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Community Partner Projects from the 2020 Fellowship

In our Fellowship program, we facilitate partnerships between our multidisciplinary Fellow teams and our local nonprofit partners. Through a process of building trust and listening to community partner needs, each team designed and implemented the projects below.

Synthesizing a Community Collaboration Model with West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project

Community Partners: Ms. Margaret Gordon, Brian Beveridge, Co-Directors

Team members: Marielle Cuison, Janet Henkai, Junice Uy, Darcy Bender, Megan Gee

After building relationships through meals and regular meetings, an alignment of needs and skills emerged - to articulate WOEIP’s collaborative model, a valuable process that has allowed them to work in partnership with West Oakland residents, businesses, various agencies and stakeholders for the health of their neighborhood. The collaborative model upends traditional power structures to put community voice at the center of projects using consensus-based decision making. The team plans to present these insights to other stakeholders and city staff, continuing to work with WOEIP on next steps.

Cooperative Engagement with East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative

Community Partners: Noni Sessions and Ojan Mobedshahi

Team members: Karina Davila, Amanda Meyer, Sean Doocy, Kiah McCarley and Taranamol Kaur

Guiding Question: What is and isn’t working about the internal cooperative governance model and community engagement processes? //or// how can we make it accessible and inviting for members to have equitable decision making power

Process and Outcomes: Through ethnographic interviews, events, and research, the Fellows examined the internal governance structure and community engagement processes of the co-op. They presented their findings and recommendations on what is and isn’t working about EBPREC’s internal engagement process. They continued to work together on how suggestions and next steps may be implemented.

Equitable Board Leadership and Crisis Adaptation with Community Arts Stabilization Trust

Community Partners: Tyese Wortham, Carolyn Choy, and Moy Eng

Team members: Atira Richards, David Capelli, Carla Mays, Imaan Taghavi, Hannah Groce

Guiding Question: How can the board selection and COVID response process be equitable and benefit BIPOC artists at risk of displacement?

Process and Outcomes: The Fellows worked with CAST leadership on a BOARD Vision selection process, a COVID-19 needs survey, and a Dreaming Spaces initiative including design charrettes for arts spaces. 

Participatory Design of a Cultural Community Center with the Native American Health Center

P2E Fellows: Diana Nguyen, Talia Shalev, Lan Nguyen, Diana Perez-Domencich, Ashrita Shetty, Jonathan Paris

NAHC Partners: Jamaica Owens and Natalie Aguilera

Guiding Question: How can we co-create an inclusive, participatory experience for the design of NAHC’s new community cultural center, one that aligns with their diverse community’s values and culture?

 

Process and Outcomes: After building relationships, trust, and understanding with NAHC, the Fellows developed a proposal for a community engagement process that could be used in co-designing the new Cultural Center. To inform the plan, they created a Community Universe Map that captures NAHC’s key stakeholder groups and current modes of engagement with these groups.

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Team Projects from the 2018-19 Fellowship

Community Benefits Agreement Research and Engagement

Community Partner: West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project

Team members: Lucia 

This team worked on issues of environmental justice with the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project to create a community benefits agreement in advance of the a large development of the new Stadium for the Oakland A’s in the neighborhood. WOEIP leveraged the design and planning skills that the team brought to the table throughout the process. Their partnership continued on throughout the year given the longterm nature of the project and the groundwork of trust built. 

Design Build of an Engagement Cart

The team working with the Oakland Asian Cultural Center created a mobile “culture cart” that celebrated the diaspora of Asian culture through art-making, and supports the organization’s presence outside of their office and cultural space. This team also created strategic language and organizational structure visioning for a grassroots organizing effort called the Chinatown Improvement Initiative to leverage for fundraising efforts.

Community Partner: Oakland Asian

Cultural Center

Team Members: Shruti Nagarajan, 

Kion Swaney. Jason Su, Alex Anderson, 

Kate Spacek, Ramy Kim, Louise Mackie

Reconnecting Staff to Those Those They Serve

The team working with St. Anthony’s Foundation provided a way-finding graphics for the large non-profit serving the houseless community in San Francisco, recognizing the need for internal communication through visual communication. They also tested and assembled a creative engagement cart as a new way for the staff to connect with their guests.

Community Partner: St. Anthony's

 

Team Members: Samantha Rose,

Sarah Letson, Bridgett Simmons,

Kelly Gregory, Nnamdi Ihemelu

Improving Trauma-Informed Community Space

The final team provided an architectural plan and phased construction schedule and budget for Compass Family Service’s shared spaces in their homeless shelter which incorporated flexible programmatic design addressing the organizational capacity-building needs.

Community Partner: Compass Family

Services

Team Members: Lindsey Yuen,

Yarden Harari, Brianne Pham

Sandy Medler, Karen Coronel

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Pathways to Equity is a program of Open Architecture Collaborative.

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