Below is a list of community organizations that partner with the Urban Democracy Lab and may be able to host urban practice fellows. Please select the community partner that interests you most and tailor your research statement as if you were applying directly to that organization. Your statement should demonstrate that you have researched the organization, and that your skill-set and interests align with the organization’s work and mission, as well as any additional description included below.
Please note that accepted fellows may be asked to work with a different community partner than the one noted in their research statement. NOTE: You should not contact the community partner directly.
It is expected that fellows will work in-person with their community partner organization in 2024, however should public health circumstances prevent travel and/or in-person work, fellows would move forward with remote work.
African Communities Together – ACT is an organization of African immigrants fighting for civil rights, opportunity, and a better life for African families here in the U.S. and back in Africa. ACT empowers African immigrants to integrate socially, get ahead economically, and engage civically. It connects African immigrants to critical services, help Africans develop as leaders, and organize our communities on the issues that matter.
ALIGN – ALIGN is a longstanding alliance of labor and community organizations united for a just and sustainable New York. ALIGN works at the intersection of economy, environment, and equity to make change and build movement. Our model addresses the root causes of economic injustice by forging strategic coalitions, shaping the public debate through strategic communications, and developing policy solutions that make an impact.
The Clemente – The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center Inc. (The Clemente) is a Puerto Rican/Latino cultural institution that has demonstrated a broad-minded cultural vision and a collaborative philosophy. As a downtown Latinx cultural staple for close to three decades, The Clemente is the pulpit where countless New York based Latinx, BIPOC, local LES, and international partners create multi-disciplinary contemporary work and co-productions in a collaborative environment. We are guided by our namesake's legacy of building culturally grounded multigenerational leadership, local power, and mutuality in times of crisis. We have a long history of providing services to the field and co-production support to cutting edge, intersectional, and under-recognized work of independent curators and cultural workers crucial to the creative and connective tissue of what downtown New York is still supposed to mean. Fellows contribute to and learn from community centered artistic activism and preservation.
Pratt Center for Community Development – Pratt Center was founded in 1963 when graduate planning students and faculty at Pratt Institute partnered with community organizations to address urban poverty by empowering local residents to participate in the official planning processes that affected their communities. Pratt Center provides urban planning services to community development corporations, grassroots groups, local coalitions, and other community-based organizations. We develop, co-convene, and facilitate planning workshops with diverse groups of local stakeholders to identify communities’ needs and aspirations for open space, affordable housing, commercial corridors, zoning, infrastructure, public health, and environmental sustainability. We then work with our community partners to translate these findings into community plans. Pratt Center also undertakes research and advocacy, and provides assistance to small businesses.
Right To The City (RTTC) – Right To The City Alliance (RTTC) emerged in 2007 with a strong and powerful vision to 1) halt the displacement of low-income people, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, LGBTQ communities, and youth of color, and 2) protect and expand affordable housing in tandem with a broader movement to build democratic and just healthy communities for the 21st century.
Since its inception, Right To The City Alliance has quickly grown to encompass over 90 community-based racial, economic, gender, and environmental justice organizations located in 26 states and 45 cities. Representing true grassroots power and leadership of the most impacted, RTTC’s member organizations weave together local on-the-ground organizing, policy, and advocacy campaigns to build a robust and unstoppable national movement for inclusive, healthy housing and community development.
Fellows collaborate with RTTC staff to conduct research on housing and land justice, cross-sector movement building, and grassroots-led development. Some current projects at RTTC that fellows may work on include our Mass Organizing Program, Green New Deal work, legal and housing policy campaign work, narrative strategy development and more!
WHEDco – The Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) is a non-profit community development organization in the Bronx, NY founded on the radically simple idea that all people deserve healthy, vibrant communities. We build award-winning, sustainable, affordable homes – but our work is not over when our buildings are complete. WHEDco believes that to be successful, affordable housing must be anchored in strong communities that residents can be proud of. WHEDco’s mission is to give the South Bronx access to all the resources that create thriving neighborhoods – from high-quality early education and after-school programs, to fresh, healthy food, cultural programming, and economic opportunity. Fellows support advocacy, community engagement and technical assistance to implement a plan for a more equitable neighborhood for tens of thousands of lower income residents and small businesses.
The Newark Water Coalition acknowledges that Water, Housing, and Food is a human right. Our intention is to cultivate a self-determined local, national, and international community of people who recognize the connection between systemic environmental racism and capitalism. NWC fights to liberate natural resources whether it be food, land, air or water as sources of life for all. Fellows suport community outreach, program support and building coaltions in Newark, NJ.
Housing Justice for All is a statewide coalition of over 80 groups representing tenants and homeless New Yorkers, united in our fight for housing as a human right. Fellows may support one or more housing campaigns in New York through toolkit creation and the tenant storytelling initiative.
KC Tenants is an organization led by a multiracial, multigenerational base of poor and working class tenants in Kansas City. KC Tenants organizes to ensure every tenant in Kansas City has access to safe, accessible truly and permanently affordable housing. Leaders in the KC Tenants base have spent hours writing and pushing policy that would better the lives of tenants across Kansas City, including wins like a Tenants Bill of Rights and tenants right to counsel.
KC Tenants is organizing 10,000 leaders to push for our a long term vision of municipal social housing. They are committed to organizing for policy changes, funding sources and implementation that will create a systemic change in how Kansas Cities municipal government treats housing. Fellows may support this campaing by contributing to a social housing feasibility study.
The Brooklyn Queens Land Trust (BQLT) stewards 36 community gardens (including one government owned garden) that serve 18 neighborhoods in New York City’s boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The majority of garden properties exist in communities of various backgrounds and ethnicities, and in groups predisposed to health, food, economic, housing and environmental inequities. These gardens provide vital equity land conservation in neighborhoods that are underserved by public parks. Fellows may support the board in facilitating a H.S internship program while supporting board initiatives for community outreach and building a membership base.
The Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) – PRCC is a community-based organization in Chicago’s Humboldt Park area. Founded in 1973, in the wake of an urban riot, the PRCC has grown to house numerous programs and projects, including, among others, an HIV and STD education and prevention center, a bilingual-bicultural daycare, an alternative high school, a young women’s literacy program, a community library and information center, an obesity prevention program. The organization has expressed a longstanding commitment to Puerto Rican self-determination and barrio autonomy. Recently, the PRCC has joined a group of local scholars in launching the Puerto Rican Chicago Archive Project. The archival project works to digitize key materials and conduct oral history interviews. Organizers hope to increase awareness about the project and the importance of preserving individual and community history in the face of gentrification.
Paisaje Transversal – Paisaje Transversal's motto is "Doing Cities with People". The Madrid-based Office of Urban Innovation works to strengthen community participation in urban planning and land use decisions. Much of its work focuses on neighborhood regeneration and design for public space. Paisaje has a multidisciplinary approach to urban projects, integrating social, economical, environmental, and design perspectives simultaneously. Fellows work with the organization to research new methodologies & tools for collective city transformation.
SEDOAC – SEDOAC (Servicio Doméstico Activo) is a cooperative organization of domestic workers in Madrid. Most members are immigrant women from Latin America. SEDOAC advocates for the rights and protections of this population, which faces precarious living and working conditions, racism, and political invisibility. Fellows work with SEDOAC to build its campaigns on behalf of Spain's domestic workers and may support the organization through the following projects: web site development and training, translation (Spanish-English) and report writing, interviews with members to help build an archive, and outreach within Madrid and to other domestic workers' organizations worldwide.