George R. Greenidge, Jr. is currently completing his doctorate at Georgia State University in the Departments of Sociology and African American Studies with a concentration in Race and Urban Studies. He received his master’s degree in Human Development & Psychology from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from Morehouse College. He is originally from the Boston & Cambridge, Massachusetts area.
George has served in a number of capacities throughout his career in the fields of non-profit, government, philanthropy, and education. He is currently the Founder and Executive Director of the Greatest MINDS Network. Most recently, he was President of the Boston Empowerment Zone, a federally funded HUD initiative aimed at economic investment in U.S. urban neighborhoods. He also served as the founding Executive Director of the National Black College Alliance, Inc., a national nonprofit focused on providing alumni mentors to college and high school students. He was also a founding coalition member of the Benjamin Banneker Charter School in Cambridge, MA. His work as a convener has also been recognized locally and nationally by several organizations including the Aspen Institute, National Urban League, and the Independent Sector.
His current research focuses on economic development and affordable housing with a particular focus on the impact of displacement/gentrification on urban cities and its residents. He also studies post-secondary education and the career success of minority students with a concentration on Black and Latino males. While a Sociology Ph.D. candidate at Georgia State University (GSU), George has worked as an Economic Fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and an Urban Fellow with GSU Law School’s Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth, an Innovation Fellow at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and a Research Assistant at the Center for the Advancement of Student and Alumni. He also served as a graduate student planning member for the GSU Provost's new initiative, the E.P.I.C. program (Experiential, Project-based, and Interdisciplinary Curriculum). This new initiative provides GSU students with opportunities to develop foundational skills to help them become adaptable problem-solvers, overcoming the academic challenges they face in their studies and creating solutions to the issues they will tackle as they graduate into their professions and lives. George has co-authored two journal articles within the GSU Sociology Department: the first article published in 2017 with Dr. Deirdre Oakley on the Contradiction Logics of Public-Private Place-making and Spatial Justice: The Case of the Atlanta BeltLine; the second article was published in 2018 with Dr. Mat Gayman, Dr. Ben Kail, and Dr. Amy Spring on the Risk and Protective Factors for Depressive Symptoms Among African American Men.
George has worked with the Sociology Department’s two inaugural Field School research projects as a team leader and interviewer. In this capacity, George surveyed homeless youth ages 14-24 about program services and surveyed community residents living near the Atlanta Beltline regarding a longitudinal study on health outcomes. He also served as a lead interviewer with Emory University’s Center for Community Partnerships’ Moving-To-Work (MTW) Study for Atlanta public housing residents who moved out of their neighborhood through a federal housing subsidy demonstration program.
In addition to working towards his Ph.D. in Sociology, George is also completing five graduate certificates at Georgia State University: 1) Graduate Certificate in African American Studies in the Department of African American Studies 2) Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Disruptive Entrepreneurship from the J. Mack Robinson Business School and Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute 3) Graduate Certificate in Urban Cities and Law from the GSU Law School’s Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth 4) Graduate Certificate in Excellence in College Teaching and Learning from the GSU Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning 5) Graduate Certificate in Research Data Services from the GSU Library. Moreover, he has studied abroad in the summer months in Brazil (2014), South Africa (2016), and Singapore (2018) with GSU Law, Business, and Policy Schools. His experiences and studies show his commitment to interdisciplinary practices and global perspectives.
He received the George M. Sparks Award in 2018 from the President's Office and University Events, which recognizes GSU's unsung heroes on campus who exemplify a willingness to go the extra mile with good humor and perseverance. He has also won the GSU Royal Flame Award six years in a row (2014 - 2020) for his large-scale campus convenings focusing on topics of diversity, belonging, and inclusion involving staff, students, and faculty. In 2019, George was recognized by the United Negro College Fund and the Boston Red Sox with their inaugural "Homecoming Award" for his life-long commitment to providing mentorship to over 10,000 high school and college students pursuing college degrees in Boston, MA, and Atlanta, GA.
In his spare time, George volunteers with the Creative Media Industries Institute, LAUNCH GSU, and the Greatest MINDS organization on campus to help student and community entrepreneurs build their networks and start-up companies. He also collects vintage comic books and is an avid urban photographer, documenting current social movements, cityscapes and architecture, and downtown cultural spaces.