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More CSEM News



Buses must get them to the place where dreams are built

The Chronicle

Students living on the Wake Forest, Salem and Winston-Salem State University campuses easily walk to their classes. Forsyth Technical Community College students don’t have that luxury. Some drive in, or have loved ones drive them in. Others rely on Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA) buses. 

Picture of Jon Lindsey

CSEM analysis shows HBCUs enhance economic mobility


What is one of the best ways for someone from a low-income family to climb the economic ladder and achieve higher social and economic mobility? 

Picture of Victor Isler

DSS head, working with CSEM and other partners, paved path for future collaboration

The Winston-Salem Journal

Victor Isler has a mantra: “There is nothing more important than a community that decides what it cares about.”

      Picture of transport van.

Winston-Salem could benefit from ridesharing services other cities are offering

The Chronicle

Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) has documented the challenges with its research findings, including the fact that riders who use the buses to get to work spend an average of 12 hours a week on buses.

Craig Richardson and Zach Blizard

WFDD conducts in-depth interview with CSEM on their housing report


CSEM Research Manager Zach Blizard and Director Craig Richardson were recently interviewed by WFDD’s David Ford about their research into the barriers for home ownership in East Winston.

      Picture of Do School volunteers.

Innovative ‘Do School’ brings collaboration to raising economic mobility

The Chronicle

Jerry Anderson’s new initiative ties to “Our Place, Our Space,” a move he helps lead to spur economic development in East Winston and surrounding areas.

Home Graph

How Dodd-Frank locks out the least affluent homebuyers

The Washington Post

CSEM’s research with New America is receiving national attention from an award-winning op-ed columnist in the Washington Post and Bloomberg.


The lending hole at the bottom of the market in East Winston

The Winston-Salem Journal

New research from the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) at Winston-Salem State University, and the Washington, D.C., think tank New America, finds that something else may be keeping East Winston from bouncing back.

  Picture of John Railey

Saving Children from Gun Violence 

The Winston-Salem Journal

Local gun violence here and nationwide, especially among youth, has underscored the need for a holistic approach to confronting it.

Picture Dante Watlington

Curbing the human and financial costs of gun violence

The Chronicle

Project M.O.O.R.E and CSEM realize that gun violence, in addition to its heavy human costs, also has heavy financial costs.

pic of Ed Lopez 

CSEM director, Western North Carolina colleague unite on innovative strategies


CSEM Director Craig Richardson and Ed Lopez work in different areas of the state but are confronting similar challenges with innovative techniques. 

CSEM logo 

CSEM debuts nation’s first Social Benefits Calculator in conjunction with Forsyth Futures


The calculator will help recipients, employers and policy makers better navigate the maze of social benefits such as food stamps (SNAP), housing and child care assistance.

Picture of John Railey 

 John Railey: Fight gun violence like it's at your door

The Winston-Salem Journal

There have been 24 homicides in Winston-Salem this year, including one man who died of gunfire last week, and more than 100 reported shootings. 


 Re-entry is the bedrock of CSEM work

The Chronicle

One goal of CSEM is making the invisible visible, encouraging the blossoming of talent in economic development in Winston-Salem.

CSFE logo 

Helping the Community Helps Your University: New and Replicable Ways Two University Centers are Impacting Their Communities


CSEM Director Craig Richardson has been invited to share the work of CSEM together with  the Center for the Study of Free Enterprise (CSFE) at Western Carolina University-  which is being hosted by the American Council of Education (ACE) and live-streamed nationally to all its members as well as the public.

Picture of Kimberlee MC  

 CSEM brings research help to East Winston initiative

The Chronicle

The Castle Heights Neighborhood Association, which has long worked for better conditions for its residents, is stepping up its game through a collaboration with the poverty-fighting Partnership for Prosperity (P4P). The initiative has tapped Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) as its research partner.


CSEM director unveils groundbreaking research on homeownership program


When CSEM Director Craig Richardson, intrigued by thousands of pages of documents, approached Forsyth Economic Developer Dan Kornelis about doing a study of the county’s homeownership program, Kornelis welcomed the chance...

