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Wilson County Courthouse

A Revolution in Public Transportation From A Town You Wouldn't Expect

American Institute for Economic Research

It’s taken more than a hundred years for low-density cities to recognize that public transportation works far better in a point-to-point model, using private-public partnerships.

Hispanic girl wearing burgundy shirt holding up a red poster with black letters that reads "No Money, No Rent!"

CSEM is cited in national article on shortfall in mortgage access for minorities


Thomson Reuters Foundation, in their internationally known magazine Context, cited CSEM's important research in their November 2023 issue. The article notes:

"Lack of access to small mortgages can also affect communities, said Craig J. Richardson, director of the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility at Winston-Salem State University... The lack of access to small mortgages in the poor East Winston area may have stopped it from bouncing back after the financial crisis, he said, while empowering institutional homebuyers, who have increasingly turned available housing into rentals. Compared with richer areas in Winston-Salem, property values in East Winston dropped more than 45%. (since 2007)."

A ladder

Why “Disincentive Deserts” Matter Far More Than Benefits Cliffs

American Institute for Economic Research

Benefits cliffs certainly remain an important area of policy study, but we should pay more attention to creatively solving the problems of disincentive deserts, since they exist for such long and dispiriting spans of workers’ income journey, rolling back benefits at a rate that is equivalent to a 60-95% effective marginal tax rate.

prosperity index of greensboro, nc

CSEM Aids Greensboro With New Interactive Maps Showing City’s Inequities


With the help of the CSEM, the city of Greensboro is embracing the future with an innovative and interactive online map project that will help pinpoint long-term challenges and opportunities in affordable homeownership, health care and education. Founding Director Craig Richardson and former CSEM data manager Zach Blizard produced both items for the city. The map project has received positive stories from media outlets including TV station WXLV ABC45, Triad Beat, public radio WFDD and Greensboro News and Record. “CSEM has provided the information in a user-friendly format that has the potential to transform and empower our neighborhoods for long-term success," noted Eunika Smalls, who works for the city. She plans to train staff with the program so that long-term inequities can be addressed. CSEM continues to provide innovative ways for individuals to climb the economic ladder of success.

More information about the Greensboro interactive maps.

illustration of several homes in a neighborhood.

What are taxpayers receiving from the City of Winston-Salem’s affordable housing research costing almost $700,000? (Part 1)

The Chronicle

Last year the Winston-Salem City Council approved $322,000 for an action plan on affordable housing to be drafted by a New Orleans organization, HousingNOLA, which faces serious struggles in its own city in achieving its action plan on affordable housing.

black ride van in wilson, nc

Production begins for CSEM's new documentary on micro-transit


In November 2023 Emmy-award winning filmmaker Matt Zodrow flew to North Carolina to start production of CSEM's latest documentary film (working title: Momentum). The film focuses on the remarkable turnaround in public transit, that saw the small city of Wilson transform from traditional city buses to an Uber-like van system, run by a private company known as Via. CSEM Director Craig Richardson is serving as executive producer for the film. The film will include interviews of the city manager, city council members, area employers as well as ordinary bus riders to investigate how a seemingly conservative town in eastern North Carolina became an innovative change agent. Riders are reporting better access to employers, doctors and grocery stores, with rides that cost a fixed $2.50. Richardson hopes the film will inspire cities like Winston-Salem to take a closer look at the long commutes faced by current bus riders and be open to new and innovative ways to move people across the city. The film is expected to wrap by late summer 2024 and is supported by funds from The John William Pope Foundation.

 illustration of several homes in a neighborhood.

What Are W-S Taxpayers Receiving From $700,000 in Affordable Housing Research? (Part 2)

The Chronicle

This is the second of a two-part series that started last week. To see the first part, go to What are taxpayers receiving from the City of Winston-Salem’s affordable housing research costing almost $700,000?

rigged-panel.jpgCSEM director takes part in national panel confronting inequities in education

CSEM director takes part in national panel confronting inequities in education


On July 18th, CSEM Director Craig Richardson took part in a panel in Portland, Oregon, on the award-winning documentary film RIGGED ( RIGGED lays bare a U.S. higher education culture in which wealth and influence remain the predominant values. CSEM is featured in the film as one of the nation’s innovators in education, along with campus faculty who connect with students in ways that inspire them to succeed after college.

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