Center for Advancement of Youth Development

About the Director

Dr. Gregory WashingtonIn July of 2011 Dr. Gregory Washington assumed the Directorship of the Center for the Advancement of Youth Development. Dr. Leon Caldwell established CAYD as a way to formally conduct translational research for the purpose of promoting youth development for underserved and underrepresented youth and families. Following in the footsteps of Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Washington is a Scholar-Activist that develops strategies to identify and implement solutions to challenges confronting youth and families in distress. Dr. Washington and Dr. Caldwell have worked together to employ non-pathologizing strengths-based approaches that recognize and utilize the cultural strengths of youth, families, and communities. Dr. Caldwell will be greatly missed but Dr. Washington is excited to continue the important capacity building work of the Center for the Advancement of Youth Development.

Dr. Washington earned his Doctorate in social work, with an emphasis in public administration, and a Master's degree in social work at Clark Atlanta University. He also earned a Master's degree in Education from Chicago State University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Illinois. He has held memberships in the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Black Social Workers, the American Evaluation Association, and the Association of Black Psychologists. Dr. Washington is the founder and former Director of Ujima Family Wellness Center of LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Center in Memphis, Tn. Dr. Washington is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis and works as a local clinical practitioner. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has practiced as an individual, family and group therapist in Illinois, Georgia, Arkansas and Tennessee. Dr. Washington also has over twenty years of clinical, administration, intervention design and research consulting experience. He is currently the Lead Evaluator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) funded System of Care project in Tennessee's Shelby County. His research interests include culturally-centered empowerment approaches that influence healthy youth development. A major goal of his work is to identify and promote the use of innovative culturally sensitive interventions that reduce disparities in behavioral health and incarceration outcomes among people of color. Dr. Washington focuses much of his current professional activities on teaching, clinical practice, health promotion and community wellness intervention design and evaluation. Dr. Washington has published several peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, spoken at professional meetings nationally and internationally. He also continues to facilitate professional in-service training, mentor training workshops, men's health workshops, and youth and community development workshops.