AnAkha Anet pic  

Working toward healthy food for all

Triad City Beat

For many, summertime means easy access to fresh tomatoes, peaches, squash, string beans, cucumbers, butterbeans, watermelons and other goodies. For others, including those living in urban food deserts, access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a luxury.


CSEM research shows leaving crime-ridden neighborhoods part of economic rise

The Chronicle

Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) has long recognized the relationship between crime and upward economic mobility, and is confronting the issues with its partner groups and its research. 

Rasheeda Shankle  

Communal living housing can raise economic hopes

The Winston-Salem Journal

I saw how the community’s living conditions forced people to make tough choices, to sometimes live and behave unethically

Barber Class  

CSEM-supported program is turning Lives around, one cut at a time

The Chronicle

  Donald Weaks teaches barbering to Shica Shell as she cuts her son Jayden's hair.

  Stephanie Hurt Group  

CSEM-supported group brings the power of art to youth

The Chronicle

Royal Curtain Drama Guild Director Stephanie Hurt and her son, guild choreographer Joel Hurt, work with youth in a Freedom School at Calvary Hill Church of Greater Deliverance.


 Gun violence is a big barrier to economic mobility

The Winston-Salem Journal

Each new gun injury and death makes the point all the more painfully clear...

Picture of Kimberlee McNeil  

Graduate of CSEM-supported program improves her community

The Chronicle

Kimberlee McNeil wakes up every morning thinking of how she might bring economic improvement to her East Winston neighborhood, Castle Heights. 

 Joel image 

As pandemic clears, CSEM-supported groups weigh lessons 

The Chronicle

They dug in and worked all the harder, seeing the inequities they had long battled aggravated by COVID-19.

       Housing Calculator

Craig J. Richardson: The minimum wage paradox

The Winston-Salem Journal

The tool, which we call the Social Benefits Calculator, enables anyone to go online and experience for themselves what it is like to be receiving social benefits and experience a monthly wage increase.

Home owner

CSEM research on first-time homebuyers’ program highlighted on local NPR radio station


Newly released data show that a long-time program that helps Black Forsyth County renters become homeowners is bearing fruit.


CSEM-supported group confronts terrible tide of gun violence

The Winston-Salem Journal

Te'ore Terry comes to his mother in dreams. Three months after he was fatally shot in Winston-Salem, on Valentine's Day...


CSEM-supported group underscores new mode of community mobilization

The Chronicle

Michael Banner and Marcus Hill have been chipping away at food insecurity in East Winston, forming a nonprofit, Island CultureZ, to increase land and market access for economically marginalized communities...

 Photo of the documentary Rigged shoot.

Against backdrop of “rigged” education systems, WSSU stands out

The Chronicle

The documentary spotlights Winston-Salem State University as one of just three colleges nationwide whose innovative efforts are reversing education inequities.

picture of Zach Blizard

CSEM research keeps this millennial in Winston-Salem

The Winston-Salem Journal

For years, Winston-Salem leaders have talked about the need to keep native millennials here while also attracting new ones. 

Picture of Rasheeda Shankle 

From Struggling Single Mom to Determined CEO Helping Women Break the Cycle of Poverty

Center For Advancing Opportunity

Meet Rasheeda Shankle, a Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) graduate and founder, president and CEO of Honorable Youth, Inc. 


Women’s stories underscore importance of CSEM research

The Chronicle

As Black women with physical challenges, Green and Powell welcome a study by Research Fellows from Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM).

Chancellor Robinson 

CSEM profiled in national documentary on equity and innovation in education


RIGGED Documentary - Let's Get Real about the American Dream

Picture of Logan Lash

CSEM logo 

CSEM Fellows’ research could open doors for vulnerable residents, employers


The work of CSEM’s 2019-20 class of Research Fellows shares one important factor...

Picture of Dan  Kornelis

CSEM research shows county program is working for the people

The Winston-Salem Journal

The research found that the program has been a significant force for economic mobility in the county.


