Marlon A. Smith

Marlon A. Smith

Visiting professor of Black studies, program coordinator for the black studies distinction


Harbert 317

Contact Information:

Birmingham-Southern College
900 Arkadelphia Rd
Birmingham, AL 35254
E-mail: [email protected]


Educational Background:

Ph.D. Interdisciplinary Studies
Union Institute & University 

M.T.S. Theological Studies
Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University

B.A.  Journalism
University of Houston



Dr. Marlon A. Smith, Visiting Assistant Professor of Black Studies and Program Coordinator for the Black Studies Distinction is a scholar-activist with over 20 years of experience working in community development and outreach for community, nonprofit, education, and faith-based organizations.

Dr. Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in African American Studies from the University of Houston, and his master’s degree in theological studies from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. He earned his Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a concentration in Humanities and Culture and a Specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies from Union Institute & University. His academic research is centered within the Black Radical Intellectual Tradition with a focus on the legacy of black male incarceration in the United States.

In addition to his work in higher education, Dr. Smith has held numerous positions for local and national organizations and institutions, some of which include serving as the Coordinator for Continuing Education for Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, as the Program Director for the General Board of Church and Society’s United Nations Office, and as the Senior Manager for Policy and Engagement for Baker Ripley (formerly Neighborhood Centers Houston).

Before working for Baker Ripley, Dr. Smith served as the Texas State Re-entry Manager for the Innerchange Freedom Initiative (IFI), now known as The Academy. The Academy is one of the oldest and largest faith-based pre-release prison reentry programs in the country under Prison Fellowship Ministries. As the reentry manager, Dr. Smith developed partnerships with local, state, and national public officials, educators, and advocacy organizations to impact the rate of incarceration in communities of color and developed programs and policy initiatives to address the challenges previously incarcerated men and women face when they leave prison and jails. While with Prison Fellowship Dr. Smith helped to reduce the recidivism rate of program graduates to thirteen percent and increased the number of men enrolled in a college degree program by over 65 percent. Dr. Smith also served as the Chief Community Builder for the Women’s Home in Houston, Texas, with a mandate and goal of creating programs and initiatives that improve the life outcomes for women and their families, particularly those with a history of substance abuse, homelessness, and mental health issues.

He is the author of two books: Black Lives Houston: Voices of our Generations and Reshaping Beloved Community: The Experiences of Black Male Felons and Their Impact on Black Radical Traditions.

Dr. Smith continues to work with local, national, and international organizations to bridge academic, religious, and activist life for the development of concrete institutions and partnerships.