Center for Urban Research and Education (Cure) and Office of Civic Engagement Joint Seminars on Urban Issues

Peter J. O’Connor  

Founder and Executive Director
Fair Share Housing Development

 Friday, November 16, 12:20p
School of Social Work Building, Rm. B110
Lunch will be provided

Peter O’Connor is a longtime civil rights activist and co-counsel in the historic Mount Laurel litigation, in which the New Jersey Supreme Court, in 1975 (Mount Laurel I) and 1983 (Mount Laurel II) ruled that every municipality in New Jersey must plan, zone and take affirmative measures to provide its “fair share” of the region’s need for affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families.  Mr. O’Connor founded Fair Share Housing Development (FSHD), Inc., a nonprofit corporation, in 1986 to fully implement the settlement agreement in the Mount Laurel Township litigation with housing that would reach very low-income households.  Peter’s work as a nonprofit developer dates back to the 1970s when he worked with the Carpenters Union of South Jersey on several other projects that are now owned and managed by FSHD.  In 1975 Peter founded and is the Executive Director of the Fair Share Housing Center (, a public interest law firm that is New Jersey’s lead organization fighting for the rights of the low-income families to live in high-opportunity neighborhoods with decent jobs and good schools.

How Rebuilding Our Cities Can Teach Us How to Win Wars: Applying Community Economic Development Frameworks in Overseas Stability Operations

David Foster, President of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership in Camden, NJ, will give a talk on campus on December 6th from 4:00 – 5:30pm in the faculty lounge on the 3rd floor of Armitage Hall hosted by the Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs. Dave will be talking about his experience in Afghanistan helping to lead a task force that dealt with community development, social capital, public private partnerships, etc. and the applicability of lessons from the US & Camden applied in Afghanistan.  On his six-month tour in Afghanistan he was a member of CJIATF–Shafafiyat, the coalition’s counter-corruption and organized crime task force.  Dave’s work focused on developing key sectors of the economy and he wants to share what he learned and how it can be applied to Camden.

To view the event flyer please click here

Dr. Jargowsky’s Recent Research Presentations

Dr. PAUL JARGOWSKY (professor, CFAS-public policy and director, Center for Urban Research) presented a paper, “The Effect of Texas’s Targeted Pre-Kindergarten Program on Academic Achievement,” at the conference “Improving Education Through Accountability and Evaluation: Lessons from Around the World” that was held in Rome and organized by the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, and the Istituto nazionale per la valutazione del sistema educativo di istruzione e di formazione.  His presentation was on Oct. 4.  He also participated in a panel discussion, at the conference “The Truly Disadvantaged after 25 Years,” (Conference Agenda) which was held at Harvard University on Sept. 14.

Affiliated CURE scholar Joan Maya Mazelis, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Sociology) received RU FAIR ADVANCE Mini-Grant of $7,500 to support research assistance for her forthcoming book

Congratulations to Professor Joan Maya Mazelis for receiving the RU FAIR mini-grant to support work on her forthcoming book: Our Strength Is in Our Unity: The Limits of Human Capital and the Rewards of Social Capital for the Poor. Her work explores the tradeoff between mobility and survival strategies among the poor by considering two groups of poor people with whom she conducted in-depth ethnographic interviews: some she met through the Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU), an organization in Philadelphia providing day-to-day support for poor people and dedicating itself to structural change to end poverty, and some she met through social service agencies. A notable difference between the two groups is that KWRU members invested in social capital as a survival strategy and respondents she found through social service agencies invested in human capital by engaging in education or job training, or gaining work experience.
    It is generally difficult for poor people to invest heavily in both social capital and human capital, compounding their struggles. People who invest in social capital have no choice but to embrace this survival strategy, but they have to abandon mobility strategies. People able to focus on human capital and mobility see little return on their efforts. Mazelis’s book proposes that poor people would benefit from policies and agencies designed to promote the development of both.

Center for Urban Research and Education (Cure) and Office of Civic Engagement Joint Seminars on Urban Issues

Patricia Ciorici
Doctoral Candidate in Public Affairs

“Determinants of Neighborhood Satisfaction: Evidence from the North Camden Resident Satisfaction Survey.”

 Friday, September 21, 12:20pm
Armitage Faculty Lounge, Third Floor
Lunch will be provided

Patricia Ciorici will present the results of her research on neighborhood satisfaction among residents in North Camden. The study focused on neighborhood-level attributes to identify the determinants of neighborhood satisfaction. Specifically, the study analyzed the relationships between neighborhood satisfaction, on one hand, and resident perceptions of social and physical neighborhood characteristics, including perceptions of safety, neighborhood physical conditions, quality of social interactions, access to transportation, and quality of public services in the neighborhood, on the other. The extent of social networks served as an additional measure of neighborhood social interactions. The study used the data from the North Camden Resident Satisfaction Survey conducted in 2011 and employed a binary logistic regression model for analysis.