Urban Update 
The monthly newsletter of the UMass Dartmouth Urban Initiative
July 2012
Though much of the Urban Initiative's work is based in the community, one of our most important functions happens right here on campus. In order to fulfill both our own mission and that of the university, we provide an opportunity for students to learn experientially by applying their classroom studies to real-world urban issues and learning new skills along the way.

For example, a research methods course becomes more meaningful when the UI team is tasked with figuring out how to target a representative sample of Taunton households for surveying, as we did last month. And once the surveying is done, that statistics class comes into play as we analyze the resulting data for meaningful interpretation.

While the opportunities to complement coursework and build one's resume have always been available to UMass Dartmouth students, we are pleased to announce that our summer team has since grown to include two New Bedford High School students as well! Interns Emma York and Adam Vieira have already shown great aptitude for conducting policy research and analysis through their work with NBHS's Student Committee for Educational Progress, and we look forward to their contributions at the UI this summer!

  • UI Project Manager Colleen Dawicki has been named to the inaugural team of National Dropout Prevention Center Fellows, joining ten other education leaders and researchers from around the country. Read the press release and learn more about the fellows program here.  
  • Did you hear about the new shuttle for visitors to New Bedford's National Park? The Urban Initiative/Center for Policy Analysis will be working with the National Park Service and the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) to conduct an evaluation of this new service. Learn more about the shuttle project and hop aboard to visit your favorite New Bedford attractions for just $1 a day
  • Stay tuned for details on an upcoming speaker/workshop series we're putting on in partnership with the UMass Dartmouth Office of Sustainability, which will showcase efforts to ready cities for a sustainable future. The first event will feature guests from WalkBoston on September 20th. 
From the blog:

With four new contributors, the blog has been a happening site in June.  

  • Evan Desrochers writes about how community colleges are working to become more responsive to workforce development needs of growing industries. His examples include drone manufacturing in Ohio and wind turbine engineering right here in Massachusetts. 
Upcoming Events

What:  New Bedford Innovation Schools Forum, an opportunity to learn about the innovation schools being proposed by three different stakeholder groups. Proposals will include an arts-based community school, a K-8 Spanish immersion school, and an innovative elementary school.   

When:  Monday, July 16 at 7:00p 

Where: Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. James Church, 233 County Street in New Bedford

What:  Local Food 101, a workshop by SEMAP on how the local food system works and how to tap into those resources. 

When: Thursday, 7/26 from 6-7:00p
Where: Englenook Farm, 365 High St., Rochester 

Want your upcoming event listed? Email us!

In this issue:
From the blog
Grant opportunities
Job opportunities

 About 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. 

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Email: urbaninitiative@umassd.edu

285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Website: http://www.umassd.edu/urbaninitiative/ 
Grant & technical assistance opportunities

Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge - Deadline: July 16 


New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, through his private foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, has issued a challenge to US mayors in every city whose population exceeds 30,000. The challenge is for mayors to submit a bold idea for solving an urban problem, and the reward is $5 million for the winner and $1m to each of four finalists. The funds are intended to not just implement the idea, but also to make the effort replicable in other cities so that Bloomberg's investment has a broader impact.


Applications are due on September 14, but all cities that plan to apply must RSVP by July 16. Learn more about the challenge and how to apply at this link, and read about it in The Atlantic Cities and Next American City.



'Let's Play' Community Construction Grants, from KaBOOM! & Dr. Pepper - Deadline: July 20


You may have seen the organization spoofed on Parks and Recreation, but don't be mislead: KaBOOM! really does work with communities to build playgrounds in 24 hours, and here's a great opportunity to team up with their efforts. Eligible applicants for $15,000 awards include municipalities, neighborhood associations, nonprofits, schools, and daycare centers. Criteria include the ability to raise matching funds, demonstrated need, demonstrated capacity to build and maintain the equipment, and a projected positive community impact. Learn more by clicking here.


Civic Data Challenge - Deadline: July 29


The Knight Foundation, in partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship, is offering grants to applicants who use innovative techniques of making data related to education, health, safety, civic health, and the economy both useful and visually engaging to both decision-makers and the public. Both individuals and organizations are eligible for participation. Learn more at the Civic Data Challenge website. We're thinking about taking the challenge; anyone want to join us??


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

AmeriCorps VISTA        

Where: UMass Dartmouth Office of Sustainability/Center for Civic Engagement  


Join an exciting team researching alternative ways for people to meet their economic needs by setting up a time and talent bartering system. Time Banking is being used in communities around the world, and we want to explore how it would work best in the South Coast region of Massachusetts, particularly in New Bedford and Fall River. Time Banking is a very successful solution to restoring self sufficiency and dignity to anyone suffering unemployment or insufficient income. Work would be performed part time at the University and part time in the community hosted by two partnering community groups - United Neighbors of Fall River and the Community Economic Development Center in New Bedford. More details available on the Urban Initiative's blog.  



Make sure to check out our blog, which has many more job opportunities than those featured here. And let us know if you have an opportunity to share!