Alliance for Racial Equity

Alliance for Racial Equity



The Alliance is a coalition of community development organizations and practitioners dedicated to increasing racial equity with the leadership of the professionals in the field. The Alliance believes in addressing racism, as it is a principal issue within the community economic development history. By focusing on increasing racial equity and access, we aim to foster positive work environments in which all employees are understood, recognized, valued and reach their full potential.

Our Vision of Community Development:

When the Alliance was formed, a broad group of stakeholders came together and articulated the following vision:

  •  As organizations, we are dynamic, open, welcoming, supportive, and participatory. We value, respect, and celebrate diversity. We encourage open, two-way communication and embrace different leadership styles and perspectives.
  • All leaders (at the staff, board, and community levels) are committed, courageous, and supportive of diverse leadership. As a whole, the leadership reflects the communities in which we work and builds an open, respectful relationship with the community. Leaders actively recruit individuals from a wide range of backgrounds and economic circumstances while setting the tone for an inclusive, supportive organizational culture.
  •  Leaders and others within the community development movement acknowledge the existence of race and racism in our organizations and our communities, and demonstrate the will and the commitment to addressing the issues.
  •  Learning, teaching and mentoring are valued. Community development organizations create ongoing opportunities for learning and growth among staff, board, and residents at all levels. Current leaders demonstrate their commitment to learning by actively mentoring new leaders of color within the movement.

The community development field is well known and is a career of choice for individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures, races and economic circumstances. There are clear paths for advancement and people understand the skills and competencies needed to advance in the community development field.


MKI Intern Network 

The Alliance for Racial Equity, an initiative of the MKI, launched an internship pilot during the Fall of 2019 supporting interns in the field of community development. The program is intended to be a partnership of community development organizations committed to broadening the field by exposing students to the Massachusetts Community Development Eco-system. Our goal is to foster a passion for a career in community building and development.  While all students are encouraged to join the Project, we recognize the importance of creating connections with community colleges, locally based students, those less privileged economically, residents of our affordable housing communities and students of color. 

The internship network is designed to expose interns who are enrolled in any concentration area to the field of community development through access to MKI trainings and workshops, network building opportunities, partner events, and other activities allowing participation in the MKI partner events. Interns will meet staff in different roles, leaders from the field, and learn about career paths. After the success of our fall pilot MKI Intern Network, we are excited to announce that we will be continuing into the spring semester!  Our spring launch will be January 23rd and we have multiple meeting opportunities  before concluding in April. Find out more information and Enroll a Community Development Intern Here!

Application Deadline: January 20, 2019

Launch Event: January 23rd, 2019: 9:00am-11:00am 

Location: MACDC Office

Community Development Mentoring Program:

The Mentoring Program is designed to promote and support a culture of learning and mentoring within the community development field. The program enhances the preparation of mid to senior level professionals of color who demonstrate leadership potential, for advancement and growth into positions of leadership and authority, by facilitating effective and meaningful relationships between and amongst community development professionals.The program has a racial equity lens by looking at the implicit bias and racism that exists in our work.

Mentoring Professionals in Housing Careers

*NEW* The 2020 - 2021 Mentoring Program cycle will be focused on those who have or are pursuing a career in Housing. This is part of our work to support the pipeline of Project Managers, Real Estate Directors, Asset Managers, Property Managers, etc. joining the community development field. Our goal is build networks of professionals and support professionals of color in housing careers. If you are a potential mentor or mentee in the following areas we encourage you to join the program: 

  • Housing Development
  • Property Management and Asset Management
  • Housing Counseling
  • Housing Rehabilitation 

Learn More

Program Calendar and Description

Info Session Webinar - April 14, 2020 at 10am 

Apply Here:

Mentor Application

Mentee Application

Application Deadline: April 30, 2020 

Mentoring Program 2019 Participants:

  • Andrew Kerivan - Cambridge Housing Authority
  • Angela Brown - CFLeads 
  • Bill Brauner - CEDAC
  • Bruce Ehrlich - Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation
  • Colleen Fitzpatrick - Fenway CDC
  • Daniel Martinez - Cambridge Housing Authority
  • Derek Hansen 
  • E. Ricky Guerra - Jamaica Plain NDC
  • Elizabeth Marsh - Just-A-Start
  • Erica Rothschild - Jamaica Plain NDC
  • Gina Martinez -  Beacon Communities Development, LLC
  • Gonzalo Puigbo - People's United Bank
  • Helen Murphy - Fenway CDC
  • Intiya Isaza - Jamaica Plain NDC
  • Jamie Pennington - Beacon Communities Development, LLC
  • Johnny Charles - Dorchester Bay EDC
  • Josh Kasten - NOAH
  • Juan Torres - The Community Builders 
  • Karmen Cheung
  • Katherine Miller - Mass Housing 
  • Kristin Carlson - Harborlight Community Partners
  • Maggie Super Church - Conservation Law Foundation
  • McMillan Gaither
  • Michael Schaaf - Community Investment Associates
  • Mollye Lockwood - Mass Capital Resource Company
  • Noah Sawyer - The Community Builders
  • Regan St. Pierre - Massachusetts Community & Banking Council
  • Rosalind Greenstein - Tufts University- Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning
  • Ryan Lundergan - City of Boston 
  • Samantha Montano - Jamaica Plain NDC
  • Tahara Samuel - Action for Boston Community Development Inc.

Recruitment Initiative:

The Alliance Recruitment Initiative supports organizations to recruit, hire, retain and advance staff of color. The Alliance developed a manual, Race in Recruitment, Hiring, Retention, and Advancement to support the field in hiring. This effort evolved into Supervisor workshops, supervision peer group and Hiring Clinics for organizations, all offered by the Mel King Institute.

Alliance Steering Committee Members:

  • Jason Boyd (Codman Square NDC)
  • Nicole Chandler (City of Boston)
  • Valeska Daly (Upham's Corner Main Street)
  • Maria Fernandes - Dominique (NeighborWorks)
  • John Fitzgerald (JPNDC Board)
  • Jesse Kanson-Benanav (B’nai B’rith Housing New England)
  • Andre Leroux (MA Smart Growth Alliance)
  • Sue Naimark (Consultant)
  • Jessie Partridge (MAPC)
  • Anabelle Rondon (MA Smart Growth Alliance)
  • Monique Scott (CHAPA)
  • Marilyn Sanchez (LISC)
  • Gabrielle Sims (The Boston Foundation)
  • Robert Torres (Urban Edge)
  • Jennifer Van Campen (MetroWest Collaborative Development)
  • Melinda Vega (NOAH) 
  • Karen Wiener (CHAPA)

The Alliance is staffed by Shirronda Almeida, MKI Director and Bianca Diaz, MKI Community Engagement Fellow. For more information please email either of them at and