Community Engagement

Geeter-UofM Partnership

Over the past year, SUAPP brought together leaders from the Geeter K-8 School and faculty from across the University to form the Geeter-UofM Partnership, focused on understanding and addressing students’ adverse childhood experiences. Geeter K-8, an Empowerment Zone School in southwest Whitehaven led by principal Eric Harris, uses a trauma-informed model of schooling and offers programs and services designed to help students cope with social and emotional challenges. The partnership has generated a cluster of pilot projects that will assist the school in assessing the effectiveness of Geeter’s trauma informed interventions on student well-being, academic progress and teacher effectiveness.

Current research foci include, “Promoting Psychosocial and Academic Resilience for Children and Youth Living in High-Risk Environments,” led by Drs. Chris Mueller (Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research) and Lilya Jiang (College of Education, Temple University); “Trauma Training and Teachers’ Knowledge, Perceptions, and Professional Functioning,” led by Michelle Brasfield (Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research) and Susan Elswick (School of Social Work). Future projects include “Geeter School Health Needs Assessment,” led by Sohye Lee (Loewenberg College of Nursing) and “Protective Factors for Child Maltreatment,” led by Minhae Cho (School of Social Work). Additionally, Geeter will host practica and internships for graduate students in Social Work, School Psychology and Counseling and School Psychology beginning in the fall.


Community Connectivity Hooks - SUAPP Housing Equity Policy "Do Tank"

SUAPP has joined forces with the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change to catalyze policy actions that emerged from the Hooks Institute’s annual Policy Papers. The inaugural “Do Tank” brings together local community development leaders and a University of Memphis working group to focus on housing equity, and specifically on the issue of Land Installment Contracts (LICs), a particularly predatory form of lease-to-purchase contracts. According to a 2019 Hooks Policy Paper by Diné Butler and Wade Rathke, LICs re-emerged in wake of the 2007-08 foreclosure crisis and are disproportionately impacting African Americans and lowincome homebuyers who have limited access to conventional mortgages.

The Housing Equity “Do Tank” is currently examining the impact that land installment contracts are having on African American and Latino households in Memphis and developing an advocacy strategy to target policy changes at both the local and state level. The UofM working group includes Drs. Charlie Santo and Andrew Guthrie (City and Regional Planning), Dr. Elena Delavega (Social Work), Daniel Keil (Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law), Katherine Lambert-Pennington (SUAPP/ Anthropology) and Daphene R. McFerren (Hooks Institute). The Hooks 2019 Policy papers are available here (memphis.edu/benhooks/programs/policypapers/policy_papers/2019policypapers.pdf).