Kareema J. Gray, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Winthrop University
Dr. Kareema J. Gray has been on the faculty of Winthrop University since 2009, teaching in both the Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degree programs. Her practice experience includes providing services for adolescents dealing with behavior and substance abuse issues; in child welfare and foster care; in community mental health as a therapist working with adolescents and their families; and in adoptions as a social worker with birth parents and adoptive parents.
Her teaching is centered on social welfare policy and practice, social justice, diversity issues, and understanding human behavior in the social environment. Her scholarship focus is on disaster response, social work history, and understanding young people’s experiences and providing appropriate resources to meet their needs. At present, she is working on projects that examine the effectiveness of a community initiative to alleviate poverty by equipping people to move from poverty to self-sufficiency, international disaster case management/disaster response, and incorporating millennials into the practice arena.
In collaboration with University of South Carolina and Catholic Charities Agencies, she also has worked to develop a disaster response initiative at Winthrop University, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to teach Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work students “sound practice principles to prepare, respond and recover” from natural disasters in the Southeast.
Dr. Gray has been named a Woman of Achievement by Winthrop’s Office of Multicultural Life and participated in a national conference call with First Lady Michelle Obama and Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships, to discuss the Joining Forces military family initiative. She has also been part of a pilot program at Hays State Prison to create a long-term peace initiative and has collaborated on projects to train, educate and move homeless single mothers from poverty to self-sustainable, independent living co-sponsored by the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Charlotte Housing Authority, and HOPE Charlotte.
At Winthrop, Dr. Gray has served on the Cultural Events Committee, Diversity Team, and Faculty Advisory Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics. She also has served as adviser to two student groups—Disciples on Campus and the student chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers. A board member of HOPE Charlotte and The Youth Source, Rock Hill, S.C., Gray has also worked with Habitat for Humanity. She considers a week spent in Port Au Prince, Haiti, in 2011, helping a community rebuild in the wake of that country’s tragic earthquake, as one of her most remarkable experiences.
Dr. Gray, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, balanced academics and sports as a biology major and basketball player, earning her undergraduate degree at Lafayette College. She earned her Master of Social Work and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Georgia School of Social Work.