We guide field-building and drive thought leadership by bringing together major movers to discuss strengthening CDCs’ collective work, problem solving for racial equity, and supporting supervisors and staff in career planning.

Innovation Forum

The Mel King Institute’s Innovation Forum is a regular gathering for community development  professionals in Massachusetts to hear from experts on a new challenge or opportunity in the field and discuss adaptive solutions. The Innovation Forum provides a safe space to discuss sometimes contentious topics in community development. 

The Forum intentionally includes all stakeholders in the field – CDCs, funders, lenders, policy makers, consultants, academics, and other partners – to ensure that our thinking is reflective of the entire field and our solutions have broad support. Specifically, the goals of this effort are two-fold: (1) to be a forum for innovative thinking about the future of the community development field in the state, and (2) to generate and advance practical ideas and strategies that the field can implement to increase its effectiveness and be responsive to changing community conditions. 

MKI Online Modules

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mel King Institute shifted all of our course offerings online. We were able to record many of the trainings, and from those recordings we edited smaller pieces of a key training, Introduction to Community Economic Development with Joe Kriesberg. These modules are meant as smaller bite-size supplementary resources to accompany conversations around community development.

Check out the modules pilot HERE.

MKI Intern Network

Organizing and Engagement Core Skills Toolkit

This toolkit was designed to support the professional growth of community organizers and community engagement staff. The toolkit was developed by and for organizers! Front line organizers helped identify the 6 competency areas and piloted the tools, offering feedback on content and format.

We encourage you to set aside the time for professional development, so that you can be a more effective organizer. The toolkit includes:
1. Core Skills Toolkit, which describes six key skill and knowledge areas that are vital for strong organizers;
2. Tracking Tool, through which staff can evaluate their skill/knowledge levels in the six core competency areas and identify next steps to deepen their learning; and
3. Training and Resource Catalog, which staff can use to identify courses, conferences, online and other resources from around the US, to help achieve their professional development goals. This Catalog is housed on the Mel King Institute website.

Check out the tools below:

Organizer Core Skills Toolkit


See Past Awardees HERE.