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Who We Are

The Center for Social Research at Southern University was established in 1969 to conduct studies on the experiences of low- to moderate-income community residents and their families. Since the Center’s inception, community studies have been conducted, principally using survey research on special problems. Studies include comparative analysis of community residents’ social, economic and demographic characteristics, as well as opinions and attitudes of residents toward selected issues affecting their communities.

The Center assumes a leadership role in creating new knowledge and developing innovative approaches to addressing social and economic problems and concerns related to community development, violence, welfare and dependency, housing, literacy, health and quality of life.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Center for Social Research is to contribute to the enhancement of the community by addressing social, economic and policy issues affecting children, family and the community. The Center recognizes the complex and multi-faceted array of factors associated with family stability and self-sufficiency. In response, the Center works collectively with individuals and community groups and organizations to implement a variety of programs supporting housing, family economic stability and workforce development. The Center for Social Research is unique in that it’s applied research programs are supported by sound-theoretical underpinnings. Utilizing modern methods and techniques, conducting both basic and applied research, in structured and formalized investigations by faculty, staff and students, the Center complements and supports the University’s threefold mission of education, research and service.

The creation and application of new knowledge to the problems confronting communities are essential to a viable and sustained research and service mission. The Center for Social Research not only supports community development; it provides research opportunities that draw faculty and students into active work on solutions to community concerns. Faculty and students receive technical assistance allowing them to address demanding social problems and critical needs in the community.

Our Goals

The Center successfully develops and implements:

  • Educational programs ranging in focus from promoting ownership to advanced academic degree endeavors of low-income, first-generation, college students and students from traditionally under-represented groups.
  • Community revitalization projects such as home construction and housing stabilization programs. The Center also helps to establish and strengthen neighborhood action groups and capacity-building, helping community-based and faith-based organizations to develop their vision and strategic plans.
  • Quality-of-life improvement programs through entrepreneurship training, life skills training, job- readiness training, technical-skills training, certification and job placement.
  • Public awareness and data collection programs, utilizing surveys, focus groups, town-hall meetings, geographic information systems, individual and organization interviews and discussions and newsletter and web page production.
  • Conferences, lecture series, seminars, summer research institutes and workshops focusing on vital issues impacting residential communities and confronting research communities including universities, their faculty and students.
  • Community surveys assessing resident opinions, concerns and identified needs.


The Center’s workshops and other work links faculty, students and broader communities to environmental and social issues, hazard mitigation and prevention, capacity building and a myriad of other topics impacting the people of today.


For more information, please contact:

Center for Social Research

Southern University and A & M College
Rodney Higgins Hall, Suite 208
Post Office Box 9503
Baton Rouge, La-70813
225-771-4249 (Office), 225-771-4716(Fax)


Kristie Perry, Ph.D., Director