The Neighborhood Fellows (NF) program recruits up to five experienced urban leaders each year to UEP’s mid-career Master in Public Policy (MPP) program. Fellows are individuals from underrepresented groups, who – by reason of their background, culture, socioeconomic status, work and/or life experiences – already have deep experience working in urban communities in Boston and surrounding cities on issues of urban community politics, economics, education, housing, and social life. Fellows receive full-tuition scholarships. Fellows must demonstrate deep experience and significant leadership in their work with urban communities. The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation is providing additional financial support to Tufts that covers some costs related to books, fees, and living expenses for Neighborhood Fellows.
To be considered for the Neighborhood Fellows program, applicants must first apply to and be admitted to the mid-career Master of Public Policy program.
2023 MPP Neighborhood Fellows
A newcomer-settler of Turtle Island (currently on Wompanoag and Mattakeesett territory), Pampi is a nonbinary second-genx casteD-Bengali culture worker who leans on the expressive arts, popular education, and gardening. Since 2014 they gathered with local anti-racist culture workers as Decolonize Our Museums to counter programming that perpetuates violent iconography at cultural institutions that use public monies. With the Pandemic they began engaging with neighbors to demonstrate how people can support food, housing, land, language, racial, climate, and economic justice by growing food together. Neighborhood Grow Plan members encourage community care and civic engagement through a Peoples’ Apothecary, a monthly. We Are Forests gathering of neighbor organizers and culture workers over food and music/dance, a Soil Lab (to develop drought-resistant soil layering); and a mini publishing endeavor (zines as love letters). They are organizing to build temporary greenhouses on vacant lots held in land trusts and currently creating a workers cooperative. Pampi holds a BS from MIT in Art and Design.
Rayana is a lifelong New Bedford resident. Upon graduating from Boston College in 2013, she entered the nonprofit sphere working in family support, youth development, and arts and culture. In January 2021, she was named Program Officer at the Island Foundation managing their Womxn and Girls and New Bedford portfolios. In this role, Rayana supports organizations addressing root causes of inequality for womxn and girls in the United States and that promote progressive social change and combat discrimination in all its forms in New Bedford. Rayana also serves a number of local organizations as a Board member and teaches catechism at her church. In 2021, she graduated from the PLACES Fellowship that uses learning, coaching, and reflection to explore structural racism, community empowerment, and equitable grantmaking practices. She also is a Zumba instructor and a Justice of the Peace in Massachusetts. Rayana enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, and writing spoken word poetry.
Andre Green is the Executive Director of SkillWorks, a nationally recognized workforce development funders’ collaborative. Andre has been an elected member of the Somerville (MA) School Committee since 2016. He has a wide variety of experiences and expertise. At YouthBuild, he served as Senior Manager for Field Mobilization coordinating federal advocacy efforts of 240+ local YouthBuild programs in 45 states. Andre later served as Founding Senior Project Manager at the On Solid Ground Coalition, a group of 40 Massachusetts organizations working on comprehensive cross-sector solutions to end family homelessness. In 2016, Andre was selected to serve as the first Political Director of MASSCreative. He served as a transitional Executive Director with FairTest, a national advocacy organization going through a generational change as the founding staff and board move to retirement.
Chellamal is a mother, activist and change maker — a dedicated and fervent advocate for racial equity and progressive systems change. Chelli recently stepped down as Chair of the Medford Human Rights Commission after three years of service. She is currently a Harvard Catalyst Member of the Community Coalition for Equity in Research at the Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center at Harvard University. Chelli previously served as Executive Director at the Boston Association for Childbirth Education, where her 20+ years of experience with children and families along with her certifications as a Doula and Lactation Counselor informed curricula, policy, and professional development. Furthermore, Chelli has served in various board and consulting roles for several Boston based nonprofits. Her experience encompasses the intersection of Maternal and Infant/Child Development, Early Childhood Education, and Public Health.
Rene migrated to the United States from Chile in 2000. Since then, he has been actively involved in social issues affecting low income communities, immigrants, and communities of color in the Greater Boston Area. In 2003 Rene joined the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) as an AmeriCorps Organizer. Later Rene joined Sociedad Latina as a parent organizer; there he had the opportunity to work with immigrants who wanted to better understand the educational system in Boston. Rene spent seven years working as a community organizer for Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE) and its T Riders Union program. In 2013, Rene became the lead organizer with Somerville Community Corporation (SCC) working on a range of issues such as affordable housing, local jobs and community benefits agreement around new developments coming into Somerville, MA. In 2021, Rene joined Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) as the Director of Community Organizing. He has a BA in Human Services from the University of Massachusetts Boston.