University of Pittsburgh
April 9, 2012

Pitt Professor of Social Work John Wallace Recipient of National Urban Affairs Association Award

Wallace will discuss the Homewood Children’s Village project at association’s national conference during April 20 presentation

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926


PITTSBURGH—Pitt professor of social work John M. Wallace—whose efforts have led to marked improvement in the lives of children in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh—is the recipient of the 2012 UAA-SAGE Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award, which will be presented by a representative of SAGE Publications during the Urban Affairs Association’s (UAA) national conference in Pittsburgh, April 18-21.

Wallace, the Philip Hallen Chair in Community Health and Social Justice at Pitt, will accept the award and deliver a free public plenary address titled “Using Research to Catalyze Community Change: Lessons Being Learned From the Homewood Children’s Village,” at a special conference session at 4 p.m. April 20 in Grand Ballrooms 3 and 4 of the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Hotel, 600 Commonwealth Place, Downtown. 

The conference is expected to draw more than 600 urban scholars, educators, and social workers from across the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere.

Wallace helped establish the Homewood Children’s Village in 2009 as a comprehensive community initiative aimed at improving the educational, health, and social well-being of Homewood’s youngsters and reweaving the fabric of their community. It was inspired by Geoffrey Canada’s internationally acclaimed Harlem Children’s Zone, which serves more than 10,000 children in a 100-block area of central Harlem. 

Wallace’s social work course on community organizing takes Pitt students out of the classroom and into the Homewood neighborhood, where they receive hands-on experience and help advance the work of the Village by assisting in research that benefits the children and their families.

The establishment of the UAA-SAGE Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award was named for the late Marilyn J. Gittell, scholar, urban activist, and former professor of political science and director of the Howard Samuels Center at City University of New York. It is awarded to an individual who is engaged in field-based research in the host city of the UAA-SAGE annual conference.




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