Research and Biography

Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D., MSW is Associate Professor, School of Social Service Administration and Faculty Affiliate, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture of the University of Chicago.

He is PI for the Chicago Parenting Initiative Evaluation Study, a multi-year OAPP evaluation study of the impact of male enhancement services provision to young fathers on their physical and psychological well-being as well as the well-being of adolescent African American and Latina parenting mothers and their children served by Access Community Health Network in eighteen Chicago’s south and southwest neighborhoods; he is examining the physical and mental health statuses of disconnected African American males in the South Side Health and Vitality Studies (SSHVS), a family of medical, public health, social science and community–based participatory research studies of the Urban Health Initiative aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of Chicago’s South Side residents in 34 community areas served by University of Chicago Medicine.

He is a research consultant for the Urban Institute’s Race, Place and Poverty: An Urban Ethnographer Symposium on Low-Income Men, where he provides expert consultation in the form of empirical research advisory and product review support in the area of family formation, self and family sufficiency and stability among low-income urban men to the Urban Institute study team in the development of the Urban Ethnographer’s Symposium on Low-Income Men, funded by the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on two of the major tasks: (1) Development of  background material and issue briefs (identification of material and review of documents) as well as providing written feedback on the draft issue briefs on the above areas of expertise and (2) Identify prospective participants for the September 13-14, 2012 symposium.

He is also a research consultant for Mathematica Policy Research Parents and Children Together (PACT), a multi-year (2011-2016) mixed-methods evaluation of the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage grants initiative led by Mathematica Policy Research.  PACT is comprised of two primary components: the impact and implementation studies and the qualitative studies with different yet complementary purposes.  Waldo provides expert consultation on the development of the qualitative studies in which six to fifteen grantees will be selected to participate in the studies designed not only to gain a better understanding of the participants’ lives and their experiences with the programs but also the organizational and community-level factors that may influence program outcomes.

He was a research consultant at the Warren Institute of Berkeley Law School and The California Endowment in developing a California-based research, policy and practice initiative focused on enhancing the status of boys of color; Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago in the development of their respective African American Male Initiatives, both of which focus on fatherhood and family, education and human capital development, physical and behavioral health, mentoring and human justice policies. He is conducting the evaluation of the United Way African American Male Initiative.

He is a member of the Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and the Wellbeing of African American Males; ACF’s Welfare and Economic Self-Sufficiency Technical Working Group; 2025 Campaign for Black Men and Boys; Chair, Commission on Research and member of the Board of Directors, Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 2010-2013; Co-Chair of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Research and Information Consortium, Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council; sits on the board of directors of the Center for Family Policy and Practice (CFFPP); and is the editor of Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health and Social Policy (Oxford University Press, 2010).