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Director's Message

Director, Center for Social Research
Welcome to the Center for Social Research Website. As the Director, I am delighted to share with you the programs the Center has to offer. We aim to make a difference in the city of Baton Rouge and the State at large by incorporating the work being done by faculty, staff, students, and the community. Some of the research that the Center has conducted has resulted in (1) Ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic through awareness and testing; (2) Stop sexual violence on College Campuses; (3) Community asset attainment in business, homeownership, and education, and (4) strengthening community and police relationships.
The Center for Social Research has also resulted in the expansion of existing knowledge in the discipline of Sociology. We use an applied sociological approach to research several projects, perhaps, the most significant of which is the Collective Healing Initiative. In the wake of Alton Sterling and the Police Ambush in the city of Baton Rouge, we helped identify funds to bridge the gap between the community and the local police. The primary objective of the Collective Healing Initiative was to foster meaningful dialogue and reconciliation among law enforcement agencies and the communities of color they serve, to increase the capacity of victim services programs, and to address officer health and wellness.

The Center has also been successful in elevating research on the state level as can be seen with the Individual Development Account (IDA) Program. The goal of the IDA program is to (1) assist low-income families with developing savings accounts for the first-time purchase of a home, save for college education, and to develop a micro-enterprise business by matching earnings deposited into accounts with available TANF funds; (2) educate participants about financial management and asset development and other financial literacy components including financial responsibility and savings strategies; (3) decrease the risk of intergenerational poverty transmission by promoting economic stability through the education of participants about financial management, asset development and other financial literacy components including financial responsibility and savings strategies; and (4) provide homeownership linkages to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own home, or the homes of qualified relatives.

The Center for Social Research staff is very influential throughout the community. They have conducted community needs assessments to inform community-university partnerships and to determine the effectiveness of the University in understanding and addressing the best practices of regional development and evaluating the economic and social outcomes of those processes. We work with local community agencies on identifying and securing funds to help support the mission of the University and the Center for Social Research.

Take a moment to explore our website. You may also drop in for a visit to the Nelson Mandela College of Government and Social Sciences 208 Higgins Hall. I look forward to answering any questions you may have.




Kristie Perry, Ph.D.