Bending the Arc
By The National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
Bending the Arc is produced by the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and co-hosted by Dr. Mark Joseph and Dr. Amy Khare.
Bending the ArcSep 28, 2020
Episode 18: Urban Strategies Inc. Series Episode 3: The Day-to-Day Work of Advancing Housing and Economic Justice
We continue our special series focused on Urban Strategies, Inc., a national non-profit that exemplifies the quest for urban equity and inclusion. Urban Strategies works with more than 30,000 low- to moderate-income families in 31 communities across 24 major metropolitan areas. In this episode, we talk about promoting housing and economic justice, the Urban Strategies way. I talk with Alicia Walter, Regional Vice President at USI and Ta’Londa Holland, Senior Director of Operations of Policy and Influence for USI. We delve deeply into USI’s experience leveraging place-based redevelopment initiatives as a platform to change families’ lives and advance broader systems change.
Episode 17: Urban Strategies Inc. Series Episode 2: How Can We Achieve the Transformative Impact of Fair Housing?
We continue our special
series focused on Urban Strategies, Inc., a national non-profit that exemplifies
the quest for urban equity and inclusion. Urban Strategies works with more than
30,000 low- to moderate-income families in 31 communities across 24 major
metropolitan areas. In this episode I talk with Richard Baron, board chair of
USI, Michael Bowen, USI board member, and Esther Shin, President and CEO of
USI. We discuss the enhancements and re-release of the Affirmatively Furthering
Fair Housing Rule by the Biden Administration and its promise and limitations.
We consider housing as a platform for building household wealth and changing
the trajectories of neighborhoods.
Episode 16: Urban Strategies Inc. Series Episode 1: Origin Story
This episode kicks off a special series focused on Urban Strategies, Inc., a national non-profit that exemplifies the quest for urban equity and inclusion. Urban Strategies serves as a social impact partner in neighborhoods across the country that are undergoing a physical revitalization. USI designs and implements place-based human capital strategies to ensure that all families impacted by neighborhood redevelopment are stable and thriving.
Founded in 1978, and based in St. Louis, Missouri, USI stands out for the longevity, scale and depth of its national and local engagement and influence. Today Urban Strategies works with more than 30,000 low- to moderate-income families in 41 communities across 24 major metropolitan areas. Led by executives of color and staffed largely by people of color, USI is also exemplary for its explicit commitment to disrupting structurally racist practices and policies.
This kickoff episode focuses on USI’s origin story. I talk with Erika Wilson, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for USI, and Marlene Hodges, Assistant Project Manager of USI’s community initiatives in St. Louis. Both have been with USI for several years and have progressively moved into increasingly levels of leadership with the organization. They provide an in-depth perspective on the evolution of USI and what makes it unique in the community development field.
Episode 15: Spotlight on the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities
This episode explores the backstory behind the university research center that created and delivers these podcasts, the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities, based at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Time to give our listeners a glimpse into who we are and what we do. Colette Ngana is the guest host for this episode. She is a doctoral fellow with NIMC and is wrapping up her doctoral degree in sociology at Case Western. The guests for this episode are Mark Joseph, Founding Director of NIMC and the Leona Bevis and Marguerite Haynam Professor of Community Development at the Jack, Joseph and Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Debbie Wilber, Associate Director at NIMC and a Research Associate at the Mandel School, and Salin Geevarghese, President and CEO of SGG Insight and long-time collaborator with NIMC.
Mark is the co-host of Bending the Arc and founded NIMC almost ten years ago. Debbie has been with NIMC over three years and serves in part in a chief of staff operations role and in part as a leader on NIMC projects. Salin Geevarghese has been working as a close-in consultant with NIMC for almost seven years since he wrapped up his stint as a senior official in the Obama Administration.
Episode 14: Dr. Ed Goetz
In this episode we talk with Dr. Ed Goetz, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs and a faculty member at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Ed co-authored an essay for the What Works volume with Anthony Damiano and Rashad Williams. Their critique is focused on why promoting economic advancement for low-income African Americans and other people of color often means having to leave their neighborhood and move to a “opportunity neighborhood.” They argue against a dominant focus on resident mobility to address segregation and marginalization and they advocate for a community development focus which would prioritize enabling low-income families of color to thrive in place.
