Building Capacity with Black Women Pilot Program

Center for Urban and Regional Affairs   (Minneapolis-St. Paul)

May 2019

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) in partnership with the Black Women's Wealth Alliance (BWWA) will work with 10 Black women over 12 months who are disproportionately affected by evictions and housing instability. This full year program aims to explore building a radical housing and wellness framework with strategies that meet the needs and ideas of African American women and their families.  

Participants will be provided with support to strengthen their capacity to be housing and wellness leaders through a series of empowerment training, civic leadership education, cultural wellness services and wealth building skills that promote positive economic, social, and health outcomes for women and the children in their care. In addition, participants will gain technical skills to co-produce research-informed solutions that will not only help individual participants, but transform the knowledge that they have gained into strategic community action for the benefit of the larger community.

This pilot program, under the guidance of Dr. Brittany Lewis, will provide program participants with some of the following benefits: 

  • A full-year program where each participant is paid for 8 hours of their time each month where they will evaluate, reassess, and invest in their housing needs while utilizing their experiences with housing instability to inform the group's action research agenda.
  • Each participant will complete a health, financial, and housing assessment that will help them create their own individualized plans of action with the help of one-on-one coaching with access to alternative healing services.
  • Each participant will learn about different housing models while connecting their own experiences with housing instability within the larger context of urban housing history and policy.
  • Each participant will execute an action research project that requires that they become the researchers and collect and analyze data to tell the story of housing instability that they believe is most important. They will then produce a report or a policy agenda that aims to change a policy or practice that is hindering housing equity for Black women and their families.