Dexter R. Voisin is the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Sciences at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University.
Voisin began his tenure at the Mandel School in January 2022 after serving for two and a half years as dean of the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work and the Sandra Rotman Endowed Chair in Social Work at the University of Toronto. Before this appointment, he was a professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago for two decades as well as a Faculty Affiliate at the Center for the Study of Race, Culture and Politics and the Center for Health and the Social Sciences. At the University of Chicago he was the director of the STI/HIV Intervention Network (SHINE) and co-director of the Chicago Center for HIV Elimination (CCHE).
His research examines how structural, racial violence and interpersonal forms of violence impacts health behaviors and outcomes among minority populations. Findings demonstrate the problems of neighborhood and racial violence exposures are correlated with youth mental health problems, school failure, negative peer networks and high rates of HIV-related risk behaviors, which are interconnected outcomes in the lives of adolescents, particularly those who live in low-resourced communities.
Voisin has published more than 160 peer-reviewed studies, with publications accepted in such journals as AIDS, AIDS Education and Prevention, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, American Journal of Public Health, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Adolescent Health, and Journal of Health Psychology. His research has generated more than 11 million dollars in extramural funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the W.T. Grant Foundation, among others. His research has informed public policy and provided support for the passage of the Soto, Delgado Bill approved by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn—the bill provides a state advisory council which will make recommendations to the Illinois Department of Public Health on effective prevention messages to deter youths from engaging in HIV-related sexual risk behaviors. Voisin's latest project is a book entitled, America the Beautiful and Violent: Black Youth and Neighborhood Trauma in Chicago, published by Columbia University Press in 2019. In this monograph, he highlights the broad historical, political, economic and racial factors that shape the construction, concentration and narratives of violence in Black neighborhoods. He explores these forces and the violence they produce, the behavioral health consequences of repeated exposures to neighborhood violence, and the ways youth, families and communities cope with such traumas.
Voisin was appointed a visiting professor during the summers of 2004, 2005 and 2007 at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies in the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He was also appointed a consulting editor for Social Work: Journal of the National Association of Social Workers (2003–2008), the Journal of HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention (2004–2007) and the Journal of HIV/ AIDS and Social Services (2003–2010). In 2010, he was named co-editor of the Journal of HIV/AIDS and Social Services and from 2012–2013 he served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Adolescent Health, BMC Public Health and Social Work Research. The Office of Governor Pat Quinn appointed him to the Illinois Statewide Committee for Juvenile Justice Programs' Disproportionate Minority Contact Subcommittee in 2010 and to the Illinois African American Family Commission in 2013. In 2020, Voisin was elected a board member of the Society for Social Work and Research and in 2021 he was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare; he was appointed to their board in 2022.
His expertise and research findings have been frequently cited by numerous members of the international and national media, such as Al Jazeera Television, the Associated Press, BBC World News Radio, the Canadian Press, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Global News, the India Times, National Public Radio, News Nation, the Sunday Business Post (an Irish newspaper), the Star Tribune, Svenska Dagbladet (a leading Swedish national daily), The Powers Report, the Toronto Star, the Washington Times, Zacola Public Square, and numerous other news blogs.
Voisin has more than 30 years post-MSW clinical experience with practiced expertise in the areas of substance abuse, adult psychopathology and adolescent and family therapy. He has delivered many keynote speeches and conducted numerous training sessions for health care providers.
He received his BA in psychology cum laude from St. Andrews College, his MSW (practice) from the University of Michigan, and his PhD (advanced practice) from Columbia University School of Social Work.
The phonetic spelling of “Voisin,” which means “neighbor” in French, is waz-zin or vwah-zan. Listen to the phonetic pronunciation here.
