Summer Fellowship Supporting Neighborhood Sustainability Engagement

Sustainability Fellowship
Neighborhood Sustainability Engagement
Providence, RI

The City of Providence offers a variety of programs and services for residents and community organizations to take action to increase sustainability and resilience in their neighborhoods. For example, residents can request a street tree planting, join a Friends of Park group, or a host, a neighborhood block party. However, accessing these resources often means navigating an opaque, complex process, which. is an impediment to Providence residents .

The Neighborhood Sustainability Engagement Fellow will work with the Office of Sustainability to create a useful guide about relevant City programs to support communitydriven efforts that promote and increase sustainability throughout Providence. Specific tasks will include the following:

  • Work with City staff to identify and compile programs and services that support more vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods
  • Work closely with community members, activists, and leaders to identify and create the appropriate format(s) for the guide. This could include video, infographics, coloring books, pamphlets, and/or handbooks.
  • Creating content for the guide. This will, among other things, likely entail working with Public Works, the Parks Department, Planning, and other City Departments to “map” and clarify the processes and requirements for each program, and to fill gaps where clear standards and procedures do not currently exist.
  • Creating material to promote and distribute the final product/s.

This project provides an excellent opportunity to immerse oneself in a wide range of sustainability issues and topics from community engagement, to policy and program development, to tangible energy, waste, and transportation strategies. It will also offer an in-depth perspective and understanding of the intersection of government and community organizing; a critical frontier of creating positive change in a community. In addition, it is a chance to make a lasting and direct contribution to sustainability in Providence—and, since the goal is to develop the guide as a template so other cities could plug in their own programs and replicate the resource, an impact in other local communities as well.

Location: Office of Sustainability, City of Providence
Time commitment: 40 hours per week, June 5-August 18, 2017
Compensation: $6000 stipend

Desired Qualifications:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability and comfort in synthesizing complex systems
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing; ideally, a portfolio that includes similar types
    of work (guides/outreach materials designed to clarify a complicated process to a
    lay audience).
  • The ability to listen effectively and “lead from behind”
  • Experience and comfort working with a broad and diverse array of stakeholders
  • Experience in graphic design and multi-media preferred but not required.
  • Experience in community organizing and/or local government likewise preferred.
  • Local knowledge of and experience working in Providence preferred.
  • Academic background in related field/s (e.g. marketing or public relations, policy
    or planning, etc).

UNHSI Sustainability program eligibility:
Graduate students, exceptional undergraduate students, and recent graduates are eligible.
We will encourage, but not require, an academic sponsor or reference for each fellow,
and where possible we will ask that course credits are awarded.

Supervision, Training, Mentoring and Evaluation
This fellow will receive supervision from Providence Sustainability Director Leah
Bamberger, as well as mentoring and extensive professional development offerings from

Fellows will be expected to participate in three MANDATORY events:

  • A three-day, two-night orientation in Durham, NH, May 31st – June 2nd. Lodging
    and food are provided; Fellows are responsible for any associated travel costs.
  • Midterm project presentations to UNHSI staff, faculty and relevant project
    partners (can be done remotely).
  • A summative evaluation and feedback session at the end of their placement

Apply by February 17th at

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