September 07, 2021
August 13, 2021

We believe that support and fair treatment of individuals with criminal records is fundamental for a functioning society. The fact that our criminal justice systems create disparities means our society is not working properly. Criminal records impact individuals and families far beyond the punishment of a crime and keep people from living a good life, which everyone has a right to.

Project Goals

As a project-based initiative, we seek projects and work that align with our values and goals to support our mission and vision. 

  • Community - Lived experience equals expertise in our book. We…
  • July 02, 2021

    Many 911 systems in the United States use older technologies that struggle to account for the diverse ways of communicating during an emergency or disaster, and dispatchers taking calls must make rapid decisions based on limited information. While newer technology can identify callers’ locations, there is an opportunity to explore how technology can assist in determining the reason for the call and suggesting appropriate responses.

    Given this opportunity, HUP recently coordinated a connection between Hennepin County and Professors Tom Fisher (College of…

    June 16, 2021
    Dr. Anthony Damiano

    Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Damiano on earning his PhD from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. As a graduate student and PhD candidate, Dr. Damiano has been a valuable part of CURA’s team, working on research projects covering gentrification, racially concentrated areas of affluence, and rent stabilization, among other topics.

    Here is an overview of his dissertation presentation Urban Development and Change in an Age of Inequality:

  • The extent to which U.S. metro areas have “inverted” (a situation in which the central city neighborhoods are higher status than suburban areas), and finds that more than half of the largest 100 metro areas in the…
  • June 04, 2021

    The Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing program wishes to congratulate recent graduates of our Spring 2021 Neighborhoods Now! cohort. Neighborhoods Now! is an innovative community educational series to strengthen the work of individuals and organizations working in neighborhoods so they can organize to win issues for people and places, build power to change systems for racial equity and economic justice, build organizations whose leadership is reflective of the community, and build diverse and effective cross…

    May 28, 2021

    The Hennepin-University Partnership's (HUP) project to connect the Hennepin County Elections Division with University of Minnesota student volunteers to process absentee ballots has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. 

    For this partnership in the 2016 general and 2018 midterm elections, a total of 600 students provided 3,000 hours of volunteer effort. Mark Chapin, the Director over the Elections Division, praised the partnership. “Without the hundreds of student volunteers helping to process and count absentee ballots…

    May 17, 2021

    Dr. Brittany Lewis, CURA’s senior research associate, has been named a 2021 Community-Engaged Scholar. Dr. Lewis directs CURA’s large-scale community-based action research agenda advancing interdisciplinary public scholarship in urban studies, African American studies, gender studies, and public policy while maintaining her role as a community activist and thought leader.

    The President’s Community-Engaged Scholar systemwide award program recognizes up to ten scholars—faculty or professional academic or administrative employees (P&A)—each year for exemplary community-engaged scholarship in their respective field(s) of inquiry. From a competitive pool of Community-Engaged…

    May 11, 2021

    Announcement from CLA Commencement 2021 website. The virtual commencement is Sunday, May 16, 1 p.m. CDT.

    Dr. Brittany Lewis delivering CLA’s 2021 virtual Commencement ceremony keynote speech. Image from LATIS Video Services

    Dr. Brittany Lewis is a well-respected community engaged qualitative scholar, thought leader, speaker, and author known for bringing those most often locked out of local decision-making processes to the action research table. Dr. Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Research in Action, an urban research, evaluation, community…

    April 15, 2021

    CURA is pleased to announce the recipients of this year′s Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs and Faculty Interactive Research Program Award

    Forrest Fleischman from the Department of Forest Resources is the 2021-2022 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs with this project, Urban Environmental Policy Advocacy: How Citizens Shape Cities’ Environmental Policy Agenda in the Twin Cities.

    Additionally, three Faculty Interactive Research Program proposals were funded:

    • Samuel S. David (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of…
    April 15, 2021

    Researcher: Forrest Fleischman (Department of Forest Resources, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences)

    In recent decades cities have emerged as a major locus of environmental policymaking. Policymaking is the result of people advocating for policy change, yet there are few studies examining what makes advocacy effective at changing policy. Ineffective advocacy strategies by individuals and groups such as businesses, community organizations, and nonprofits may waste community resources and lead to poor policy outcomes when important voices are left out of decision-making. The long history of environmental advocacy in the Twin Cities has…

    April 13, 2021

    Researcher: Soumya Sen (Information and Decision Sciences Department, Carlson School of Management)

    Substance abuse and addiction to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs have a significant and costly impact on the health and well being of residents of our state. In partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation of Center City, MN, we propose to take a data-driven approach – using machine learning and data analytics on electronic health records of patients suffering from substance use disorder – to help care providers improve their understanding of the patient population, predict risk of relapse, and design better treatment plans. Our research…

    April 13, 2021

    Researcher: Melissa A. Koenig (Institute of Child Development, College of Education and Human Development)

    In our research, we investigate the nature of children’s trust in other people, and the role that trust plays in children’s learning and socio-emotional well-being. We study trust as an important mechanism of interpersonal connection and learning, one that varies from child to child, and from relationship to relationship. If successful, support from the Faculty Interactive Research Program would provide funding for the research support and the teacher, staff and parent compensation that is required to launch the project described in our letter. Ascension…

    April 13, 2021

    Researcher: Samuel S. David (Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education and Human Development)

    Finding effective ways to teach reading comprehension to English learners (ELs) is a critical challenge for educational researchers nationally, and in Minnesota specifically. TRANSLATE is an instructional model designed for ELs performing below grade level, providing teachers with the means to access ELs’ myriad language resources. Qualitative analyses of the TRANSLATE approach have shown that students engaged in TRANSLATE lessons develop new comprehension strategies that capitalize on their home language resources, and an early mixed-methods pilot…

    February 09, 2021
    Rashad Williams

    Rashad Williams, a CURA Research Assistant and Public Affairs PhD Candidate at the Humphrey School, was recently selected by the City of Burlington, VT to co-lead a study on the extensive history of anti-Black racism within the state of Vermont and to develop racial reparations proposals for Burlington. Rashad has previously written on what he has termed “reparative planning”–a normative planning theory that centers the demands of corrective (or reparative)…

    February 02, 2021

    Too many people in the Twin Cities region do not have access to safe, healthy, affordable, and reliable housing. In particular, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities, people with disabilities, and low-wealth communities face barriers to this critical resources. Market conditions have shown that the housing market does not work for most low-income people, so solutions may require questioning long held assumptions, creating innovative solutions, and attempting new ideas to address housing stability.

    To address these challenges and identify solutions, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the …