Social Work’s 14th Annual Diversity Lecture explores black men, fatherhood and barriers to achieving the American dream.

David Pate Jr

UPDATE: In light of the CDC’s recommendation for social distancing, this event has been POSTPONED and will be held in Fall 2020.  Additional details will be forthcoming. Thank you for your continued support of the School of Social Work and we look forward to seeing you at a future event.

David J. Pate, Jr, PhD, an expert on low-income African-American men, fatherhood, and child support, will deliver the Wayne State School of Social Work’s 14th Annual Diversity Lecture entitled “Do Black Men deserve the American dream?: The Impact of Gendered Deservingness on economic security for marginalized families." The talk and community discussion will take place on Thursday, March 19, 2020 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Wayne State Law School Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium.  

This talk will examine the historical and social phenomenon that produce economic instability and insecurity for Black men in the U.S. The intent is to illuminate current social policies and institutional practices that frustrate—and create virtually insurmountable barriers to—the industry and economic well-being of low-income Black men. The most notorious policy in this context is child support policy for very low-income, unemployed and never-married parents.  The race and gender focus of this analysis is essential to fully interrogate this policy and the men and families it impacts.

“It is important to examine system-level barriers to economic disparity and, more importantly, how systematic racism influences this instability,” said Sheryl Kubiak, dean of the Wayne State School of Social Work. “I am thrilled that Dr. Pate is bringing his wisdom on the subject to our Detroit community and look forward to this engaging community event.”

Pate is the Chair and Associate Professor of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Helen Bader School of Social Welfare, Department of Social Work and an Affiliated Associate Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies and University Honors College as well as an Affiliated Associate Professor at the Institute for Research on Poverty (UW-Madison). Pate studies how black men are affected by the social welfare system and the challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security. His research projects involve the use of qualitative research methods to examine life course events of African-American men and boys.

The Michigan Social Work Continuing Education Collaborative has approved this lecture for 2 Continuing Education contract hours under CE Approval # MICEC-0058. No pre-registration is required; simply register directly before the lecture at the auditorium. These CEUs are offered at no cost to attendees. All are welcome to attend the event, which has no pre-registration or RSVP’s. We offer free student tracking for class credit at this event. For more information, contact Katie Alfonsi at

Back to listing