Richardson: Three surprising challenges faced by those at the bottom of the income ladder

Center For Advancing Opportunity

We know that residents of fragile communities experience immense barriers to opportunities, such as unemployment, lack of quality education options, criminal injustice..

 Picture of Logan Lash

CSEM-backed program produces graduates for changing business world

The Chronicle

Lash and three cohorts are making their own new way, thanks to a program Tate Consulting of Winston-Salem has created called “Maestro, the Playbook 2.0!” 

CSEM Logo 

WSSU’s $30 million gift underscores commitment by CSEM, others to underserved communities


The award speaks directly to the University’s continued commitment to elevating underrepresented communities through efforts like the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility and a strategic plan that emphasizes social justice and equity. 

Tate's teaching a class. 

CSEM and Tate Consulting go big with transformative academy


Research sparked idea for leadership training.

Joel Hurt and Kaila Gillespie

CSEM is happy to support this program that rolls out the mighty tide of the arts

Yes Weekly

Joel Hurt and his sister Kaila Gillespie grew up in East Winston, finding hope where some might not typically see it, thanks to their mother’s arts organiza

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CSEM’s empirical study finds success with county’s first-time homebuyer program

The Winston-Salem Journal

There is a little-known program in our county that, over two decades, has helped more than 800 residents move from renting to home ownership.

Circle of strength supported by CSEM especially important in pandemic days


In 2018, eleven Black women volunteered to come together over eight weeks to share, learn, support one another, and to find out more about how systemic poverty has impacted their lives.

Student interns set stage for future

The Chronicle

They describe their work as transformative. They are interns for Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM). 

Men recording in studio

New initiative to help at-risk youth takes off in East Winston

Yes Weekly

Project M.O.O.R. E., the second word standing for Mentoring Our Own and Rejuvenating the Environment, has transformed an old frame house just off Martin Luther King Drive into a spot where youth can gather, learn and dream...

The 2020 CSEM Community Scholars: ‘Just look for the hope. It’s out there.’

The Chronicle

The Community Scholars’ designation was created in combination with Economic Mobility Opportunity Awards, in recognition of the value of knowledge obtained by individuals...

Alvin Atkinson

Alvin Atkinson Honoring King's "Beloved Community"

The Winston-Salem Journal

At the dawn of this new year, and in recognition of the celebration of the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., I now write to excite and invite all of us to look within ourselves...

Zach Blizard

Searching for the local reasons the American Dream remains so elusive

Triad City Beat

Studies have also found that some areas of the country offer less mobility than most other developed countries. One of these places may just be Winston-Salem/Forsyth County.

    Picture of David Moore

East Winston man continues giving back with new program

Yes Weekly

   city bus picture

CSEM, Forsyth Tech joint study reveals high cost of transportation challenges

The Chronicle

Groundbreaking research by Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM), initiated by Forsyth Technical Community College (FTCC), reveals that transportation challenges are taking a heavy toll on the college’s student productivity.  

     CSEM Logo

We’ve got enough municipalities – and too much segregation

The Winston-Salem Journal

Lately, it seems like the one thing Americans can agree on is that we are deeply divided. 

house decorated for Christmas

Woman helps clients achieve dream of home ownership

The Chronicle

In almost 20 years of working for the county of Forsyth, almost 15 of those as the loan officer for county’s Homeownership Program, Bianca Green has helped hundreds of local residents buy their homes...


CSEM highlighted in article on transportation in fragile communities 

Center For Advancing Opportunity

People living in fragile communities face many barriers to upward social mobility, including poverty, crime, low-performing schools, inequities in law enforcement, and limited economic opportunities.

  Island CultureZ Press Conference

CSEM supports push to overcome food insecurity

The Winston-Salem Journal

The innovative work of Island CultureZ fits with Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM), which encourages upward economic mobility. CSEM presented Island CultureZ with an Economic Mob


A CSEM regional economist warns against panic buying

WXII News 12

As we move into the winter months, an economics professor said it’s important for people to not start buying up and hoarding everyday


CSEM supports revitalizing roundtable in Boston-Thurmond

The Chronicle

The proximity of the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood to WSSU, combined with the active participation of WSSU staff, created an opportunity for WSSU’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) to present the roundtable with an Economic Mobility award.

