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Barry N. Checkoway

Arthur Dunham Collegiate Professor Emeritus of Social Work, School of Social Work, and Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning

Barry N. Checkoway

Professor Barry Checkoway is an internationally-recognized scholar and practitioner on youth empowerment, neighborhood development, and community change. His projects and publications draw on work with grassroots groups, community agencies, and government programs in the South Bronx, Detroit, Mississippi Delta, central Appalachia; and in South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with support from the World Health Organization, Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation and other institutions.

He worked with the White House in 1990 to launch AmeriCorps, then served as founding director of the Michigan Neighborhood AmeriCorps Program, Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning, Michigan Youth and Community Program, and Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity.

Research Interests/Focus

Community organization, community development, neighborhood development, community-based policy advocacy, participatory research, youth empowerment, evaluation


Year Degree   School
1977 PhD History University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
1971 MA History University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
1969 BA Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT


Youth Civil Rights Academy
Year Description
2018 Center for Research on Learning and Teaching - Gilbert Whitaker Fund
2005-present Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit, Increase youth dialogues among youth of African, Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and Latin American descent in neighborhoods and suburbs of the nation's most segregated metropolitan area, Funded by the Skillman Foundation and University of Michigan
2005-present Youth Empowerment Solutions for Peaceful Communities, Build capacity of neighborhood organizations in Flint, Michigan, Funded by Centers for Disease Control
2004-present Engaged Learning, Student Mental Health, and Civic Development, Coordinate national demonstration program of colleges and universities, Funded by the Charles Bernhard Foundation in conjunction with Association of American Colleges & Universities
2004-present Young People Creating Community Change in the Mississippi Delta, Initiative to involve young people in an economically disinvested and racially segregated area. Funded by Highfield Foundation
2004-present Youth Participation in Public Policy at the Municipal Level, Conduct collaborative research with selected municipalities, Funded by Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy and Michigan Municipal League
2004-present Participatory Evaluation Research Training Program, Conduct workshops for participatory evaluation research with community organizations in Michigan, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Appalachia, and other areas, Funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation
2004-2006 Program Evaluation for Youth Media Field Building, Training and technical assistance for youth media groups, with Education Development Corporation, Inc., Funded by Time-Warner Foundation
2003-present Michigan Youth Grantmakers Community Project, Build capacity of community foundation youth councils. Funded by Council of Michigan Foundations
2003-present Youth Participation in Community Philanthropy, Statewide effort to increase youth participation in community foundation youth councils, Funded by Council of Michigan Foundations
2001-present Youth Participation in Community Planning, National study of innovative community-based youth initiatives, Funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation
1999-present Young People as Competent Community Builders, Project to promote participatory research by grassroots groups in Chile, Paraguay, and New Mexico, Funded by Global Youth Program
1998-2004 Lifting New Voices, Participatory evaluation of national program to increase youth participation in South Bronx, Mississippi Delta, Albuquerque, East Oakland, Providence, and other communities, Funded by Ford Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation
1989-1990 Hebrew University Pins Memorial Lecturer and Visiting Professor
1986 University of Michigan Henry Russell Award Nomination
1981 University of Illinois Research Council Award
1980 University of Illinois Scholars' Travel Fund Award
1980 University of Illinois Interdisciplinary Planning Research Award
1979 Eta Sigma Gamma Health Service Award
1979 University of Illinois Fellowship in Interdisciplinary Planning
1979-1982 University of Illinois List of Excellent Teachers (five times)
1970-1973 University of Pennsylvania Research, Teaching, and Faculty Fellowships
1969 Edward Lee Thorndike Honors Fellowship
1969 Limbach Prize
1969 The Maxwell Fellowship (declined)
1968 Wesleyan University Summer Research Award
1968 Frank H. Ryder Social Service Award
1966 Frank H. Ryder Social Service Award

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