The Center for Social Development (CSD) conducts research that informs how individuals, families, and communities increase capacity, formulate and reach life goals, and contribute to the economy and society. Our principal focus is on families and communities at the bottom of society. Major areas of work include Asset Building, Civic Engagement & Service, and Productive Aging.​​
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  • Latest CSD News
    ​Renowned author, commentator and sociologist Xavier (“Xav”) de Souza Briggs urged the reinvention of the United States’ version of capitalism in his speech “Toward a Just and Inclusive America” on Thursday at Washington University in St. Louis. Speaking to an audience that overflowed Brown Lounge at Brown School of Social Work, Briggs asked, “Why did we become an economy of IT billionaires and a thriving, high-skill ‘creative class’ on one side and millions of dead-end, bad jobs on the other?” Briggs, who is vice president of the Ford Foundation’s Economic Opportunity and Assets program, offered a string of answers and made a moral point with this one: “Because we allowed our version of capitalism to become needlessly mean.”

  • ​The new book “Financial Capability and Asset Holding in Later Life: A Life Course Perspective” concludes that older adults require financial knowledge and access to financial services in order to build secure lives. The book uses a life course perspective to explain how financial vulnerability is created across many decades and then revealed in old age, when few opportunities exist to reverse difficult conditions. 

  • ​​Rhode Island’s treasurer and governor-elect, Gina M. Raimondo, today announced a policy change to make college savings more accessible for newborn children in that state. Come January, it will be as simple as checking a box.

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