Craig Richardson speaking.

Meet Craig Richardson 

Western Carolina University-Center for the Study of Free Enterprise

CSFE Content Marketing Specialist, Allie Todd, talked with Craig Richardson. As Director of the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) and the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Economics at Winston-Salem State U

CSEM's research on class sizes could help drive public dialogue

The Chronicle

A surprising initial finding by researchers from Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility could help drive that public dialogue, especially in these pa

Students make voices heard on life in a food desert 


They are too young to experience the food hardships they do, and they are speaking out so that their children will not have to live through those hardship

  picture of people in meeting

CSEM needs more community input on study of economic mobility hurdles faced by Black women with disabilities 


A study on the hurdles to economic mobility for African American women with physical and mental health disabilities in Forsyth County has made two significant findings.... 

CSEM charges ahead with two new positions 


CSEM has named two tenured WSSU professors to new research positions, expanding its outreach into the community on crucial issues of economic mobility.

Here's your chance to use CSEM's data


Since Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility launched three years ago, one of our bedrocks has been putting our research before the public. We continue that mission with our new data hub page.

CSEM is three-years-old! 


Sept. 17, 2020 marks CSEM’s third birthday. We have made strong progress in bringing to light the challenges facing economic mobility in our city and c

 Actors in The Wiz production

CSEM & a local group team up to support the arts

The Winston-Salem Journal

Leaders in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have long supported the power of the arts, but not as much in East Winston as in other areas. Hurt brings that needed focus. Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) supports her work.


Alvin Atkinson

What Now Winston-Salem? A New Answer

The Winston-Salem Journal

Our community, along with others across America, is in the midst of a terrible storm brought about by the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic on our economic and health ecosystems. 


In pandemic days, East Winston women find strength in CSEM program begun in 2018

The Chronicle

In the summer of 2018, in that long-ago time before the pandemic, several black women from East Winston came together in a research project.

New Venture will bridge East Winston to power structures

The Chronicle

It’s six miles from East Winston to the sprawling Graylyn International Conference Center on Reynolda Road. At first blush to some, the distance might seem much more, that from blight to bright. 

Increasingly refined data can pave way for upward economic mobility

The Chronicle

At Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM), data is one of our bedrocks. 

A Trophy and a CSEM Swag Bag

CSEM receives award


Winston-Salem State University has recognized CSEM with a special honor.

CSEM logo

CSEM researchers included in crucial grant to study pandemic’s economic effects


Winston-Salem State University announced a grant of $1 million from the UNC Board of Governors and the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at UNC-Chapel Hill to combat COVID-19...

Study on housing loss reveals few surprises for urban core

The Chronicle

Last month representatives from New America, a think tank that focuses on a range of public policy issues, revealed findings from a study that took a closer look at evictions and mortgage foreclosures in Forsyth County.

CSEM-loaded student busts the barriers

Yes Weekly

Tyler Chisolm, a Winston-Salem State University senior majoring in psychology, is bright and driven.

CSEM joins county in win-win study of home ownership

The Chronicle

Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) and the county of Forsyth have come together to study the county’s Home ownership Program.


New study analyzes soaring home displacement rates in Forsyth County 


Over the past decade, Forsyth County has made some unflattering national news. A 2015 Harvard University study revealed its status as having the third-worst economic mobility in the U

Craig Richardson and Tim Robustelli: Forsyth needs long-term solutions to housing loss 

Winston-Salem Journal

Last week, protesters in Winston-Salem called for reinstatement of North Carolina’s eviction moratorium amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

WSTA suspends two-bag limit


The Winston-Salem Transit Authority has suspended its rule limiting passengers to just two bags of groceries, and a local high school student played a big role in its decision.

