Urban Update 
The monthly newsletter of the UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative
January 2012
Happy New Year from the Urban Initiative!

We're really looking forward to what's in store for 2012 thanks to some great projects and ideas in the pipeline.

As we plan for what's in store for the next twelve months, we'd love to hear from you. Is there a great opportunity you think we should pursue? Are you interested in collaborating on a project? Is there information you'd like us to share on our website or blog? We've already gotten some great feedback and ideas as a result of last month's newsletter, so keep it up!

Finally, we're still accepting proposals for program evaluation technical assistance until the spring semester starts at the end of the month. If you think your program is a good fit, read more here and get in touch right away.
 Here's a sampling of what's in the works at the Urban Initiative:
  • We'll be working with the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce in January to look at permitting processes in New Bedford and surrounding towns. This will build off of a 2007 project done by SRPEDD and the MA Association of Regional Planning Agencies that developed a best practices guide for streamlined local permitting. 
  • The UI is co-sponsoring the National Dropout Prevention Center's 24th annual At-Risk Youth National Forum from February 19-22 in Myrtle Beach, SC. This year's theme is "Connecting the Dots of Collaboration."  
  • We're going all-out with social media in 2012: not only can you read our blog and "Like" us on Facebook, but now you can follow us on Twitter! Our handle is @UrbanUMassD. 
From the blog:

Here's just a sampling of what we've been writing about on our blog, Urban Update:

  • Promise Neighborhoods, the US Department of Education program that funds efforts to replicate the Harlem Children's Zone model, will return this summer with a $60 million budget, double that of 2011. Read our post and let us know if you're thinking about applying! 
  • The Gateway City of Holyoke, MA will be led by a 22-year-old mayor in 2012. Alex Morse is already putting his hometown on the map after a guest appearance at a White House holiday party, and we look forward to seeing his ideas for tackling Holyoke's challenges (not unlike those of New Bedford and Fall River). Here's our post
  • Fall River recently accepted bids on five shuttered schools, which got us writing about the challenges of reusing old school buildings in already struggling cities. After all, there isn't always a market for Portland, OR's school-turned-hotel/bar/theater, as cool as it is. 

Read more at  http://urbaninitiative.wordpress.com, and subscribe to our RSS feed to ensure you don't miss a post. 

Upcoming Events

What: "Art of the Schmooze," a workshop aimed at anyone involved in relationship-focused activities like fundraising, volunteer management, and community building. 

When: Thursday, 1/12 from 6-8:30p

Where: Third Sector New England's NonProfit Center, Boston

Cost: $10 suggested donation

What: A South Coast information session on the MA Promise Fellowship program will give youth-oriented nonprofits an overview of how to host an emerging leader at their organization for the upcoming year. 

When: Wednesday, 1/18 from 10-11:30a

Where: UMass Dartmouth; room TBA

Cost: Free

Click here for more information


What: SouthCoast Green Drinks, an informal, open, post-work social event (i.e. happy hour) for people interested in "green" topics and initiatives happening both in our region and elsewhere.

When: Wednesday, 1/18 from 6:00p onward

Where: New Bedford (establishment TBD); check out SouthCoast Green Drinks on Facebook for a location update 


What: 10th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast & Drum Major Awards, featuring Dr. Johnetta Cole as keynote speaker

When: Friday, 2/3 from 8:30-10a 

Where: UMass Dartmouth 

Cost: $25 ($10 for students) 

Click here for more information


Have an upcoming event you'd like to see listed next month? Email us!

Grant & technical assistance opportunities

Apply to host an AmeriCorps VISTA

Deadline: 1/6/12

Apply to host a Massachusetts Promise Fellow 

Deadline: 2/2/12


Visit our blog to read about these two opportunities to bolster your organization's capacity in 2012; post includes links to application requirements and procedures for each program.    


Sophia Romero Trust


Established to support and promote quality human services and health care programming for underserved elders living in Bristol County, Massachusetts. Administered through Bank of America.     


National Endowment for the Arts - Our Town


Funds creative placemaking projects that endeavor to revitalize communities through collaborative, arts-based partnerships. Applicants must reflect a partnership between at least one nonprofit and a local government entity. Grant awards will range from $25,000 to $150,000. 


Know of any other upcoming opportunities we should share? Email us!

Job opportunities

Director of Environmental Stewardship, City of New Bedford  

Where: New Bedford, MA  


This department head position reports directly to the mayor and advises a broad range of city departments on environmental issues. Candidates should have a Bachelor's degree in a related field, at least five years of experience, an understanding of and experience with environmental laws and regulations, and project management experience. Details are available here. 


Youth Council Director, Greater New Bedford Workforce Investment Board  

Where: New Bedford, MA


The WIB is seeking someone with a background in youth programming, grant writing, and policy. Applicants should have a minimum of five years experience working with youth; Bachelor's degree required, Master's preferred. Read more here.  


Next Step Living hiring Customer Service Rep, Home Energy Advisor 

Where: New Bedford, MA 


Next Step Living, the company working with NB Energy Now! to reduce energy usage and costs through energy audits and weatherization, is looking to fill two New Bedford-based positions (some travel to Boston headquarters will be required). Click to learn more. 


Are you hiring? Email us to get your job posting listed in next month's newsletter. 

In this issue:
From the blog
Grant opportunities

 What is the Urban Initiative?

The Urban Initiative at UMass Dartmouth is a division of the Center for Policy Analysis that was established in 2007 to address challenges and opportunities in the region's smaller industrial cities, with a particular emphasis on nearby communities like Fall River and New Bedford.  


In addition to conducting applied research, evaluating programs and policies, facilitating collaborations, and providing technical assistance to cities and organizations therein, the Urban Initiative serves as a knowledge base for urban policy issues and their applications in the region. 

 Who is the Urban Initiative?

Since August 2011, Colleen Dawicki has served as Project Manager of the Urban Initiative. A New Bedford resident and SouthCoast native, Dawicki earned a B.A. in Public and Private Sector Organizations from Brown University in 2006 and is working toward her Master's of Public Policy (MPP) at UMass Dartmouth.


Hannah Colestock is the UI's Graduate Research Assistant. Also a student in the MPP program, Hannah earned a B.A in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of New Hampshire in 2009.   


The Urban Initiative team works closely with David Borges, Associate Director of the Center for Policy Analysis, who has over fifteen years of experience working on regional public policy issues.

              Read this:

Good magazine's Cities news feed (http://www.good.is/category/cities) is a great resource for interesting news and ideas about cities at home and abroad. For example, read how two Los Angeles teachers have voiced their concern about school busing with a hit YouTube video in which they rap. 

             Watch this:


Urbanized, a documentary that explores urban design and its implications, is now available to watch online. Rent it from iTunes to get your fix until the Urban Initiative figures out how to do a screening of our own.   

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Contact us!

Email: urbaninitiative@umassd.edu

285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Website: http://www.umassd.edu/urbaninitiative/