This past year has marked a time of successful transition for the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work Center on Race and Social Problems (CRSP). With the retirement of founding director and Dean Emeritus Larry Davis in fall 2019, CRSP welcomed James Huguley, assistant professor at the school, as interim director and John Wallace, vice provost for faculty diversity and development, David E. Epperson Endowed Chair, and professor of social work, as senior faculty fellow for research and engagement. Their appointments come after many years of involvement with CRSP. Each brings research and practice expertise on race and community engagement that will advance the center’s mission and the strategic goals of the University.
As its dynamic new leadership team took shape, the center also undertook a strategic reinvestment in digital content delivery. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, CRSP began an effort to share its work through an expanded range of online platforms, including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. These channels host a wide variety of live and prerecorded content on race-related topics that are accessible to viewers around the world. CRSP was thus well positioned to connect with audiences when the pandemic began and has more than doubled its social media following nationally and globally since March 2020. The strategic focus on digital media is both timely and important: It has elevated CRSP as a national voice in online race conversations at a critical juncture and has made important empirical resources available to thousands of people at a time of converging racial crises.