In October, Tufts UEP won a grant from the Barr Foundation to launch the Racial Equity in Policy and Planning (REPP) Fellowship program, in partnership with the Tisch College at Tufts and Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
“The goal of the REPP Fellows program is to attract and train the next, much more diverse, generation of leaders in policy and planning,” says Interim UEP Chair Julian Agyeman. “There’s been a lot of talk about racial equity this past year, but we want to put our money where our mouth is. Nurturing more leaders of color in policy and planning is only a first step towards racial justice.”
Under the new program, five REPP Fellowships will be awarded to incoming students in UEP’s two-year master’s programs (MA in urban and environmental policy and planning and MS in environmental policy and planning) for the 2022-2023 academic year. Each Fellow will receive a $15,000 stipend each year for two years, a full tuition scholarship, and opportunity for a paid internship.
“REPP is part of a broader effort to recognize and dismantle the ways in which policy and planning have historically contributed to racial segregation and other social, economic, and environmental inequities,” says Penn Loh, UEP Senior Lecturer and Director of Community Practice. “We believe that more inclusive policy-making and planning will produce better results for communities and the environment.”
The Fellows are only the first level of the program’s intended impact. Building on UEP’s longstanding social justice values, the program will engage the entire department in cultivating a supportive environment for BIPOC students, faculty, and their allies. REPP will offer programs for those at Tufts and in the policy and planning professions who want to learn more about and help advance racial equity in the field.
Dayna Cunningham, Dean of Tisch College remarked that “REPP is part of our broader mission at Tisch to build a truly multi-racial democracy. We are so excited to partner with UEP to support this innovative program to launch the next generation of leaders in public policy and planning.”
Bob Cook, Dean of Tufts Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, added “Tufts has been building its commitment and resources to recruit and retain more BIPOC students in our graduate programs. REPP is a model for how this investment can serve not only the fellows but our whole Tufts community and beyond.”
The generous support from the Barr Foundation will support stipends and programming for the first REPP cohort.
“The next step is to recruit partners and sponsors to sustain future REPP cohorts,” says André Leroux, a Visiting Practitioner supporting the REPP team. “We want to make sure that REPP students connect to internships, jobs, and mentors that will help them be successful right from the start.”
Find out more about REPP and apply to the master’s programs on the UEP website.