John Wallace David E. Epperson Chair and Professor, School of Social Work, Katz School of Business, and Department of Sociology, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences



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412-624-6349
2130 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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Biography

John M. Wallace, Jr., Ph.D. holds the David E. Epperson Endowed Chair and is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh with appointments at the School of Social Work, the Katz Graduate School of Business and the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences (Sociology). Dr. Wallace is also the senior pastor of Bible Center Church, located in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood.

Over the past 30 years his work has focused on the well-being of African American children, youth and communities. He is the principal investigator on the University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems’ Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh Project, an integrated program of research, teaching, and service designed to investigate and ameliorate social problems that disproportionately impact economically disadvantaged children, families, and communities. He is also the principal investigator on the Healthy Living, Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives Project—a community-based participatory research project that examines the correlates, causes and consequences of disparities in children’s asthma. Wallace is also the co-principal investigator on the Pitt Assisted Communities and Schools (PACS) project—a research and demonstration project that mobilizes the resources of the University of Pittsburgh to implement and evaluate a set of two-generation (i.e., parent and child) interventions for students and their parents who live, learn, play and work in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood.

Dr. Wallace’s current work focuses on ESTEAM (entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, agriculture and math) education for young people, and the creation of social enterprises to address food access and insecurity, youth unemployment and economic development in low-income African American communities.

According to Research on Social Work Practice, Dr. Wallace is ranked #5 for scholarly productivity among African American faculty at the top 25 Schools of Social Work. His research has been published in numerous professional journals, books and monographs. His work has been funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, The Richard King Mellon Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation and others.

Dr. Wallace is the co-founder and board president of Homewood Children’s Village, board president of Homewood’s leading community organizing entity, Operation Better Block, and the founder of The Oasis Project—the community and economic development division of Bible Center Church.

His recent awards include being elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare (2018), the BMe Leadership Award (2017) the Martin Luther King Distinguished Individual Leadership Award from Coro Pittsburgh (2017), the Racial Justice Award from the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh (2016), the Chancellor’s Distinguished Public Service Award from the University of Pittsburgh (2015), and the Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award (2012) from the Urban Affairs Association.

Dr. Wallace earned his AB in sociology from the University of Chicago and his MA and PhD, also in sociology, from the University of Michigan. In addition to being a professor, pastor, and social entrepreneur, Dr. Wallace is also a husband and a father. He has been married to his wife Cynthia for over thirty-one years and together they have four adult children.

Research Interests

  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Adolescent Problem Behaviors (e.g., substance use, violence, precocious sex, school dropout)
  • Comprehensive Community Initiatives
  • Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Community Revitalization
  • Social Entrepreneurship

Selected Funded Grants

  • Co-Principal Investigator: John Wallace, Pitt-Assisted Communities and Schools (PACS), Funder: Richard King Mellon Foundation
  • Principal Investigator: John Wallace, Healthy Living, Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives, Funder: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • Principal Investigator: John Wallace, Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh, Funder: University of Pittsburgh

Selected Publications

Goode, R.W., Kalarchian, M.A., Craighead, L., Conroy, M.B., Wallace, J., Eack, S.M. & Burke, L.E. (2018). The Feasibility of a Binge Eating Intervention in Black Women with Obesity. Eating Behaviors.

Booth, J. M., Teixeira, S., Zuberi, A., & Wallace Jr, J. M. (2018). Barrios, ghettos, and residential racial composition: Examining the racial makeup of neighborhood profiles and their relationship to self-rated health. Social science research69, 19-33.

Yonas, M., Zuberi, A., Kasunic, A., Bamwine, P., Boddie, S., Tarp-Gilliam, S., & Wallace, J. (2017). Using Concept Mapping to Explore and Engage Parent and Youth Residents of an Economically Underserved Minority Community around Children's Asthma. Progress in community health partnerships: research, education, and action11(4), 333-345.

Wallace, Jr., J. M., O’Malley, P.M., Bachman, J.G., Schulenberg, J.E., and    Johnston, L.D. (2016). Race/Ethnicity, Religiosity and Differences and Similarities in American Adolescents’ Substance Use.  In Drug Use Trajectories among African American and Hispanic Youth, Thomas, Y.F., Price, L.N., and Lybrand, L.V. (Eds.).

Primack B.A, Freedman-Doan P., Sidani, J.E., Rosen D., Shensa A., James, A.E., Wallace, Jr., J.M. (2015). Sustained Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking and Trends Over Time. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2015 Sep 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Wallace, J.M., Jr., (2015). Exploring, Understanding, and Closing the Achievement Gap(s): Efforts from Harlem to Homewood. In R. Bangs and L.E. Davis (eds.), Race and Social Problems: Restructuring Inequality. New York: Springer.

Wallace, J.M.,Jr. and Teixiera, S.N. (2014). Assessing the State of the Village: Multi-Method, Multi-Level Analyses for Comprehensive Community Change. In Patterson, K.L. and Silverman, R.M., (Eds.), Schools and Urban Revitalization: Rethinking Institutions and Community Development. New York:Routledge.

Teixiera, S.N. and Wallace, J.M.,Jr. (2013). Data Driven Organizing: Partnerships for Community Change in the Homewood Children’s Village. Journal of Community Practice 21(3):248-262.

Gilbert, K. L., Quinn, S. C., Goodman, R. M., Butler, J., & Wallace, J. (2013). A meta-analysis of social capital and health: A case for needed research. Journal of health psychology, 18(11), 1385-1399.

Ohmer, M.L., Sobek, J.B, Teixeira, S.N., Wallace, Jr., J.M., and Shapiro, V.L. (2013). Community-based research: Rationale, methods, roles and considerations for community practice.  In Weil, M., Reisch, M., and Ohmer, M.L. (editors).  The Handbook of Community Practice, 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.