Alliance for Racial Equity

The Alliance is a coalition of community development organizations and practitioners dedicated to increasing racial equity with the leadership of the professionals in the field. The Alliance believes in addressing racism, as it is a principal issue within the community economic development history. By focusing on increasing racial equity and access, we aim to foster positive work environments in which all employees are understood, recognized, valued and reach their full potential.

Our Vision of Community Development

When the Alliance was formed, a broad group of stakeholders came together and articulated the following vision:

  • As organizations, we are dynamic, open, welcoming, supportive, and participatory. We value, respect, and celebrate diversity. We encourage open, two-way communication and embrace different leadership styles and perspectives.
  • All leaders (at the staff, board, and community levels) are committed, courageous, and supportive of diverse leadership. As a whole, the leadership reflects the communities in which we work and builds an open, respectful relationship with the community. Leaders actively recruit individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and economic circumstances while setting the tone for an inclusive, supportive organizational culture.
  • Leaders and others within the community development movement acknowledge the existence of race and racism in our organizations and our communities, and demonstrate the will and the commitment to addressing the issues.
  • Learning, teaching and mentoring are valued. Community development organizations create ongoing opportunities for learning and growth among staff, board, and residents at all levels. Current leaders demonstrate their commitment to learning by actively mentoring new leaders of color within the movement.

The community development field is well known and is a career of choice for individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures, races, and economic circumstances. There are clear paths for advancement and people understand the skills and competencies needed to advance in the community development field.

Alliance Steering Committee Members

  • Emilio Dorcely (Urban Edge)
  • John Fitzgerald (JPNDC Board)
  • Marilyn Sanchez (LISC)
  • Veronica Truell (NeighborWorks Housing Solutions)
  • Melinda Vega (NOAH)
  • Karen Wiener (CHAPA)

The Alliance is staffed by Shirronda Almeida, MKI Director and Tiana Lawrence, MKI Program Associate. For more information, please email Tiana at Click here to show mail address.

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Community Development Mentoring Program

The Mentoring Program is designed to promote and support a culture of learning and mentoring within the community development field. The program enhances the preparation of mid- to senior-level professionals of color who demonstrate leadership potential, for advancement and growth into positions of leadership and authority, by facilitating effective and meaningful relationships between and amongst community development professionals. The program incorporates a racial equity lens by looking at the implicit bias and racism that exists in our work.

The 2020-2021 Mentoring Program cycle focused on those who have or are pursuing a career in Housing. This is part of our work to support the pipeline of Project Managers, Real Estate Directors, Asset Managers, Property Managers, etc. joining the community development field. Our goal is to build networks of professionals and support professionals of color in housing careers.

The 2022-2023 Mentoring Program application will be open in Fall 2022. This upcoming cycle will focus on real estate project managers and community organizers. Please check back for more updates on the program.


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Undoing Racism Partnership

The Mel King Institute partners annually with Boston College Lynch School of Education and Human Development and Simmons University to bring The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond Undoing Racism trainings to members of the community development and academic communities.

To learn about the Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond, click HERE.