WSSU's economic mobility center introduced at D.C. summit

CAO Summit
WSSU was well represented at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund's Center for Advancing Opportunity summit. From left: Alice Etim, Michele K. Lewis, Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi, Rasheeda Shankle, Craig Richardson, Greg Taylor, James Etim and Alvin Atkinson.

Winston-Salem State University’s new Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) was introduced to leaders in Washington, D.C., during the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO) State of Opportunity in America Summit, Feb. 5-6.  

Dr. Craig Richardson, founding director of CSEM, outlined the new center as a panelist at a session. 

The CAO summit featured experts in their field, including Nobel Prize winning economist Angus Deaton, who discussed data on the increasing optimism by blacks in viewing their future, versus a decade ago.

Richardson said WSSU was well represented at the summit. Associate Director Alvin Atkinson exchanged information to many of the TMCF top leaders throughout the two days. The summit also gave an opportunity for CSEM’s first faculty fellows, Drs. Alice Etim, James Etim, Greg Taylor, Michele K. Lewis, and Zagros Madjd-Sadjadi, along with Rasheeda Shankle, a December 2017 WSSU graduate, to network. 

A highlight of the summit was the release of “The State of Opportunity in America,” a data-driven study of “fragile communities” in the United States. 

CSEM, funded through a five year, $3 million grant, is one of three centers sponsored by the TMCF’s Center for Advancing Opportunity. The other two centers will study education reform and criminal justice reform. CSEM, part of the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education, will serve as a hub for faculty research, undergraduate student research, scholarship and community outreach.

Richardson said this is just one of many events planned this year for the new center. In April, CSEM will host a guest speaker on WSSU's campus. The center also is planning a symposium on economic mobility this fall.

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