Mark Warren is a sociologist concerned with the revitalization of American democratic and community life. An associate professor in the Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs in the McCormack Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Mark studies efforts to strengthen institutions that anchor inner-city communities‚ÄĒchurches, schools, and other community-based organizations‚ÄĒand to build broad-based alliances among these institutions and across race and social class. Mark is a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow for 2015-16. He is currently serving as the¬†College Board Fellow to Advance Educational Excellence for Young Men of Color at the W.E.B DuBois Research Institute at Harvard University. Mark teaches classes on community organizing for education reform, public policy and social justice, and on collaborative research methods; he is committed to using the results of scholarly research to advance democratic practice and social justice.

On this site you will be able to learn more about Mark Warren, including his teaching, scholarship, and other professional projects that he has been working on both locally and nationally. Please take a look around.

Download Mark’s latest article for free:

Transforming Public Education: The Need for an Educational Justice Movement


Nearly fifteen years after the passage of No Child Left Behind, the failures of our educational system with regard to low-income children of color remain profound. Traditional reform efforts have sought improvements solely within the confines of the school system, failing to realize how deeply educational failure is part of and linked to broader structures of poverty and racism. A social movement that creates political and cultural change is necessary to transform the racial inequities in public education itself and to connect this transformational effort to a larger movement to combat poverty and racism. The seeds of a new educational justice movement can be found in the rise of community and youth organizing efforts, in the development of teacher activism, and in the recent creation of new alliances at local, state, and national levels like those combating the school-to-prison pipeline. Many activists and educators have begun to offer a program for school transformation that connects to a broad agenda to combat racial segregation and economic insecurity, to improve housing, public health, and safety, and to reform immigration laws. Download a free copy from the New England Journal of Public Policy here.

Look for Mark’s newest book:

A Match on Dry Grass: Community Organizing as a Catalyst for School Reform

In¬† A Match on Dry Grass, Mark and his colleagues argue that community organizing represents a fresh and promising approach to school reform as part of a broader agenda to build power for low-income communities and address the profound social inequalities that affect the education of children. Based on a comprehensive national study, the book presents rich and compelling case studies of prominent organizing efforts in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Denver, San Jose, and the Mississippi Delta. The authors show how organizing groups build the participation and leadership of parents and students so they can become powerful actors in school improvement efforts. They also identify promising ways to overcome divisions and create the collaborations between educators and community residents required for deep and sustainable school reform. Identifying the key processes that create strong connections between schools and communities, Warren, Mapp, and their collaborators show how community organizing builds powerful relationships that lead to the transformational change necessary to advance educational equity and a robust democracy. Click here to visit the book’s website.

Mark’s book on racial justice activism

In his book, Fire in the Heart: How White Activists Embrace Racial Justice, Mark Warren shows how white Americans can develop a commitment to racial justice, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because they embrace the cause as their own. Based on in-depth interviews with 50 white activists from across the country, Mark brings to light the perspectives of white people who are working day-to-day to build not a post-racial America but the foundations for a truly multiracial America rooted in a caring, human community with equity and justice at its core. Click Here to visit the book’s website.


“Fire in the Heart is a one-of-a-kind look at the motivations, tribulations, and contributions of white allies in the racial justice struggle. It brings to life the human dimension of social activism, and the voices of the activists included herein by Mark Warren are a true inspiration!”

‚ÄĒ Tim Wise, author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son