James Huguley will become interim director of the Center on Race and Social Problems in the School of Social Work effective Aug. 1. Larry Davis, who founded the center in 2002 and developed its role in leading and elevating race-related conversations and research, will retire in fall 2019 to become professor and dean emeritus.
Also in August, John Wallace will become the center’s senior fellow for Research and Community Engagement.
“CRSP is a valuable resource to the School of Social Work, the University and the region,” Davis said on the school’s website. “Race remains America’s defining social problem. The center provides a place to conduct race-focused research as well as a venue to discuss race matters. … Much to the University’s credit, ours was the first school of social work to have a center dedicated explicitly to race.”
Huguley has been a researcher and faculty member in the school since 2013. His work is centered on race-related topics, with a particular interest in ways that schools and families can support positive development of African American children. He will oversee all activities and planning at CRSP, where his work has been housed for the past six years.
“I’ve had the wonderful privilege of working at CRSP with … Larry Davis for some time now. I’m thrilled to build on the groundbreaking work that he has done in making CRSP a leader in the cultivation and dissemination of race research and evidence-based practices” said Huguley. “Going forward, our team hopes to expand the center’s footprint locally and nationally toward even greater impact on ameliorating social problems and promoting racial justice.”
Wallace has been at Pitt since 2004 and currently holds appointments as a professor at the School of Social Work, the Katz Graduate School of Business and the Department of Sociology in the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences (Sociology). He also is senior pastor of Bible Center Church, in Homewood.
He will work with Huguley, as well as academic and community partners, to expand research activities, opportunities and funding and will help CRSP disseminate its work more widely.
“I am deeply grateful for Dr. Davis’s long-standing efforts to build the center and willingness to help figure out its future, to Dr. Huguley for stepping up and being willing to throw himself fully into the lead on CRSP’s next phase, and to Dr. Wallace for providing support and guidance,” said Dean Betsy Famer.
The Center on Race and Social Problems was established to help lead America further along the path to social justice by conducting race-related research, mentoring emerging scholars, and disseminating race-related research findings and scholarship. In 2010, it hosted the largest conference on race ever held in America.