About Us Overview
The Mel King Institute for Community Building fosters vibrant and thriving Massachusetts communities by advancing the skills, knowledge and leadership ability of professional practitioners and volunteer leaders in the community development field. We leverage collaborative educational partnerships that increase access, encourage innovation, and promote and institutionalize systemic success. Through the ongoing dialogue the Institute facilitates, organizations align their work towards the field’s common vision, and adapt to the changing world.
Community development leaders in Massachusetts formed the Mel King Institute in 2009 to ensure that the field stayed on the cutting edge of new information and had an entity to provide thought leadership. Its namesake, Mel King, is an important leader in the Commonwealth’s political activism and community organizing history. In the mid to late 1970s, Mel led the effort to grow the emerging CDC field with financing and technical assistance. A believer in education, he also taught as a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and created its Community Fellows Program. Today Mel runs the South End Technology Center which he founded to improve community and youth access to technology. The Mel King Institute intends to keep this learning and growing alive.
The Institute enables Community Development Corporations and other non-profit organizations and their partners to build more homes, create more jobs, grow more businesses, nurture more community leaders, and pursue more comprehensive community building strategies that also address issues such as transportation, public safety, green space development, workforce development and youth development.
Our focus is on community development professionals, volunteers, and board members. Our program also serves professionals from these sectors:
- Public – municipalities, state departments, local government
- Private – legal firms, commercial realty, lending, banking, etc.
- Nonprofit – CDCs, public health, education, giving foundations, and more
Mel King Institute brings professionals and volunteers working on community development the skills, information, and innovation they need to be effective in their positions. We focus both on individual skill and organizational capacity building in order to strengthen the field of community development. The Institute:
Learning – Sponsors learning opportunities to expand access to high quality education opportunities, including national programs, and create programs to meet specific needs here in Massachusetts.
Resources – Aggregates and curates resources available through our newsletter & website.
Growth - Cultivates young emerging leaders and drive talent to the field by advising professional development.
Strength – Guides field-building and drive thought leadership by bringing together major movers to discuss strengthening CDCs’ collective work, synching programs, and adapting to change.