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Title:Joseph D. Warren papers
Dates:1972-2003 (bulk 1980-1990)
Call Number:M87

Historical Note

African American politician and educator Joseph David Warren was born to Geroldine McDaniel Warren and Harold H. Warren, Sr. in Harlem, New York on April 2, 1938. In 1956, he joined the United States Naval Reserve. He rose to the rank of commander, a post he served until his retirement from the armed forces in 1994. Warren received a Bachelor of Science in Economics from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1969, an Master of Arts in Social Research in 1972 from Brandeis University, and a Ph.D. in Social Work in 1983, also from Brandeis.

In addition to a series of lecturer and administrative posts at Brandeis and Boston University, he served as Massachusetts Assistant Secretary of Education from 1975 to 1979. In 1978, Warren received a joint appointment to the Northeastern University Department of African American Studies as an Associate Professor and Urban Assistant to President Kenneth G. Ryder. In this newly created position, he represented Ryder as chair of both the Youth Advisory Council of the City of Boston and the Access Committee for the Massachusetts Advisory Council on Vocational and Technical Education. In 1982, Warren was appointed director of the Northeastern University Office of Community Affairs, which addressed issues involving Northeastern University's relationship with its communities throughout Massachusetts. Under his leadership, the Office of Community Affairs opened Balfour Academy the following year. Designed to provide educational opportunities to inner-city youth, Balfour Academy accepted 50 children from the Mission Hill-Fenway neighborhoods annually and graduates of Balfour Academy were granted scholarships to attend Northeastern University.

Warren also led a political advocacy group, nicknamed the Warren Commission, through which he hoped to create a voice in the Massachusetts and, later, national political arenas for African Americans and other minority groups. The Warren Commission worked to improve socio-economic conditions for minority groups and endorsed candidates whom it believed would address minority needs. The Warren Commission supported Michael S. Dukakis' 1982 election to his second term as Massachusetts governor. As governor, Dukakis appointed Warren to his Community Development Coordinating Council, a committee designed to improve the economic and social conditions in Boston neighborhoods, particularly Roxbury and Dorchester. The Community Development Coordinating Council was responsible for several urban renewal projects, including improving conditions along the Orange Line through the Southwest Corridor.

An active member of the Democratic Party, Warren led efforts to amend the platform and charter of the Massachusetts Democratic Party to address the needs of minorities in 1984 and 1986. He was also involved in the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee and Minority Democratic Caucus, and served as a delegate at several state and national Democratic conventions in 1984 and 1986. From 1982 to 1989, Warren was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Human Resources Center, an office which Dukakis organized to assist with employment, training, health issues, and other human service programs. Warren also served as a senior political advisor to Dukakis during his 1988 Presidential Election Campaign.
1938 Born in New York City, New York on April 2nd.
1956 Entered U.S. Naval Reserves.
1969 Received a Bachelor of Science from North Carolina A&T University.
1970-1972Lecturer in Urban Studies at Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.).
1972Received an Master of Social Work degree from Brandeis.
1970-1975Executive Director, Upward Bound Program at Brandeis University (Waltham, Mass.).
1972-1975Assistant Professor of Planning and Applied Research at Boston University School of Social Work.
1979-1990Warren Commission active in state-wide and national political arenas.
1975-1979Massachusetts Assistant Secretary of Education.
1975-1988Served as Minority Advisor to Michael S. Dukakis.
1976-1979Served as chairman of the Newton Community School in Newton, Mass.
1978Joint appointment as Associate Professor of African American studies for the Afro-American Institute and Urban Assistant to Kenneth G. Ryder.
1979Involved in the design of the Ruggles Street MBTA station.
1979Member of the Boston Mayor's Youth Advisory Council.
1982Appointed Director of the Northeastern University Office of Community Affairs; Appointed member of the Massachusetts State Democratic Committee.
1982-1989Member of Michael S. Dukakis' Community Development Coordinating Council.
1983 Received a PhD from Brandeis University, member of Phi Kappa Phi; Balfour Academy opened
1983-1994Commander, Naval Reserves.
1985Led an effort to revise the Massachusetts Democratic Party's charter.
1987Received a grant to study potential employer needs in the Southwest Corridor.
1988General election coordinator and leading advisor on Michael S. Dukakis' Presidential campaign.

Bronner, Ethan, "Southwest Corridor: Setting a New Course," The Boston Globe, 2 November 1986, Metro Section, p. 1.

Claffey, Charles. "Roxbury's Turn for Renewal; Minority Groups Want More Input into Dudley Station Revitalization Plan," The Boston Globe, 17 February 1985, sec. A, p. 21.

Frederick, Antoinette. Northeastern University, Coming of Age: The Ryder Years. Boston, MA: Northeastern University, 1995

"Joseph David Warren, Dr." Who's Who Among African Americans, 15th ed. Gale Group, 2002. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: The Gale Group. 2003.