Editors' Welcome

What Works to Promote Inclusive, Equitable Mixed-Income Communities Editors' Welcome

Headshots of Mark Joseph and Amy Khare

Welcome to this compilation of essays focused on urban equity and inclusion. The focus of this volume is the promotion of mixed-income communities as a placed-based strategy to address poverty, segregation, and urban disparity. This volume’s objective is to equip practitioners, policymakers, funders, and others with the latest thinking and tools needed to achieve diverse, vibrant communities where all can experience belonging and opportunity.

The essays present the insights of contributors with a diverse array of backgrounds, professions, and perspectives. They convey their latest ideas and innovative approaches and propose ways to enhance conventional approaches for advancing community change. All essays address the challenge of achieving stable communities that welcome and nurture a racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse population. We have urged authors to be aspirational but pragmatic about the deep challenges of our era’s political, economic, cultural, and demographic realities. We hope these essays will inspire serious reflection and creative action in your own work, organizations and communities. 

You will hear from youth who launched their own business in a mixed-income development in Minneapolis, financiers who are seeking to make the case for mixed-income investment opportunities with stronger social outcomes, policymakers who are launching innovative mixed-income initiatives, entrepreneurs who are advancing housing acquisition models that promote mixed-income inclusion, private real estate developers who are adapting their operating models to better advance inclusion and equity, and scholars who present new data and analyses.

These essays were originally written and published online between April 2019 and October 2020, a timespan that saw monumental shifts in public and civic attention to the challenges of enduring structural racism and inequity in our society. We believe this makes the release of this full compilation even more timely and underscores the value of documenting these insights and implications to guide future policy and practice.

A methodological note: we have recommended that essay authors use the term “African American” when referring specifically to descendants of enslaved people in the United States and the more inclusive term “Black” when referring broadly to members of the African diaspora, including African Americans, Caribbean Americans, and Africans. In this way, we seek to acknowledge the unique history and experience of descendants of enslaved people in the United States and also the diversity of backgrounds within the larger Black community. After considerable deliberation, we have also recommended the capitalization of Black and White. Though both are labels for socially-constructed racial categories, we join organizations like Race Forward and the Center for the Study of Social Policy in recognizing Black as a culture to be respected with capitalization and White and Whiteness as a social privilege to be called out. All essays use this capitalization unless authors have expressed a different preference.

This project was led by our team at the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. We thank our stellar developmental editor Leila Fiester whose keen eye and craft strengthened each of the essays. We thank our wonderful project coordinator, Sherise McKinney, whose ability to manage the two of us, the many essay authors, the online and print dissemination of this work, and all the moving parts of this undertaking was remarkable and invaluable, we also appreciate the early efforts of Emily Miller who helped us start this journey. We thank our dedicated administrative team Diane Shoemaker and Dawn Ellis for handling innumerable behind-the-scenes logistics that made this project possible. We’re grateful to Karoline Kramer who worked with us to design and manage the What Works website where all essays were posted prior to print dissemination. Research assistance and editorial support was provided by Hannah Boylan, Grace Chu, and Donovan Young. Copy editing support was provided by Susan Petrone, and early consultation on media strategy was provided by Gabriel Charles Tyler. We thank Miriam Axel-Lute and her team at Shelterforce for publishing adaptations of several essays. The beautiful design and production of the book volume is thanks to the team of designers in the University Marketing and Communications unit at Case Western Reserve University, with specific thanks to Elizabeth Brown, Tia Andrako, and Shelby Lake. We also thank our producer, Davey Berris, at Case Western Reserve’s MediaVision, for helping bring these essays to life through the creation of our podcast entitled Bending the Arc. Check it out to hear our conversations with some of the authors in this volume.

We are grateful for the initiation, sponsorship and financial support of The Kresge Foundation, in particular the encouragement and guidance of Aaron Seybert, Kimberlee Cornett, and Rip Rapson. We greatly appreciate the support of the Ford Foundation for publication and dissemination of the volume, with special thanks to Amy Kenyon and Jerry Maldonado. We thank the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco for publishing this volume as the fifth in its What Works series. We count ourselves lucky for the collaboration and support of Laura Choi, Naomi Cytron, and Ian Galloway at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the encouragement of David Erickson, the originator of the What Works series, now at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. We also deeply appreciate the valuable insights and guidance of our advisory committee for this volume, with particular thanks for extensive early input from Rachel Bratt, Salin Geevarghese, Rolf Pendall, and Stockton Williams.

We approach every day aiming for our shared efforts on urban inclusion and equity to make a dent in the systemic racism and classism that too often interrupts the opportunities for transformative change. We hope that this project will contribute to small shifts in everyday routines, as well as deeper shifts in institutions and policies as we discover together how to better promote inclusive, equitable mixed-income communities. We wish you success in your own journey of learning and individual and systemic transformation. 

With appreciation,

Mark Joseph signature






Mark Joseph
Founding Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Case Western Reserve University


Amy Khare signature



Amy T. Khare
Research Director at the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences
Case Western Reserve University