Exploring the Different Dimensions for Scaling and Sustaining Urban Fellowships

Erika Poethig, Director of Urban Policy Initiatives, Urban Institute (Moderator)

Valerie Piper, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, HUD, former CUREx Fellowship Program Director

Katy Locker, Program Director/Detroit, Knight Foundation

Graig Donnelly, Director, Detroit Revitalization Fellows 


Building on Day One’s energy and insights, participants spent the morning devising strategies for how urban fellowship programs can sustain their good work. The opening panel led by Erika Poethig helped define the different program, policy and funding opportunities and challenges that can shape and influence longer term scalability. Insights from the panelists revolved around three themes especially relevant for foundations, universities, government agencies, and communities that support, develop and manage urban fellowships programs as well as others interested in how urban fellowships can further talent and leadership development.

  • Making the Case
  • Designing Sustainable Programs
  • Developing Strategies and Action Agendas

Participants then rolled up their sleeves in small groups to brainstorm ideas for taking urban fellowships to scale. Some focused on strategies for enhancing and expanding existing fellowships program, while others developed new hybrid models selecting characteristics from the four fellowship program featured at the Symposium. Each group’s action plan addressed a series of foundational issues, core elements, with a menu of short and longer term actions.