Mark L. Joseph, PhD

Director, National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
Faculty Associate, Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

Post-Doctoral Scholar, The University of Chicago

Ph.D., The University of Chicago
M.A., The University of Chicago,
Visiting Scholar, Oxford University
B.A., Harvard University

Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
School of Applied Social Sciences
Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106-7164



Mark Joseph is an Associate Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities and a Faculty Associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. He is the Chair of the Community Practice for Social Change Concentration at the Mandel School. His general research interests are urban poverty and community development. His current research focuses on mixed-income development as a strategy for addressing urban poverty, with particular attention to transforming public housing developments.
Read full biographical sketch.

Course List

SASS 534 Theoretical Contexts Shaping Community Practice [ syllabus ]
SSWM 567 Community Development Organization Strategies [ syllabus ]
SASS 569 Community and Social Development Practice II [ syllabus ]

Recent Publications

Joseph, M. L. (2013). Is mixed-income development an antidote to urban poverty? In Mueller, E. & Tighe, R. (Eds.), The affordable housing reader. New York, NY: Routledge. Reprint.

Joseph, M. L. (2013). Mixed-income symposium summary and response: Implications for antipoverty policy. Cityscape, 15 (2), 215-221.

Chaskin, R. J., Sichling, F. & Joseph, M.L. (2013). Youth in mixed-income communities: Context, dynamics, and response. CITIES. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2013.03.009.

View more recent publications

Mixed-Income Research

Creating mixed-income communities has become one popular policy response to the social isolation and economic and public sector disinvestment that characterize high-poverty neighborhoods in most urban areas. The objective is to attract residents with higher incomes while maintaining affordable and public housing for lower income residents. It is hoped that, through this strategy, housing developments and perhaps entire neighborhoods can be created that provide strong networks to employment and other resources beyond the neighborhood, more effective demand for high quality amenities and public services, and positive role models for youth.

Read more about Mixed-Income Research

The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities

at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

nimc4The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities (NIMC) is a new resource for research and information about mixed-income communities.
Learn more


  • Association for Community Organization and Social Administration
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Urban Affairs Association
  • Society for Social Work Research
  • Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

In The News

Hear Mark Joseph’s Stories from Ghana on October 30

Oct 29 2014

Ghana pic by Mark JosephMark Joseph, an associate professor at the Mandel School and director of the National Initiative on Mixed Income Communities, spent his recent sabbatical in the Department of Geography at the University of Ghana in West Africa, conducting emerging research on mixed-income neighborhoods in Accra.

He’ll be sharing photos and stories from his trip and discussing his research at a presentation on Thursday, October 30, from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. in room 108 of the Mandel Community Studies Building. Dr. Joseph’s topics include:

  • teaching a class of 250 students – seminar style!
  • dealing with the emotions of visiting a slave castle
  • canoeing to a village on stilts
  • drumming with a master drummer – being chased by a monkey
  • visiting the amazing first liberal arts college in West Africa (perhaps on the continent)
  • dealing with outages of power, water, cooking gas – and an entire capital city running out of petrol
  • freestyling with an African dance troupe
  • being “arrested” twice, ok more like shaken-down twice…
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Mark Joseph Named to Cityscape Board, Selected to Introduce Author Zadie Smith at CWRU

Sep 24 2014

CityscapeProfessor Mark Joseph has been appointed to the Advisory Board of Cityscape, the journal produced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Joseph is the director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities and is a faculty associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at the Mandel School.

The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, policymakers, and practitioners. Published three times a year, Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

nw_-c-dominique-nabokob_author-photo1Dr. Joseph has also been selected to introduce award-winning British author Zadie Smith when she speaks at the CWRU campus on September 30 for the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Writers Center Stage series. Smith has published four novels, all of which have received substantial critical praise. Her most recent novel, NW, was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.



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Study by Chupp and Joseph examines CWRU perceptions of East Cleveland

Aug 15 2014

Mark Chupp

While the community of East Cleveland frequently makes headlines in the local news, coverage of promising revitalization efforts that seek to build on the city’s proximity and partnerships with Case Western Reserve University and University Circle has been limited.