In the News
Highland Park shooting: Suspect considered second attack
July 07, 2022
'It's extremely shocking and disturbing': Voisin
June 28, 2022
Driven to act
June 02, 2022
New to the neighborhood
May 30, 2022
Gun culture: Canada compared to the United States
May 31, 2022
Discover 6 books written by Black CWRU faculty
February 24, 2022
5 questions with… the Mandel School’s new dean Dexter Voisin
February 08, 2022
January 20, 2022
CWRU names Dexter Voisin next Mandel School dean
July 15, 2021
Selected Media Coverage
All 3 defendants found guilty of murdering Ahmuad Arbery, what happens next?
Bill Kelly Show • November 24, 2021
Why are murder rates in Chicago so high?
BBC Sounds The Inquiry • May 20, 2021
“Our fight is not done”: Guilty verdict in George Floyd murder sparks relief, hope and new resolve in Toronto
Toronto Star • April 20, 2021
Navigating the constellation of constraints on Black life.
Zacola Public Square • March 24, 2021
Law enforcement isn’t going away—that doesn’t mean it cannot be imagined.
Zocalo Public Square • December 11, 2020
What would society look like without police?
Zocalo Public Square • December 10, 2020
“We’re not mental health professionals”: Even police call for change in handling mental health checks.”
Global News • November 28, 2020
Gun violence increasing across the U.S.
News Nation October 10 • 2020
CTV24 • August 27, 2020
Poll: 60% of Canadians say that racism is a “serious” problem.
Global News • July 23, 2020
Family of 63-year old man who dies after police shooting in Mississauga call for inquiry
Global News • June 21, 2020
New York passes police reform package. How do Canadian policies compare?
Global News • June 16, 2020
Calls to defund and dismantle police forces are growing, but what does that mean?
The Sun Times • June 11, 2020
From taking a knee to taking a stand: Why anti Black racism in Canada cannot be ignored.
Global News • June 10, 2020
African Americans have been slowly suffocating under the chokehold of America’s systemic racism
The Toronto Star • June 7, 2020
George Floyd Death: Minneapolis to dismantle police department—what does this mean?
Global News Online • June 9, 2020
As George Floyd’s death shines spotlight on knee-on-neck restraint, family of Ontario man speaks out.
CBC News • June 6, 2020
Nine minutes of torture, two weeks of rage: Why George Floyd killing ignited a global powder keg
The Toronto Star • June 6, 2020
Calls to defund police grow but Toronto’s mayor not buying in
National Observer • June 5, 2020
George Floyd’s death draws scrutiny over police use of force. What’s Canada protocol?
Global News • June 5, 2020
Pulling the Thread: Prudent Paranoia
WORD Media PBS Boston • June 1, 2020
Officer charged in Floyd case
CTV News • May 30, 2020
Ottawa bans 1,500 assault style weapons
CTV News • May 2, 2020
“Deadly COVOD-19 toll on Black Americans”
CTV News • April 18, 2020
“Concerns about China’s influence don’t end with the WHO expert says. They’re calling for sweeping reviews of international bodies”
The Toronto Star • April 15, 2020
“Dexter Voisin talks about America the beautiful and violent”
WVON • January 31, 2020
“America the beautiful tackles structural issues in Chicago”
Chicago PBS • January 29, 2020
“How indirect violence gets under a child’s skin and into the brain.”
Undark • August 1, 2018
“110,000 condoms for Winter Olympics pushes topic of sex in South Korea."
NBC News • February 3, 2018
National Journal • February 27, 2014
"A Chicago reporter questions news about the city's violence."
Star Tribune • March 16, 2013
“Who should be the face of Chicago violence?"
The Root • March 15, 2013
“Impact of street violence on Chicago youth."
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Chicago Tonight • February 28, 2013
“Who are Chicago’s killer kids?”
The New York Daily News • February 28, 2013
“Teens exposed to gun violence face tough road."
NPR • March 26, 2011
“Study focuses on how black teens cope with violence."
Chicago Public Radio • December 2, 2010
"36 Chicago area students killed sets record."
Washington Times • May 13, 2009
"Deadly Lessons: 24 Hours in Chicago”
CNN.COM • June 3, 2007
“Measuring the Effects of Violence” (.mp3 file)
WBEZ • May 21, 2007