Joseph D Lewandowski
Urban Studies
As a youth coming of age in the industrial city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the social and political upheavals of the late 1970's and early 80's, Lewandowski was exposed to the structural inequalities and ethno-racial segregation that continue to plague many American cities. He experienced firsthand Milwaukee's attempts at school desegregation and concomitant collapse of that city's working-class industrial economy.

It was during this time that he took up the sport of boxing. The lessons learned from the gym and the urban milieu of that era continue to inform his teaching and research in the area of urban studies.

Lewandowski offers a set of personal reflections on the significance of his own story in an invited Martin Luther King Jr. Day Keynote lecture entitled, "How a Dream Was Built," presented at Troost Elementary School in Kansas City.

Lewandowski ultimately returned to a local Kansas City boxing gym, aptly called Authentic Boxing, in 2002, where he trained and conducted research for several years.

He has published work on urban social capital. And the intersection of his personal experiences, boxing, and analysis of urban culture form the basis of Lewandowski's more recent research and teaching devoted to street cultures in the US.