Who We Are

Who We Are

The Mel King Institute is a collaborative enterprise that leverages the resources of many institutions including MACDC, LISC, MassHousing, NeighborWorks America, Massachusetts Housing Partnership, Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation, Department of Housing and Community Development and several CDCs. Partnering with public agencies, nonprofits, universities, private consultants and experts will allow us to avoid duplication within the sector and provide higher quality training at a lower cost.


Fehintola Abioye

Program Coordinator

Fehintola Abioye is a program coordinator for the Mel King Institute for Community Building providing training development and programming support. As a MKI Fellow, she is also responsible for implementing the MKI Certificate Program. Fehintola grew up in Boston, Massachusetts and recently graduated from Tufts University where she studied International Relations and Anthropology. During her undergraduate career, she was exposed to various opportunities to learn about community development, public policy and planning and the Massachusetts government. These opportunities have led to her passion for working to create equity for all in her home state. She also enjoys traveling, music and photography.


Shirronda AlmeidaShirronda Almeida

Director of the Mel King Institute

Shirronda Almeida is the Director of the Mel King Institute and she serves on MACDC’s management team.  She manages the Mel King Institute (a joint program of MACDC and LISC) and the Community Development Mentoring Program in partnership with the Alliance – Advancing Community Development by Confronting Racism.  Shirronda has worked on various local and statewide youth development, organizing, prevention and public art programs. She holds a Master's degree in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused on adolescent Risk and Prevention and social change. She received her B.A. from Simmons College in International Relations. Shirronda also enjoys traveling, dancing, practicing yoga and reading.


Sarah Byrnes

Manager, Public Housing Training Program

Sarah Byrnes manages the Mel King Institute’s Public Housing Training Program, which helps residents of public housing meaningfully participate in the oversight of their housing developments. Launching in 2017, the Program will offer trainings and network-building opportunities to tenant representatives on Local Housing Authorities and other resident leaders. Prior to joining the Mel King Institute, Sarah was the Director of New England New Economy Transition program at the Institute for Policy Studies, where she focused on community organizing in Jamaica Plain, Boston, and founded a regional network of grassroots groups called the New England Resilience & Transition network. Sarah has also worked with Americans for Financial Reform, Americans for Fairness in Lending, and the Thomas Merton Center. She has a BA from Boston College and Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. She lives in Roslindale with her husband and two children.


Bianca Diaz

Community Engagement Fellow

Bianca Diaz is a Community Engagement Fellow for the Mel King Institute for Community Building, pursuing her Master’s of Education at Merrimack College. Bianca grew up in Boston and spent the last two years giving back to her community through AmeriCorps service. During her service, she learned about the power of strong communities in making social change. These experiences led to her passion for working to empower community members. She also enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with family and friends.


               Steering Committee

Antonio Torres Senior Loan Officer MassHousing
Emily Torres-Cullinane Community Engagement Manager MAPC
Ezra Glenn Professor MIT Dept. of Urban Planning
Gretchen Haupt Director of Programs and Operations DHCD
Jason Desrosier Manager of Community Building & Engagement Allston Brighton CDC
Joe Kriesberg President & CEO MACDC
John J Fitzgerald Advisor Mel King Institute
Kseniya Benderskaya Working Cities Challenge Manager, Regional & Community Outreach Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Machiko Sano Hewitt Attorney / Legal Referral Director The Lawyers Clearinghouse
Maria Fernandez Senior Specialist NeighborWorks
Maria Mulkeen Program Officer, Affordable Housing Hyams Foundation
Mathew Thall Principal Mathew Thall Consulting
Matt Wilson Advisor  
Meridith Levy Deputy Director Somerville Community Corporation
Monique Scott Office and Membership Coordinator CHAPA
Sara Barcan Housing Development Program Manager CEDAC
Sarah Lamitie Vice Pres. & Community Investment Officer Boston Private Bank & Trust
Susan Connelly Director of Community Housing Initiatives MHP
Susanne Cameron JP Morgan Chase and Co.