CAU Professor Named One of Diverse: Issues In Higher Education Magazine Top “40 and Under” Scholars


The annual Emerging Scholars edition was published on Jan. 19, 2023, and profiled 15 scholars from throughout the country who are making their mark in the academy through teaching, research and service. Currie is the only scholar from an HBCU, as well as the only one from Georgia, to make the list.

Diverse, which first published its Emerging Scholars edition in 2001, selects honorees from a pool of candidates recommended by various scholars, department chairs, university public information officers and others. Scholars are selected based on research, educational background, publishing record, teaching record, competitiveness in field of study and uniqueness of field of study. 

Currie teaches social work practice, policy and Critical Race Theory. His research interests include the application of social justice to clinical practice, prison reform/abolitionism, environmental and socially engineered trauma with an emphasis in communities of color, and the intersection of Black men, mental health and infectious disease.

“In my current position at WYMJSSW, I have an awesome opportunity to merge my knowledge in CRT, trauma theory, queer studies and empowerment practice with the school’s Afrocentric perspectives,” stated Currie in the School’s March 2022 edition of Research Bulletin.

“In my courses, I embed the values and practice techniques of the Afrocentric perspective and critical race theory also known in academic circles as critical race students (CRS), in the spirit of furthering decolonization of both our people and our social work practices.”

Dr. Jenny L. Jones, dean of Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work, said Currie is both a phenomenal scholar and clinician whose work uplifts the mission of the School.

“His focus on social justice to include racial inequality aligns with the School’s Afrocentic perspective, which encompasses the intersectionality of race and other societal factors such as gender, ethnicity, social class, ability status and sexual orientation,” she said. “We are very proud of his accomplishments.”


Currie is also a licensed psychotherapist specializing in LGBTQ issues, adoption, issues and conflicts of identity, HIV and early diagnosis. He holds a doctorate in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. He has more than 15 years of social work practice and leadership experience, including at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore and multiple community-based agencies in Boston, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.


The Whitney M. Young Jr. School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University advances the ideals of economic and social justice, through an enriched curriculum, innovative research and transformative community engagement. With origins dating back to 1920, the School prepares culturally competent social work professionals guided by its unique legacy and Afrocentric perspective. Leveraging this convergence of culture and service, the School produces dynamic leaders in the field, who are committed to enhancing the well-being and equitable treatment of diverse individuals and communities, and driving good works for a better world.  

The School is the nation’s first accredited school of social work at a historically black college or university and is named in honor of its first dean, noted social reformer and civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr.

About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank

Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit