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Director's Blog

What’s new this summer at Winston-Salem State’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility?

Greetings! We’re excited to share our revamped website that we worked on over the summer.  

With these changes, we aim to create a more accessible way for people to find out about our mission, our research, and our impact in Forsyth County, North Carolina. 

Since our founding in September 2017, the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) has generated academic research with the aim of spurring beneficial public debate. 

Housed at Winston-Salem State University, CSEM has hosted guest lectures, supported Faculty Research Fellows, student research, and engaged in community building. We also hosted a Social Mobility Summit in the Spring 2019 that was attended by hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and community members over two days.  

CSEM has exposed the many barriers to upward economic mobility in Forsyth County, raising public awareness that can lead to beneficial social change. In 2018 we produced a documentary, directed by local filmmaker Diana Greene, called Bus Stop Jobs.  The 11-minute film featured a day in the life of local bus rider Brittany Marshall. Widely shown in dozens of settings in the city and across the state, the film got people talking. Many people have told us they didn’t fully understand what challenges bus riders face until they watched the film.  

Over the past year, CSEM researchers have shared their research findings in dozens of venues- academic conferences, on our campus, in churches, civic groups, the public library, government, and private organizations. We have broken down academic silos in exploring research questions. 

The challenges to upward economic mobility have a myriad of explanations. As a result, CSEM Faculty Fellows come from various disciplines, including economics, education, psychology, data analytics, and geography.

We’re learning from each other with insights and reminders of our own blind spots. It’s an exciting venture and an extremely rare occurrence to work across disciplines in higher education. Our collaborations reflect there is momentum building towards innovative solutions.   

Our outstanding CSEM team also includes Associate Director Alvin Atkinson, Research Manager Zach Blizard, and Program Manager Coretta Montague. 

Come by for a visit to our office in Reynolds 109 or to one of our events. We’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Craig J. Richardson is Director for the Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) and BB&T Distinguished Professor of Economics. The CSEM documentary Bus Stop Jobs can be seen here.