CSEM research finds city and/or businesses might benefit by subsidizing Uber use 

The Chronicle

New research on the city bus system from Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) finds that female riders commuting to work pay a higher overall economic price than their male counterparts.


CSEM supports problem-solving spatial justice research 

Winston-Salem Journal

The old saying is true: Geography is destiny.

a group of students

Local high school student connects with CSEM and charges ahead


Sarina Horner works on reform of city bus system.


CSEM Research Fellow says people in poverty want some joy, too

The Chronicle

For Winston-Salem State University psychology professor Michele Lewis, two recent news stories were jarring...


Program helps East Winston students confront problems aggravated by the pandemic

The Chronicle

Student Intern Ladarian Eaton helps the YouthRise class participants define their concerns. Photo by John Railey

jail bars

Released offenders welcome research to ease transition


They come out blinking at the free world, nervous, anxious, and although most will not admit it,

 a city bus

How public transit affects African-Americans' upward mobility

Spectrum News

He doesn't have access to a car. Goodman, 19, has to start his day hours before his shift to catch the #87 bus at the city's Transportation Center...

scholarly youth

Aligning to give vulnerable students the gifted teachers they need

The Chronicle

The challenge of how to get the best teachers in the lowest-performing schools in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system is one that has confounded educators for years...

Center for the Study of Economic Mobility logo

Hear these young people (speak on structural racism)

Winston-Salem Journal

A rising senior at an East Winston High School, spoke to researchers from Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) about the fear he feels from others as an African-American male...


Pandemic heightens concerns for bus rider


Subject of documentary film rises to new challenges

Reyes speaking to the public

Exploring the reasons behind the high rates of Hispanic evictions in pandemic

Triad City Beat

Vanessa Reyes of Winston-Salem has come a long way in her 19 years, and a big part of her journey from Mexico has been the road to speaking out, trying to explain to the public the reasons her fellow Latinx residents face high eviction rates...

student with a camera

WSSU grad works with CSEM, Tate Consulting on economic mobility

The Chronicle

For Quinton Benson, it all started that day he saw the boy in the grocery store...


CSEM intern Sierra Chesnutt charges ahead


Corona virus restrictions challenge this intern, but won’t stop her work.

Tate Consulting Developing Leaders

Graduates of entrepreneurial class are future of East Winston

The Chronicle

Graduates of the inaugural class of the East Winston version of the “Playbook for Entrepreneurial Excellence” took their virtual graduation, the new normal now...

Hispanics in Forsyth County may face higher risk of eviction from COVID-19

Winston-Salem Journal

The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office recently announced a halt to evictions as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the United States. Delinquent renters can now remain in their homes

CSEM research could open doors for African American women with disabilities

The Chronicle

The pandemic underscores the need for this study.


How COVID-19 may amplify education inequities


CSEM Fellow explores what could be a transformative time

Forsyth Tech, WSSU center join to put students on ‘wheels’ to success

The Chronicle

Schools take on longstanding transportation challenges 

 Mr. Bates

John Railey: Helping offenders rebuild their lives

Winston-Salem Journal

CSEM Fellow brings life experience to innovative research.

 Zach Blizard

CSEM research could spur dialogue on helping low-performing schools

Yes Weekly

Research from CSEM’s Zach Blizard provides some answers on how the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County system can improve its low-performing schools.


John Railey: Wake Forest, Winston-Salem State united on residents' property rights


Educators from Wake Forest University’s Environmental Law and Policy Clinic and CSEM join forces to confront our high rate of evictions and other issues

 Center for the Study of Economic Mobility, Winston-Salem State University

Our work is now all the more important

CSEM Staff Report

CSEM's work researching the causes and effects of generational poverty wont be slowed by the Corona virus pandemic. The effort is too important, and our momentum is growing.

Rigged - let's get real about the American dream

CSEM to be featured as higher ed innovator in the forthcoming documentary Rigged- April 2020.


RIGGED examines how the long prevailing value system in U.S. higher education erodes individual opportunity and undermines U.S. democracy. The Center for the Study of Economic Mobility at WSSU is featured as one of the innovators that will reverse this trend and that will ultimately transform colleges and universities into pathways for student engagement and social mobility. Interviews with staff members, faculty and top administrators at WSSU each provide perspective on how the University creates success for its students.

a happy couple

CSEM’s new partnership could be explosive in a good way


Can you imagine being in college and having a great business idea or an individual who has been working for over 20 years in a job unfulfilled because it did not align with your passion? If you said yes, there is a program designed to help you achieve your goals.

In February, the Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) and Tate Consulting began the Playbook for Entrepreneurial Excellence, an eight-week program designed to arm individuals with CEO leadership competencies and skills to give you the confidence to be your boss.

charity griffin-brown

Commentary: Equality, equity: Leveling the playing field for black students

WS Chronicle

Dr. Charity Griffin, a 2018-2019 CSEM fellow, puts a thought-provoking context on the principal reassignments in our local school system


city bus

CSEM scholars give a presentation at Wake Forest University on transportation and inequity

Triad City Beat

There is a needed symmetry developing in the local push to reduce poverty, and Winston-Salem State and Wake Forest universities continued that alignment with a panel discussion this week at Wake Forest: “Transportation and Inequity in Winston-Salem."

Professors Russ Smith and Craig Richardson presented the challenges posed by both the geography and the growing concentration of poverty.

 lady at a bus stop

WFDD radio interview: Profs. Smith and Richardson reveal transportation’s role in economic mobility

WFDD radio

Winston-Salem State University geography professor Russell Smith and economics professor Craig Richardson were recently interviewed by WFDD's David Ford. The WSSU professors discussed  transportation and inequity in Forsyth County and its special challenges.

 richardson speaking

CSEM announces 2019-20 Faculty Research Fellows


Three WSSU faculty members have been selected as the 2019-20 Center for the Study of Economic Mobility Faculty Research Fellows.

 a closed road and transit sign

CSEM research referenced in The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Gentrification in the D.C. area phase been found to push people from homes and away from transit.

The Center for the Study of Economic Mobility in Winston-Salem, N.C. found that city bus commuters spent on average 8.6 extra hours per week riding the bus compared with how much time it would take to drive to work, making life even more difficult for those located in "transportation deserts."

 Center for the Study of Economic Mobility. Winston-Salem State University

Inclusion in documentary of WSSU's CSEM underscores its national prominence

The Chronicle

The Center for the Study of Economic Mobility gains national prominence for its innovative platform in solving economic mobility. Its profile in Rigged, a new documentary, will feature WSSU faculty, staff, and students aligned with CSEM's mission.

 a podium

Washington, D.C.-based think tank New America announces partnership with CSEM and others to study property loss in the United States.

New America: Future of Property Rights Press Release

CSEM is working in an advisory capacity with New America based in Washington, DC. The goal is to map home and land loss across the country and conduct on-the-ground research in Arizona, Indiana and North Carolina. CSEM will be playing a special role in Forsyth County along with Wake Forest Law School.

 illustration of a city street

Craig J. Richardson and Russell Smith: ‘Spreading the wealth’ in the East Ward

Winston-Salem Journal

Several years of planning and community conversation led to a plan to help invigorate the East End area, also known as the East End Master Plan. Now, it seems those plans are up for debate. As some city council members are mulling over whether to allow those funds to be spread across the entire East Ward to spread the wealth.

 Craig speaking

Local economist assesses New York Times’ take on Winston-Salem

WFDD radio

A recent article in the New York Times, Why Midsize Cities Struggle to Catch Up to Superstar Cities, has put Winston-Salem in the national spotlight. But based on the reaction it’s received thus far from local residents and an increasingly vocal group of public officials, some are wondering whether the story got it right.

 mother and child getting on a bus

Craig J. Richardson: Innovation in transportation: Can it happen here?

Winston-Salem Journal

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 been at the vanguard of empirical research around our local public transportation system, along with a host of other research initiatives.