PateDavid J. Pate, Jr.

Associate Professor of Social Work, UW Milwaukee

Affiliated Associate Professor of the Institute for Research on Poverty, UW-Madison

Affiliate, Collaborative Center for Health Equity, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Ph.D., Social Welfare, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003
A.M., Social Work, University of Chicago, 1982
B.S.W., University of Detroit, 1980

E-Mail: pated@uwm.edu
Phone: 414-229-6038
Room: 1053 Enderis Hall

Dr. Pate is a leading expert on low income African-American men, fatherhood and child support. He studies how black men are affected by the social welfare system and the challenges that impede their ability to attain economic security.

His research projects involve the use of qualitative research methods to examine life course events of non-custodial African-American men. This includes their ability to be gainfully employed, engage with their children, and sustain a good quality of life.

Research Interests:

  • Poverty
  • Child Support Enforcement policy
  • The Life-Course of Black Males
  • Trauma and Toxic Stress


  • Social Work 206, Introduction to Social Welfare Policy (Undergraduate Level)
  • Social Work 380, “I Am A Man: Construction of Masculinity for Black Males” Honors College (Undergraduate Level)
  • Social Work 750, Social Welfare Policy Development and Implementation (Graduate Level)
  • Social Work 851, Social Issues and Policy Analysis (Masters Level)
  • Social Work 931, Theories of Poverty and Social Welfare Policy for Children and Families
  • Social Work 952, Qualitative Research Methods (Doctoral Level)
  • Social Work 990, Research Ethics (Doctoral Level)

Honors and Service:

  • Invited member to National Advisory Board of the Responsible Father Research Network. (2013-2018)
  • Invited member to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) to serve on an expert panel addressing the needs of young fathers. (March, 2015)
  • Appointed Member, UWM Office of Conflict Resolution, Ombuds Council. Ombuds Council members assist with helping UWM employees consider a variety of options to help resolve conflicts.
  • On sabbatical during the fall of 2013, Dr. Pate was a Visiting Research Professor at the University of York, SPRU, City of York, United Kingdom.
  • Recipient of the 2013 Fromkin Award – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Golda Meir Library 44th Annual Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecturer: “Title of Lecture: Access to Justice: How Lawyers Matter in Civil Proceedings for Low-Income Litigants”. (November 14, 2013)
  • Member, Welfare Research and Family Self-Sufficiency Technical Working Group, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC. (Term: 2012-2014)
  • Participated on the social science research and writing team which submitted two amicus brief for the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP) in support of the petitioner in the Turner v. Rogers case to the United States Supreme Court. Oral arguments were presented on the case in Washington, D.C. on March 23, 2011. The decision was rendered on June 20, 2011.
  • Elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Current Research Projects:

  • Access to Justice for Low-Income Civil Litigants: Comparative and Longitudinal Study of Experiences with Court Systems. National Science Foundation (Law and Social Science Program) ($304,000)
    • National Science Foundation (Law and Social Science Program) ($304,000) (2014-2016)
  • Access to Justice for Low-Income Civil Litigants: A Comparative Study of How Lawyers and More Limited Forms of Legal Assistance Matter in Child Support Enforcement Proceedings.

Past Research Projects:

  • Wisconsin Partnership Program, UW School of Medicine and Public Health Grants University-Community Research Partnerships (2013-2014) Development Grants ($50,000 each)
    • Engaging African-American Fathers to Reduce Infant Mortality by Improving their Health Literacy.
      Project Manager: Kathleen Pritchard, IMPACT Planning Council
      Principal Investigator: David Pate, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and Co-Investigator: Kris Barnekow, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, College of Health Sciences.
    • Kenosha Fatherhood Involvement Planning Project.
      Project Manager: Pamela Halbach, Racine/Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc. (WIC)
      Principal Investigator: David Pate and Co-Investigator: James Dimitri Topitzes, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.
    • The Intersectionality of Employment and Health Status for African American Males.
      Project Manager: Gregory Williams, Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.
      Principal Investigator: David Pate and Co-Investigator: James Dimitiri Topitzes, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.


    Selected Publications:

    • Patricia A. Lee King and David J. Pate, Jr. (2014) “Perinatal HIV testing among African American, Caucasian, Hmong and Latina women: exploring the role of health-care services, information sources, and perceptions of HIV/AIDS.” Health Education Research 29:1:February.
    • Waldo Johnson, David J. Pate, Jr. & Jarvis Givens (2010), Big Boys Don’t Cry, Black Boys Don’t Feel: The Intersection of Shame and Worry on Community Violence and the Social Construction of Masculinity among Urban African American Males: The Case of Derrion Albert. In C. Edley, Jr. and J. Ruiz de Velasco (eds.). Changing Places: How Communities Will Improve the Health of Boys of Color, University of California Press
    • David J. Pate, Jr. (2010) Life After PRWORA: The Involvement of African-American Fathers with Welfare-reliant Children and the Child Support Enforcement System," In W. Johnson (ed.), Social Work With African American Males: Health, Mental Health, and Social Policy, Oxford Press.

    View curriculum vitae