Ed is the author of four books: The One-Way Street of Integration: Fair Housing and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in American Cities, New Deal Ruins: Race, Economic Justice, and Public Housing Policy, Clearing the Way: Deconcentrating the Poor in Urban America, and Shelter Burden: Local Politics and Progressive Housing Policy. Ed has served on the board of directors of nonprofit housing agencies in the Twin Cities, and on several regional commissions related to affordable housing and development. Early in his career, he worked at the Mayor's Office of Housing and Economic Development in San Francisco and for several nonprofit community developers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Conversations with Ed are always lively and thought-provoking and this one is no exception. I
Episode 13: Matthew Martin and LC Johnson
This episode is the first time we’ve explored in-depth the inner workings of one neighborhood as it transitions to a more socially and economically mixed community. Our guests, Matthew Martin and LC Johnson, are residents and change agents in Weinland Park in Columbus Ohio, a neighborhood that has been on a mixed-income journey for the last 20 years. Weinland Park is experiencing a complete revitalization from decades of neglect and disinvestment to now being one of the most intentionally cultivated mixed-income neighborhoods in the country. Matt Martin is the Director of Community Research at the Columbus Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Matt was a Senior Researcher at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. Matt has a Masters of City and Regional Planning from Ohio State, and a Bachelor of Science in Urban Affairs from Wright State University. Along with his co-authors Kip Holley and Steve Sterrett, he contributed an essay on Weinland Park to our What Works edited volume on inclusive and equitable community building. LC Johnson is the visionary and social entrepreneur behind Zora’s House, a coworking space and leadership incubator based in Weinland Park that centers the creativity, leadership, and activism of women and non-binary people of color. Most recently, LC served as the Local Director of Community Entrepreneurship for Forward Cities in the Columbus area. LC has a B.A. in Women's Studies and Sociology from Duke University.
Episode 12: Bethany Friel
In this episode I talk with Bethany Friel, Vice President of Property Operations at the TREK Development Group real estate company which has properties throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Region. Our center and our partners have been working with Trek for over five years now and we’ve been eager to feature them on the podcast as a stellar example of a company working hard to strengthen its ability to promote thriving mixed-income communities. Bethany has a fascinating perspective on mixed-income development having worked her way into senior leadership at TREK through several roles in the company. She joined TREK in 2014 as the Supportive Services Coordinator and she has led the company’s community engagement initiatives and developed their approach to resident services. Most recently she completed the operational task of integrating resident services and property management divisions. Bethany is a proud alum of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland – she has her Master's in Social Science Administration from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences where our impact research center is based.
Episode 11: Tony Pickett
In this episode we talk with Tony Pickett, the CEO for Grounded Solutions Network, the nation’s leading expert for inclusive affordable housing policies and programs. We focus on efforts to advanced racial justice within the field of community development, including within local grassroots organizations, foundations, financial institutions, and intermediaries. In particular, Tony shares some of his own personal and professional experiences, such as those related to addressing anti-Black racism and in helping to launch the CEO Circle of Color organization. In addition, Tony shares insights about the importance of shifting power and resources towards low-income people and communities of color through Community Land Trusts (CLTs). Tony and co-author Dr. Emily Thaden contributed to the What Work’s volume in an essay titled: "Community Land Trusts: Combining Scale and Community Control to Advance Mixed-Income Neighborhoods"
Episode 10: Dr. Bryan Grady and Carlie Boos
In this episode we talk with Dr. Bryan Grady and Carlie Boos on the topic of how state finance agencies can play a more innovative role in promoting mixed-income housing and mixed-income communities. Many of us have never thought much about the wide latitude and extensive tools that state housing finance agencies have to shape affordable housing policy and investment. Bryan and Carlie’s incredibly informative and compelling essay makes a strong argument that there are existing resources at the state level that could be used much more effectively and creatively. Both Bryan and Carlie have rich experience in housing policy and as you’ll hear, they worked closely together to help advance some innovative strategies when they both worked at the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Bryan in a research role and Carlie in a policy design and implementation role. Bryan currently serves as the Labor Market Information Director for the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. Prior to that, he was Chief Research Officer at the South Carolina State Housing Finance and Development Authority for three years. Carlie is currently the Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio. Prior to that she served as Community & Economic Development Counsel at the Legal Aid Society of Columbus.
Episode 9: Dr. JaNay Queen Nazaire
In this episode we talk with Dr. JaNay Queen Nazaire, a national leader on creating wealth and wellbeing for people of color, with a particular focus on Black communities. Dr. Queen Nazaire currently serves as a Senior Advisor for PSG and as a Senior Fellow at PolicyLink. She is the co-founder of Black Gravity, a collaborative focused on closing the racial wealth gap, and co-founder of Builder’s & Benefactors, a community of Black private equity and venture capital investors. Dr. Queen Nazaire wrote one of the closing essays in our What Works volume on mixed-income communities. She used her essay to introduce the person-role-system framework as a tool for promoting racial equity. We talk about practical ways to turn racial equity intentions and goodwill into actual everyday actions.
Episode 8: Dr. Tiffany Manuel
In this episode we talk with Dr. Tiffany Manuel, President and CEO of TheCaseMade, a strategic consulting firm that helps leaders build the public will to intentionally tackle the issues of systems change, equity and inclusion. Dr. T, as she prefers to be called, authored an essay for the What Works Volume that argues that strategic casemaking is critical for how we engage public audiences about poverty, place and race. In our conversation we explore specific examples of shaping public narratives that engage people across different identities, backgrounds, and geographies.
