2016 CoRE Fellow Reflects on Internship with Community Partner

Each summer, CoRE (Co-learning/Co-education) funds UEP graduate students to work with a community partner for a 10-week fellowship.  The fellowship is intended to provide capacity for community-based efforts and to offer fellows hands-on experience in community planning, organizing and development.  2016 CoRE fellow, Gabo Sub, reflects on his internship experience at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. 

Gabriel ‘Gabo’ Sub, CoRE Fellow at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

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Getting the opportunity to work with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) as a UEP through the Tisch College Summer Fellowship Program was a great privilege.  I worked mainly on tasks for Dudley Neighbors Inc, a community land trust that was established by DSNI. Its efforts to promote community control over development and establish a supply of permanently affordable housing for the Dudley Square Neighborhood in South Boston are a national model for CLT development. I was very excited to have the chance to work there, and my excitement was well deserved. I helped to develop an operations manual for DNI to better capture organizational practices and ease transitions and trainings for staff and volunteers. I also helped with day-to-day tasks such as canvassing the neighborhood to promote events and spread information about upcoming legislation, creating fliers, and helping to organize and plan events.

Before starting the internship, I was questioning the emancipatory potential of the American system of higher education. My motivation to study policy at a graduate level had been (and, to be frank, remains) deeply shaken.  Insofar as universities partner with communities, it is usually a relief if the university and its missionaries do no harm. Tufts is relatively unique in that it centers community partnerships and acknowledges that those relationships are indeed reciprocal and based on the equality of both parties. It is the main reason I chose to do my graduate studies here. I am even more excited, however, to continue to help DSNI and other organizations that put people and planet ahead of profit. I am thankful to Tisch College for giving me an opportunity to broaden and deepen my connection to individuals who feel the same.

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