November 16, 2020
Fall 2020 Neighborhoods Now! graduates

The Neighborhood Leadership and Organizing program wishes to congratulate recent graduates of our Fall 2020 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…

November 16, 2020

A team of researchers from CURA will produce a study of the potential impacts of a rent stabilization policy for the City of Minneapolis. The study will examine market trends and existing conditions in the city's rental housing stock, population and income trends over the past 20 years, and the city's rent affordability gap. The CURA team will also produce an analysis of the potential economic impact of different types of rent stabilization policies.  CURA will provide a summary of the experience of other cities who have enacted rent stabilization. The research team is led by Edward G. Goetz, and includes Tony Damiano, Jeff Matson, Peter Brown, and Patrick Alcorn. The report will be…

November 16, 2020

CURA senior research associate Dr. Brittany Lewis and graduate research assistant Molly Calhoun’s North Minneapolis evictions research was recently published in “Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice.” 

Abstract: Single Black mothers face the highest risk of eviction in the United States. In North Minneapolis, a community manufactured to contain undesirable populations through housing discrimination, decades of urban disinvestment, and unfair lending practices, the situation has become further exacerbated by the rise in distressed-property investment and disproportionate…

November 16, 2020

The City of Minneapolis is moving to initiate a “community preference” policy, to give residents residing within certain neighborhoods preference to receive assistance for specific city affordable housing programs or projects. Such preference policies have been adopted by other cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Seattle in order to mitigate the displacement of residents from neighborhoods experiencing rapid increases in housing costs. 

CURA researchers Edward G. Goetz and Aaron Sepulveda modeled several different kinds of preference policies for the City of Minneapolis to estimate the impacts of different policy choices available to the city. The…

October 30, 2020

The Kris Nelson Community Based Research Program at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) builds the power and capacity of community-based organizations to create social change through partnerships with the University of Minnesota. The research needs of organizations are matched with students to carry out community-defined and guided projects.

The deadline for Spring 2021 projects proposals is November 20, 2020. The projects will run…

October 29, 2020

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 students’ needs, and 3.) Offer suggestions of how English Learner funding could be improved.…

October 29, 2020

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 and registration along…

October 06, 2020

updated December 15, 2020

A team of University of Minnesota graduate students and Resilient Communities Project (RCP) Fellows was 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 was sponsored by the MetroLab Network, an international collaborative of cities, counties, and universities focused on…

September 16, 2020

The vocabulary of neighborhood policymaking in the U.S. generally contrasts neighborhoods of concentrated poverty on the one hand with opportunity neighborhoods on the other. Policymakers target “racially concentrated areas of poverty” and researchers write about the disadvantage and dysfunction of these neighborhoods. For decades, U.S. housing policy has been oriented toward moving lower-income households out of those neighborhoods and into what policymakers regard as better environments where the families will have access to greater opportunities in education and employment. In many cities, however, residents of low-wealth neighborhoods are resisting the stigmatizing of their…

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.…