October 29, 2020

By Tyler Boesch, in partnership with Isuroon

Minnesota’s English Learner student population has consistently grown in recent years and is growing at
a faster rate than the total student population. A complex web of funding streams intends to support
English Learners; however, concerns have been raised over whether designated funding is reaching
English Learners and whether it is providing adequate support. This report aims to address those
concerns through the following study aims: 1.) Provide a clear understanding of English Learner funding
streams and how the funding is spent, 2.) Get a sense of whether the current funding is meeting

October 29, 2020

By Rayan Deeb

The main objective of this project is to conduct a mixed methods research study that seeks to determine the impact of the Asian American Organizing Project (AAOP) has made to the Minnesotan-Asian community since 2016. The goal of this project is to be able to share AAOP’s efforts and achievements with the community, supporters, volunteers and funders. After robust quantitative and qualitative analysis, it was concluded that AAOP’s Civic Engagement efforts have substantially increased in scope and size. Throughout these years, AAOP’s main outreach methods have increased to include phone canvassing, door canvassing, hotspot canvassing, surveys, social media, pledges…

October 06, 2020

A team of University of Minnesota graduate students and Resilient Communities Project (RCP) Fellows has been chosen as a finalist for this year’s MetroLab Student Cup. The Student Cup is intended to recognize exceptional student civic research projects, and create pathways for careers and partnerships in the civic research and innovation domain. The competition is sponsored by the MetroLab Network, an international collaborative of cities, counties, and universities focused on data- and technology-oriented civic research and innovation, and is being held in conjunction with the network’s …

September 16, 2020

Abstract: In “Changing the Narrative and Playbook on Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty”, authors Edward Goetz, Anthony Damiano, and Rashad Williams, challenge pervasive deficit-based narratives in public policy and research that posit low-income, racially concentrated areas, or Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty (RECAPs) as the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development has termed them, as essentially deficient and requiring strategies that would disperse and transform their economic and racial composition. The authors examine traditional approaches to community development and identify the flaws inherent in so-called mobility strategies. They use the case…

August 12, 2020

Hennepin County and the University of Minnesota are partnering to reach the ambitious goal of having every University student count in the 2020 Census.

The Hennepin-University Partnership at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs connected Hennepin County's Census team with Kendre Turonie, Program Director of UMN Off-Campus Living. Hennepin County is providing funding for a student worker to help implement innovative tactics to ensure a complete count of the off-campus student community who, unlike their peers living in the dorms, are not automatically counted by the University.

“On one call in particular, the person was not a citizen, and so…

August 06, 2020

People Serving People, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), Research in Action, and Hennepin County, are pursuing a pilot program to grow family stability by demonstrating sustainable alternatives to self-pay for families experiencing homelessness. We are further pursuing the goal to build family financial power and make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring.

Families directly impacted by homelessness and self-pay know what is best for themselves, and we must center their experience, voices, and choices. As people impacted by system decisions, they should inform and influence them.

July 12, 2020

In February 2019, the Reimagining Expungement team, Sasha Hulsey (MPP/MPH), Kshitiz Karki (MPP), Olivia Reyes (MPP), and Alyssa Scott (MPP) formed within a graduate course. Their work began by exploring the barriers individuals with prostitution and prostitution-related convictions face to accessing criminal expungement - the act of sealing criminal records. They investigated the legal and court systems that implement expungement in Hennepin County, and their most substantial findings included the lack of awareness and differing interpretations of the expungement statute among systems professionals.

After this preliminary research, the team continued their work to increase…

June 11, 2020

We are again sharing a statement from CURA Director Ed Goetz on the murder of George Floyd at the top of this message. The fundamental issues of justice that Mr. Floyd’s murder surfaces for our community and for the entire nation dominate our conversations about what is next for CURA. 

Following that statement, we share a message about CURA’s work in a COVID-19 world.

Statement from the Director of CURA

Our community witnesses again the violence of police brutality ending in the death of a Black man. It is well past the time for people in power, those who can impose…

June 09, 2020

CURA Senior Research Associate Dr. Brittany Lewis is a 2020 Bush Fellow. She is one of 24 Fellows and will be given up to $100,000 over 12 to 24 months to pursue formal and informal learning experiences. Dr. Lewis will use her Fellowship to help elected leaders, government officials and community members better understand how to use data as a tool for positive change. Specifically, she will seek coaching skills and study new ways to use data visualization to demystify complex ideas. Also, Dr. Lewis was recently honored with the “History Makers at Home Award” by the Minneapolis Civil Rights Department and named one of the “Top 100+ Leading Black Women” by the Minnesota Black…

May 28, 2020

Our community witnesses again the violence of police brutality ending in the death of a Black man. It is well past the time for people in power, those who can impose change on a police department with a history of such violence, to take real action. It is time for all levels of the criminal justice system to bring justice to those responsible for the death of George Floyd. White supremacy is not just the actions of ‘one bad cop’. It is also the culture that produces and tolerates the actions of that officer. It is the history of implicit and explicit permission that gives the officer confidence to act as he did in broad daylight, on a busy, populated street, knowing he is being filmed.…

May 20, 2020

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability (the Alliance) are excited to announce the recipients of the Housing Stability Grants. The grants will enhance the capacity of community-based organizations working with BIPOC communities, people with disabilities, and low-wealth communities to build power and advance systems and policy changes to gain access to safe, healthy, affordable, and reliable housing. 

Housing Stability Grants recipients

Lead Organization: Community Stabilization Project

April 15, 2020
Market-Rate Apartment Buildings Over 50 Units Constructed in Minneapolis, MN 2000- 2018

In the past 20 years, after decades of disinvestment and decline, central cities have seen a reversal of fortune and are experiencing rapid growth, particularly in the urban core. Many large cities are now struggling with housing shortages and affordability problems. There is vigorous debate amongst policy makers, scholars, and activists about the role that new market-rate apartments play in alleviating housing affordability issues. Prior research suggests that new market-rate construction may result in more affordable housing in the long-run, but much less is known about how this type of new…

April 15, 2020

CURA is pleased to announce the recipients of this year′s Faculty Interactive Research Program grants: 

April 15, 2020

In the coming decades, Minnesota is poised to lose nearly 10,000 units of rental housing in the United States Department of Agriculture's Section 515 Program. This housing currently exists in nearly every county in Greater Minnesota, and comprises a substantial proportion of rental housing for very low-income households. In partnership with Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP), a nonprofit organization based in St. Paul that supports the work of affordable housing and community development organizations, I propose a mixed-method research project focused on the Section 515 Program in Minnesota. Through analysis of secondary data maintained by USDA and primary data collected from interviews…

April 15, 2020

This project aims to better serve students in Minneapolis Public Schools who speak a minority language, which is currently 32% of district students. As is true of monolingual English-speaking students, a subset of these bilingual students experience significant language impairment. This negatively impacts their social and academic success. Because most standardized assessments used to identify students with language impairment are English-based, alternative approaches are needed to assess the language skills of students whose home language is not English. Thus, the current study will develop a new assessment approach that uses a test-teach-retest dynamic assessment format to assess…