Our Connecting Spaces: What builds community in mixed-income housing and place-based initiatives?

photo of panelists
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Virtual event


What builds community in place-based initiatives and mixed-income communities? What creates authentic relationships? What prevents them and why does it matter? On Oct. 26 at noon, we’ll begin to unpack  these questions in the first of our fall Schul Conversations, a part of our Schul Forum series.

Place-based initiatives and mixed-income communities are widely seen as best practices in affordable housing and community development, and as key policy tools in efforts to deconcentrate poverty. However, this restructuring of neighborhoods, often in place of concentrated affordable or public housing, does not always lead to connections among neighbors. In some cases, it results in displacement of a community and its culture. 

But research suggests it can also create networks that lead to employment and access to beneficial resources and opportunities. Recent work by the Opportunity Insights team, led by Raj Chetty of Harvard University, suggests that the places that enable cross-class friendships may have a role to play in improving economic mobility. 

[WATCH THE LIVESTREAM REPLAY: 2023 Chancellor's Speaker Series featuring Dr. Raj Chetty]

In this first Schul Conversation, our panel will discuss the elements that build community and connections in mixed-income housing and place-based initiatives, and why that matters, as well as examine the barriers to cross-class and cross-race relationships. The Conversation kicks off this year’s Schul Forum series, which will explore the spaces where we connect in the Charlotte region, specifically asking how those spaces build community and facilitate relationships or create barriers to economic connectedness.The Conversations and the Chancellor’s Speaker Series will lead to the in-person Schul Forum event on February 1, 2024.

What: An online forum featuring national and local voices on mixed-income housing and place-based initiatives, and their role in building connections and community. You’ll have the chance to ask questions as well as hear from the panelists..


  • Mark Joseph, Ph.D., the founding director, National Initiative on Mixed Income Communities; Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences; Case Western Reserve University; 
  • Andrew Case, Ph.D., a Gambrell Faculty Fellow and UNC Charlotte associate professor of Psychological Science & Health Psychology; 
  • Tiffany Capers, executive director, CrossRoads Corporation; 
  • Julie Porter, executive director, DreamKey Partners; and 
  • Moderated by Byron White, Ed.D., associate provost for Urban Research and Community Engagement.

When: October 26, 12 - 1:15 p.m.

Recap of Our Connecting Spaces: Mixed-Income Communities and Place-Based Initiatives