CHAD DION LASSITER, Executive Director
Chad Dion Lassiter is nationally recognized in the fields of American race relations and violence prevention among African-American males. He has worked with resilient and vulnerable families, youth and communities as they experience normal developmental transitions in challenging environments. Chad Dion Lassiter’s research interest attempts to contribute to a more informed analysis of the diverse ways that adolescents and families – especially people of color – cope with socioeconomic challenges and institutional racism.
He received his Master’s Degree at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Social Work, where he was the A. Phillip Randolph Award winner in 2001. Mr. Lassiter was chosen by Ebony Magazine as one of the “Young Leaders of the Future Under 30” in February 2003. In May of 2004, Mr. Lassiter was named “Who’s Who Among African-Americans”, 17th edition, along with such notables as Colin Powell and Michael Jordan. He is a former research fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Collective Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where he worked on two nationally successful research projects, P.L.A.A.Y. (Preventing Long Term Anger and Aggression in Youth) and H.I.P.P. (Health Information Providers and Promoters).
Mr. Lassiter is one of the co-founders and current president of the Black Men at Penn School of Social Work, Inc. at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice. The group seeks to recruit Black males into the profession of social work, as well as providing anti-racism and violence prevention trainings to urban and suburban schools around the country. Appointed by former Mayor Michael Nutter, he formerly served on the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia Prisons and the Board of Directors of Community College of Philadelphia. As co-director of FAMILY (Fostering Adopting and Mentoring to Improve the Lives of Youth, Inc.), he works with youth to improve their life outcomes by providing mentors to those who have a parent incarcerated in a state or federal prison.
He has worked on race, peace and poverty-related issues in Africa, Canada, Haiti, Israel and Norway. He is called upon often to provide commentary to various media outlets and lectures widely. Prior to accepting his post at PHRC, he was a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the 2008 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement Award, as well as a Visiting Lecturer at West Chester University in the Undergraduate School of Social Work.
Chad Dion Lassiter is mentored by the works and teachings of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights icon Ida B. Wells.