art Journal, Cinema Remixed and Reloaded: Black Women Film and Video Artists, Black Light/White Noise: Sound and Light in Contemporary Art, and Frequency. She currently sits on the Exhibition and Diversity Practices Committees for the College Art Association. She served as a Pew Fellowships panelist in 2013 and an exhibitions panelist in 2009 and 2011.