The Bay Area Housing Justice video highlighted in the Podcast
Episode 7: Dr. Akira Drake Rodriguez
In this episode we talk with Dr. Akira Drake Rodriguez, Assistant Professor at the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania and Research Affiliate with the National Initiative of Mixed-Income Communities. Dr. Rodriguez co-authored as essay for the What Works Volume with Majeedah Rashid that applies a Black feminist lens to the issue of mixed-income community development. In our conversation we examine the tension between community development and community organizing and Dr. Drake Rodriguez introduces us to the notion of Black feminist-centered organizing as an approach to navigating this tension. She describes the specific case of Nicetown CDC on the north side of Philadelphia as a case of Black feminist-centered community organizing in action.
Akira Drake Rodriguez.Majeedah Rashid.2020.Black Feminist-Centered Community Organizing as a Framework for Developing Inclusive Mixed-Income Communities: Nicetown CDC’s Village Network and Outreach Initiatives in Philadelphia
Episode 6: Frankie Blackburn and Bill Traynor
In this episode we talk with Frankie Blackburn and Bill Traynor of Trusted Space Partners, a consulting firm they created in 2011 to promote what they call community network building, a highly effective way to strengthen relationships and build social support across lines of difference. They work with resident leaders, real estate executives, property managers, service providers and others to design and advance creative approaches to shift the operating culture in organizations and neighborhoods. In this conversation, they talk about the community building philosophy and techniques that they have been deploying in mixed-income development efforts around the country. They provide specific examples from their work with the Trek Development real estate company in Pittsburgh.
Episode 5: Salin Geevarghese
In this episode we talk with Salin Geevarghese, President & CEO of SGG Insight and Founding Director of the Mixed-Income Strategic Alliance. Salin served for most of the two terms of the Obama Administration as a senior leader in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. His perspective on promoting comprehensive community change is particularly interesting given his wide-ranging professional experience across the corporate, philanthropic and public sectors. We recorded this conversation as the Biden-Harris transition team is deep into its preparations to take office, so Salin’s perspectives on lessons learned from the Obama Administration’s efforts to advance place-based strategies are particularly timely. We discuss his lessons learned about advancing place-based efforts in a more cross-silo, cross-sector and cross-jurisdictional way. We also touch on his perspectives, as an Indian-American, about advancing racial equity in the U.S., given how this topic can often be framed as a Black-White issue.
Episode 4: Dr. Clinton Boyd. Jr.
In this episode we talk with Dr. Clinton Boyd, Jr., a Postdoctoral Associate at the Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. Dr. Boyd is a rising young scholar who is building an expertise on the subject of black fathers. In our conversation we touch on a wide range of topics including our personal journeys as Black fathers, the undervaluing of Black men in general versus the idolizing of Black male athletes and entertainers, and what Clinton has learned from his research, including the Dads2Kids home visiting project. Clinton and Dr. Deirdre Oakley of Georgia State University co-authored an essay for the What Works volume on the role of Black fathers in mixed-income communities.
Episode 3: Hans Buder
In this episode we talk with Hans Buder, founder of the Moving to Opportunity Fund, an innovative social investment fund with a focus on changing the lives of young children by helping their families move to neighborhoods with high-performing schools. Hans has been an elementary school teacher with Teach for America, an investment banker, and has worked for a large affordable housing developer. The MTO Fund has a double bottom line mission of putting kids from low-income households on a path to college and delivering market-rate returns for mainstream investors. Hans’ vision is for the Fund to ultimately impact thousands of low-income families without any government financing. The Fund recently purchased its pilot inclusionary property in Dallas.
Episode 2: Ben Metcalf
In this episode we talk with Ben Metcalf, former senior official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and now Managing Director at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California Berkeley. In his essay entitled “California For All: How State Action Can Foster Inclusive Mixed-Income Communities,” Metcalf wrote about how he and his team worked with Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom to pass legislation and create programs to reduce barriers to creating affordable housing in high resource communities. In this conversation we hear about the innovations implemented on his watch and his lessons learned.
Episode 1: Dr. Amy Khare
In the first episode of Bending The Arc we kick things off with a conversation with Dr. Amy Khare, the Research Director at the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities. We explore the challenges and opportunities of creating more inclusive and equitable neighborhoods. We review some of the insights and ideas from the volume of essays on mixed-income communities we have co-edited together.
Bending the Arc Trailer
Bending The Arc explores the everyday work of creating inclusive, equitable and racially just communities. This podcast spotlights bold thinking and action by creative, passionate, experienced thinkers and actors from cities and communities around the US and Canada.