A study conducted last summer by Mandel School professors Mark Joseph (right) and Mark Chupp (left), with support from the provost’s office, sought to establish a baseline of these relations to help inform partnership efforts and generate data to track progress over time.

Mark Joseph

The study of the perceptions and engagement of the Case Western Reserve faculty, students and staff follows a prior survey conducted on the perceptions and connections of East Cleveland residents. The analysis is part of the East Cleveland Partnership, a long-term effort in which the school of social work works to support the revitalization of East Cleveland and facilitates university-community collaboration.

This past year, Chupp and his social work students conducted property assessments in East Cleveland as part of a “Target Area Planning” process conducted with the City of East Cleveland, Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. The forthcoming plan identifies a strategy for redeveloping vacant land that capitalizes on the neighborhood’s proximity to University Circle.

The survey’s results

The survey, which received more than 2,000 responses, found that members of the campus community were quite split in how much they know about East Cleveland. Some respondents reported that they have some or considerable knowledge (42 percent), while others reported very little or no familiarity with the city (41 percent).

Perceptions of East Cleveland were also split: While almost half of respondents said they did not know enough to give an opinion on their perceptions of the suburb, those who did have a perspective were divided nearly evenly among positive, neutral and negative perceptions. While a quarter of the respondents said they have never been to East Cleveland, another roughly 25 percent report having visited in the last month, and 52 percent have visited within the last six months. The most positive perceptions related to a sense of community improvements occurring, while the most negative perceptions concerned safety.

There was low awareness about the assets of the community, with only 15 percent of respondents agreeing that East Cleveland has a number of assets that would appeal to community outsiders. Other survey respondents were more familiar with community amenities, and described their experiences with Christmas lighting at General Electric’s Nela Park, the Coit Road Farmer’s Market, the East Cleveland Theater and such community amenities as the rapid transit line, churches, the library and new apartments at Circle East.

“I have often walked and biked in Forest Hill Park, enjoying its beauty and the venerable trees,” stated one survey respondent.

The study found that those who had more experience with East Cleveland had more positive perceptions than those less familiar. In fact, respondents with direct engagement and connections in East Cleveland were three times as likely to feel welcome there and feel that they benefit personally from the university being close to the suburb.

Overall, there was a sense the university is quite disconnected from East Cleveland, especially relative to other surrounding neighborhoods. There was also a sense that the relationship between the university and East Cleveland isn’t mutually beneficial. Despite this perception, there were also many points of connection between the university and East Cleveland communities. A quarter of the respondents had some level of engagement in East Cleveland in the past year, such as visiting parks and public spaces, and dining at a restaurant.

Others described long-standing personal and family connections to the community: “I was born in East Cleveland; my mother worked at Huron Road Hospital in the 1970s. My grandparents lived in East Cleveland until the 1960s. My father-in-law worked at Nela Park,” one responded.

In general, the CWRU community actively engaged in the broader community, with 41 percent of respondents involved in some way (volunteer work, service or research) in the Cleveland area in the past year. About 16 percent also had some level of civic engagement specifically with East Cleveland in the past year. Survey respondents outlined a vast array of engagement activities in East Cleveland and surrounding Cleveland communities, ranging from CWRU sponsored activities like volunteer activities and research activities, to civic engagement activities with East Cleveland based organizations like town hall meetings and community planning efforts.


Chupp and Joseph conclude that, while a general lack of awareness and negative perceptions of East Cleveland exist, there is also a substantial proportion of CWRU faculty, staff and students with deep, meaningful and productive connections with the community.

“East Cleveland and Case Western benefit from a strong urban university that is productively connected to its surrounding neighborhoods, making it important to support and build on these positive existing relationships and efforts,” they said.

The Target Area Planning process received support from Third Federal Savings and Loan and the Third Federal Foundation. This plan is part of a longer redevelopment process underway in East Cleveland. Another round of perception surveys is planned to measure how attitudes about—and involvement in—East Cleveland have changed over time.

The full report, the previous report on the survey of East Cleveland residents and further information on the partnership between East Cleveland and the Mandel School is available at

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