There are at least a dozen urban fellowship programs in the United States, covering an array of disciplines, approaches, and geographies.

Until 2014, there had never been a national gathering to bring together the insights from a cross-section of such programs.

We changed that.

In November 2014, representatives of four flagship urban fellowship programs met at The Urban Institute to illuminate the promise (and challenges) of urban fellowships for seeding and replenishing civic capacity, economic stability, and social equity in communities.

The two-day symposium was organized by the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech in collaboration with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS), Cleveland State University (CSU), and Detroit Revitalization Fellows, a program of Wayne State University (DRF). Generous support was provided by the Knight Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and GMFUS.

We focused on four programs in particular: the Penn Center for Urban Redevelopment Excellence (CUREx); the fellowship component of the Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) program initiated by the White House and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Detroit Revitalization Fellows; and Capital City Fellows in Washington, D.C.

This site captures the discussion and ideas from the Symposium, as well as from other explorations into these four programs. We also provide information to aid in understanding and enhancing the rich, diverse landscape of urban fellowship opportunities. Participants discussed how to define goals and start programs, offered tips for supporting and connecting fellowship efforts, and provided insight into how to measure outcomes and scale up impact.

Most important, we also share the stories of personal commitment and change that are the heart of the urban fellowship experience.