Institute for Families in Society

  • Banner Image

Andrew Billingsley Faculty Award And Andrew Billingsley Community Leadership Award

These biennial awards are designed to honor one faculty member and one member of the Columbia community who each embody the legacy of Dr. Andrew Billingsley and his scholarship on behalf of African American families. The Faculty Award is specifically for individuals at the USC Columbia campus and the Community Leadership Award is for individuals who have served in the metro Columbia area for three years or more. In addition to these awards, the Andrew Billingsley Fund has been established at the University to advocate for and support activities that reflect Dr. Billingsley’s outstanding scholarship.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the next application and award period for the Andrew Billingsley awards has been delayed until Spring 2021. Please check back at that time for application materials and more details.


About Dr. Andrew Billingsley

(PhD, Social Policy and Research, Brandeis University; MA, Sociology, University of Michigan; MS, Social Service [MSW], Boston University)

By name and focus, the awards and the fund pay tribute to the work of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Andrew Billingsley, whose extensive body of professional research has brought important focus to African American families. During his tenure at USC, Dr, Billingsley served as the Senior Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Families in Society and professor of Sociology and African American studies at USC. Dr. Billingsley was the former Chair of Family Studies at the University of Maryland and also served as President of Morgan State University and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Howard University. A former Fulbright Scholar to Ghana, Dr. Billingsley is the recipient of the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award from the American Sociological Association and the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Association of Black Sociologists. He was also featured in the PBS documentary Blacks in the Civil War, narrated by Morgan Freeman. 

Dr. Billingsley’s latest work is Yearning to Breathe Free: Robert Smalls of South Carolina and His Families published by University of South Carolina Press. He also is the author of several books of Sociology including the seminal work Black Families in White America and others such as Climbing Jacob’s Ladder:The Enduring Legacy of African American Families; Children of the Storm; and Mighty Like a River:The Black Church and Social Reform, published by Oxford University Press.


Previous Billingsley Award Winners

The Institute for Families in Society has in past years awarded research support in honor of Dr. Billingsley and to recognize selected faculty and community leaders for their work to improve the lives of African American families. Previous recipients have included Dr. Gloria Boutte, Darion McCloud, Dr. Rhonda White-Johnson, Dr. Shauna Cooper, Dr. Tisha Felder, and Mr. James T. McLawhorn, Jr.