Social Work welcomes Bakari A. Wallace as pre-faculty fellow in Pathway to Faculty program

The School of Social Work at Wayne State University has named Bakari A. Wallace, Ph.D., M.S.W., their pre-faculty fellow for the Pathway to Faculty (PTF) program.

A returning Warrior, Wallace earned his bachelor’s from Wayne State University in 2005, completed his master’s at the University of Michigan in 2014, then earned his doctoral degree in human ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2021.

His research interests include the effects of mass incarceration on African American males, urban education policy, youth civic participation, and African American historical methods of community organizing and development. His dissertation explored the link between the personal histories of Black fathers, their beliefs of how society views them, and their approach to the racial socialization of their children.

Wallace will further this research alongside his PTF mentor Carolyn Dayton, Ph.D., M.S.W., M.A., at Wayne State.

Currently, he is conducting a research study that explores how criminal justice-involved African American men who have been court ordered to attend an anger management course make sense of intimate partner and domestic violence. He is also in the planning stages of a study that will explore the educational experiences of African American men in the discipline of social work at the collegiate level.

“I intend for my scholarship to have practical utility for Black communities, particularly those who are most materially vulnerable,” he said. “This may range from delineating methods for reducing jail and prison recidivism—with a goal of one day ending it—to developing applied ways of constructing locally-based, politically organized groups of current and formerly incarcerated Black folx who advocate for both their specific and communal interests.”

He said he looks forward to bolstering his research as a community-based scholar and PTF affords what is, but should not be, a unique opportunity.

“The PTF program’s commitment to diversifying the professional ranks of WSU along racial, gendered, socioeconomic, differently abled/(dis)ability lines, among others, carries both professional and personal benefit for me as a Black man from Detroit. All higher education institutions should not only foreground diversity as a central ethic, but diligently exhaust all possibilities for actualizing diversity as a realistic goal.”

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