Charles Pinckney, also known as the “Academic Gangsta”, is a Professor of Africana Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
He grew up in rural South Carolina, where sports were an integral part of his life. His aspiration in his early life was to be an NBA player; his idol being Jo Jo White of the Boston Celtics. However, Pinckney eventually decided to change his career path after a conversation with a college professor who encouraged him to focus his time and energy in academics, rather than\ basketball. Pinckney attained his Bachelor’s degree at Lander University. Then, went on to attain his Master’s degree in Counseling at Webster University and ultimately his PhD in Psychology at Walden University.
Dr. Pinckney has always remained committed to his inherent love of sports. He now wears several hats, such as the President of the Center Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Faculty Athletic Representative Association, Faculty Athletic Representative of the National Colleague Athletic Association (NCAA), and Chair of the Athletic Academic Committee (CIAA Conference).
In addition to his work with athletics, Pinckney has dedicated much time to educational programs. He is the CoFounder and President of the Educational Research Group (ERG). This group is an educational consulting firm that has a mission to provide innovation research, communication strategies, logistical marketing solutions and program development aimed at advancing human health and knowledge. He is also an active volunteer at local schools and numerous community organizations supporting the social development of youth.
Pinckney is devoted to the study of HipHop culture worldwide and using this culture to educate younger generations. He has lead workshops on educating at risk youth, youth entrepreneurship, effective communication strategies, life skills development, and substance abuse. The purpose of these workshops is to target students, teachers, policy makers, and community stakeholders. Courses he teaches include Introduction to HipHop Culture, Global HipHop, Psychology of Black Experience and Art and Society. Through these courses, he is able to work with young people interested in African culture and HipHop and inspire them to share the black experience.
Currently, Dr. Charles Pinckney resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is married to Elizabeth Alston Pinckney; they are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters, Taylor and Jordan.
When asked what drives him to serve the community in the way he does, Pinckney answered: “We must always maintain the ability to give in order to gain. If you have the ability to share, do so. I learned these values from being a prime product of a supportive community.”`