The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development

The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development seeks to address the problems of persistent and concentrated urban poverty and is dedicated to understanding how social and economic changes affect low-income communities and their residents. Based in Cleveland, the Center views the city as both a tool for building communities and producing change locally, and as a representative urban center from which nationally-relevant research and policy implications can be drawn.
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Anna Maria Santiago to Deliver Power of Diversity Lecture on October 7

Oct 3 2014

SSSP Conference PhotoProfessor Anna Maria Santiago will deliver her lecture, “Fifty Years Later: From a War on Poverty to a War on the Poor,” on Tuesday, October 7, at 3pm in the Senior Classroom of the Tinkham Veale University Center. This lecture is part of Hispanic Heritage Month at Case Western Reserve and the university’s Power of Diversity Lecture Series.

Dr. Santiago, who is the Leona Bevis & Marguerite Haynam Professor of Community Development at the Mandel School and a faculty associate at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, gave a lecture with a similar title as the presidential address at the Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting last August, which was also the meeting’s theme. Her talk on campus will be distinct from that presentation and will include multimedia components.

The lecture title is also the theme of a newly-installed photography exhibit on the third floor at the Mandel School, “From a War on Poverty to a War on the Poor: Images of Poverty in the Post-Great Recession Period.” It features photographs by Professor Victor Groza, CWRU media relations manager Susan Griffith, Mandel School librarian June Hund, and Cleveland writer/activist Angie Schmitt, among others. The exhibit is free and open to public viewing during school hours.

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Mark Chupp is Panelist on Civic Forum Addressing Social and Human Capital

Oct 2 2014

mark_chupp_1378_webProfessor Mark Chupp is one of several distinguished experts on a panel for a civic forum, “The Three Forms of Capital: Why Human and Social Capital are the Building Blocks for Healthy, Stable Societies.” It is an event focused on building community development that is co-hosted by the Mandel School’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development and the Cleveland Institute of Art on Thursday, October 9, at 3:30pm to 5:00pm (followed by a reception). RSVP to Barbara Chira at

The civic forum’s keynote speaker is Stephan G. Vetter, President and CEO, Partners of the Americas, and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. With over 35 years of experience in international and domestic development, Vetter offers a rich background in international voluntary service, grassroots community leadership and developing public-private partnerships to reduce poverty and improve the economic and social development of disadvantaged populations. He is leading the Partners of the Americas partnership with the Department of State and NAFSA to implement President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative.

Dr. Chupp will be joining Mr. Vetter on WCPN 90.3FM’s Sound of Ideas radio show on NPR on Wednesday, October 8, at 9:00am to discuss poverty from both a global and local perspective, how ordinary people can become powerful agents of social change, and the role of the artists, social workers, and others to build communities and dare to imagine a better world.

The other panelists for the civic forum include Bobbi Reichtell, Executive Director of Campus District, Inc.; Tom Schorgl, President and CEO, Community Partnership for Arts & Culture; and Sai Sinbondit, Designer, Researcher, and Adjunct Professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

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Claudia Coulton Discusses Poverty and Health in Plain Dealer

Sep 30 2014

child pov by neighbor 2008-12With recent Census data indicating that 54 percent of children in the City of Cleveland live in poverty,  the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked Dr. Claudia Coulton, Co-Director of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, about the relationship between poverty and health for “More than half of Cleveland kids live in poverty, and it’s making them sick” on September 30, 2014.

“Poverty is stressful both for the parents and the children, because of the uncertainty of life, and basic life needs that face families on a very tight income,” said Dr. Coulton who believes it’s very clear that stress is the mechanism linking poverty with poor health. Compounding the problem, the longer the stress lasts the more adversely it effects the health of the child. “Long-term poverty, particularly that starts in childhood, is a big factor in differences in health outcomes, even on into adulthood.”

While Cleveland has one of the highest poverty rates for children in the country, Coulton believes “Cleveland is really out ahead of the nation” on building a coalition to increase prekindergarten enrollment. Studies have shown high quality Pre-K and childcare can greatly helps low-income children be prepared for school. PRE4CLE, a partnership begun earlier this year, plans to double the number of Cleveland children in preschool.  The Poverty Center is a technical consultant to the Cleveland Pre-K Task Force.

Dr. Coulton and the Poverty Center have been studying poverty in the region, its affects on children, and the benefits of prekindergarten for decades. The above map is from a recent Poverty Center report on child poverty. See also:

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