Sociology Doctoral Student Receives Federal Reserve Bank Fellowship to Explore Urbanization

George R. Greenidge, Jr., a sociology Ph.D. student, was recently selected to join the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) in Atlanta as an economic fellow for the summer and fall semesters. unknown

The fellowship, sponsored by the American Economic Association and the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (CSWEP), gives senior-level graduate students the opportunity to work alongside economists at FRB.

“The fellowship at the Federal Reserve Bank has helped me to take an interdisciplinary approach (to my research),” Greenidge said. “I have been in contact and connected to individuals in other fields of the social sciences and because of these contacts I have been able to merge the knowledge I have received into my work.”

Greenidge’s doctoral research focuses on the economic development of urban areas and the implications of gentrification and displacement on its residents.

“We need to create bold and preventative steps through careful research and policy implementation to help protect our most marginalized populations in order to preserve their presence in our cities,” he said. “I look to the City of Atlanta as the perfect laboratory and a model for other urban cities to make this a reality.”

Greenidge’s work with FRB is just one of the many ways he has immersed himself in the fabric of urban areas, particularly its people and development.

Before beginning his studies at Georgia State, Greenidge worked in a number of fields including the non-profit sector, government and education.

Greenidge is the founder and executive director of the National Black College Alliance, Inc. and also previously served as the president of the Boston Empowerment Zone.

It was those experiences that led him to pursue studies at Georgia State.

“I kind of hit a career plateau,” he said. “After 20 years of rich work experience, I decided that I’d go back to school. And when looking at schools, I always remembered that Georgia State was a university that was really growing in the 90’s while I was studying at Morehouse College. I was attracted to Georgia State’s commitment to a large diverse population of students. Its culture aligned with my area of research.”

Since his arrival at Georgia State in 2013, Greenidge has soaked in all the university has to offer, particularly the university’s study abroad programs. Greenidge has traveled to Brazil and South Africa through Georgia State’s BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Initiative.

“I studied abroad in two of the BRICS countries,” he laughed. “I have three more to go.”

Greenidge is also the founder and president of the Greatest MINDS Society at Georgia State.

 The mission of the organization is to promote scholarship, excellence, leadership and high achievement among African-American and minority graduate and undergraduate student populations on campus. In April, Greatest MINDS received the award for Outstanding Large-Scale Campus Program for its conference, Symposium on Race, Urban Culture and Campus Diversity, at the 2016 Royal Flame Awards.

The three-day symposium explored urban life, homelessness, gentrification, race relations and socioeconomic class in society and was attended by more than 500 students.

As for Greenidge’s post-doctoral plans, he’s keeping his options open but wherever he lands he hopes to continue to connect his research to help all people, particularly urban marginalized populations.

“It is about developing an inclusive economy where everyone regardless of race, gender or socio-economic background gets an opportunity to participate,” he said.