The Center for Social Reform, Equity and Innovation

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The Center for Social Reform, Equity and Innovation (CSREI) is a policy and practice institute with a mission to improve the health and well-being of African American children and families. CSREI is guided by the Afrocentric perspective in providing direct practice, training, research, and policy commentaries to practitioners and stakeholders related to health, mental health, and community practice. 

Institutional Framework

The WMYJSSW Center for Social Reform, Equity and Innovation is framed around interdisciplinary initiatives related to health, mental health and practice in a service capacity to community stakeholders and change agents. The Center serves as the connective tissue between scholars, practitioners, change agents and the community using models of change that are value critical, participatory and sustainable.

Projects and Initiatives

The Center is currently engaged in a practice and evaluation project with the On the Rise Financial Center that offers financial coaching to low income residents in the Vine City neighborhood of Atlanta. The project includes the field placement of two MSW students and one doctoral student with the Financial Center, facilitating case management and financial coaching services.

The Coding Community Initiative was one of CSREI first initiatives to be adopted and implemented within the community of West End, Atlanta. Through this pilot program, a local software engineer, is offering instruction for African American youth. The use of coding instruction seeks to improve the mental health (self-esteem and cognitive development) and school preparedness outcomes of pre-adolescent Black youth. This program infuses African-centered instruction into computer programming and community practice with the families of enrolled youth in a Saturday School format throughout the calendar year.

The Decarceration Initiative will also be one of CSREI's first adopted and implemented within the West End area. This partnership between CSREI Fellow Dr. Eyitayo Onifade and the local community, employ diversion and restorative justice models to address minority over-representation in the justice system.

Community stakeholders can improve outcomes for African American children and families by effectively mobilizing the subject matter expertise of Social Work practitioners and researchers, led by CSREI Fellows. CSREI Fellows will facilitate the development and implementation of demonstrated models of change from the Afrocentric perspective in related areas of health, mental health, and community well-being.