Center for the Study of Economic Mobility

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Winston-Salem State University’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) launched in September 2017 with a $3 million grant from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO), an initiative supported by The Charles Koch Foundation and Koch Industries.  The CAO focuses on researching barriers to opportunity in fragile communities. WSSU is the first announced center from CAO.

Purpose

The Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM) purpose is to better understand the factors and causes of a lack of economic mobility in Forsyth County and to explore novel economic, educational and policy solutions towards reversing the negative impact of Forsyth County on upward mobility that can be transferred to other North Carolina counties as well as states across the country?

Research shows that children from low-income families in Forsyth County are less likely to move up the income ladder as adults compared to kids almost anywhere else in the United States. Only two counties in South Dakota rank lower than Forsyth County.*  Although the county is home to several respected colleges and universities, world-class hospitals and a strong tax base, Winston-Salem is strongly divided by race and income level, Research is needed to better understand the factors and causes of a lack of economic mobility in Forsyth County.

Goals

CSEM’s goal is to better understand how to spur economic and social development throughout Forsyth County to increase the opportunity for everyone regardless of their family background or where they live to pursue and realize higher social-economic levels; and to contribute to the knowledge of solutions that improve economic mobility throughout  the state and nation.