Fellowship for
Equitable Development

Photo by: © Ryan DeBerardinis – stock.adobe.com

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and Morgan Stanley partnered to create a community development fellowship that matches top-level master’s degree students with premiere community development organizations.

The Fellowship for Equitable Development aims to match up to 10 grassroots community development organizations with 10 graduate students to advance community development projects in traditionally underserved communities. The fellowship program aims to increase the capacity of grassroots community leaders’ ability to champion economic resiliency efforts related to affordable housing, entrepreneurship and economic development. In exchange, fellows will gain professional and practical experience working in the field.

Over the course of a school year (10 months), fellows will participate in monthly workshops and engagements with local community leaders. The program will also involve four fellowship cohort meetings and ongoing mentorship from local, regional and national community development experts.

It is NCRC’s intention and pledge to uphold the values of community empowerment and racial equity in the fellowship program. Pillars of focus will include: climate change, widening wealth inequality, food insecurities and extreme housing shortages and their disproportionate impact on low-wealth communities and communities of color.

The Fellowship for Equitable Development is designed as an opportunity for fellows to:

  • Gain first hand knowledge of community development tools and strategies
  • Forge relationships with leaders in the nonprofit, government, planning and community development fields
  • Build connections with cohort fellows within the participating cohort


Contact us for more information about NCRC’s Fellowship for Equitable Development, or to explore opportunities to collaborate or support our independent research and other projects.

Important Information

The NCRC Fellowship for Equitable Development is designed for community based organizations and graduate students in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, applications from within the United States will be accepted if a match is applicable.

Priority will be given to applicants of color, women applicants and applicant members of the LGBTQ community.

Equitable Development is a community development tool that addresses the needs of underserved and vulnerable communities in order to create collaborative environments that support people in the places they live. The equitable development framework presents an interconnected set of approaches that work together to reduce racial inequalities through investments, programs and policies that ensure inclusive access to infrastructure, affordable housing and wealth building opportunities.

NCRC’s mission to promote access to and end discrimination in lending, housing and entrepreneurship to ensure all communities can thrive, is reflected in the intent of racial equity and community empowerment as guiding elements in the fellowship program. 

Host Organizations

The host organization provides logistical support, mentorship and supervision to their fellow over the course of the fellowship. The host organization will also be responsible for coordinating a minimum of three fellowship cohort meetings. In addition, hosts may also be asked to support the development of training and professional development workshops.

Grassroot, community health, affordable housing organizations or any established 501(c)3  non-profit organization undertaking innovative community development projects are encouraged to apply.

  • Host applicants must be an NCRC member
  • Host applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to completing projects that benefit low-income families, demonstrate sustainable building principles, as well as, affordable housing and meaningful community engagement.
  • Host applicants must have sufficient projects and pipeline to provide meaningful community engagement
  • Host applicants with strong working relationships with local or regional community associations is desirable


Fellows – Student Applicant

Up to 10 students will be paired with community organizations. Fellows will support community leaders in meaningful roles to help proposed projects reach completion. The fellowship will cultivate deeper professional and practical development skills in student’s areas of interest.

  • Fellows must be actively enrolled in a graduate level program in a related  interdisciplinary study that can include: City & Regional planning, Public Health, Social Work and other social sciences related programs. 
  • Fellows must demonstrate commitment to the field through current involvement, relevant studies or research.

The Fellowship for Equitable Development is a 10-month-long program beginning in the Fall of 2022. During the fellowship, participants will join four Equitable Development Workshops and participate in three fellowship cohort meetings. The workshops will be developed by NCRC in partnership with the host organizations.

As part of the fellowship program, participants will also be invited to attend the 2022 and 2023 Just Economy Conference, a national conference that hosts an array of discussions on organizing, policy advocacy, community and economic development. The conference will also include numerous networking opportunities to meet NCRC staff, members and other attendees.

The 2022 Just Economy Conference will take place on June 13-15th! The fellowship cohort will be invited to participate and will be acknowledged at the 2022 Just Economy Conference.

The exact dates and times for the Equitable Development Workshops will be developed in collaboration with the fellowship cohort and NCRC. Fellowship Cohort Meetings will be developed in coordination with the fellowship cohort. All dates are tentative and subject to change.

  • Host organizations will be expected to convene a minimum of three fellowship cohort meetings. The structure and purpose of the fellowship cohort meetings may vary in structure and outcomes. 
  • Host organizations may be asked to help identify, support or develop workshops to support the fellowship cohort. 
  • Host organizations will be required to submit interim and final reports. 
  • Host organizations will also be required to participate in short surveys and check-in calls during the fellowship program.
  • Fellows will be required to participate fully in the fellowship program on a part-time basis (20 hours per week). This time includes orientation, Equitable Development Workshops and fellowship cohort meetings. 
  • Fellows are eligible to receive academic credit in accordance with their prospective university’s policy, this must be arranged in advance and initiated by the fellow.   
  • Fellows will be required to submit interim and final reports, in addition to short-survey and check-in calls during the fellowship program

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) and its grassroots member organizations create opportunities for people to build wealth. We work with community leaders, policymakers and financial institutions to champion fairness and end discrimination in lending, housing and business to increase access to affordable capital and housing opportunities.

NCRC provides agenda-setting research, training, insight and advocacy on behalf of members. We renovate and build affordable homes for low- and moderate-income families, providing counseling to home buyers and owners and business-building expertise to entrepreneurs. NCRC trains and support housing counselors nationwide, monitors and challenges discrimination in financial services and housing and we convene and facilitate dialog between financial institutions and community networks to increase lending, investments and philanthropy in neighborhoods that need it.

NCRC represents its members before Congress, federal regulatory agencies and the press. NCRC routinely testifies before Congress, and meets with the leadership of banking and financial regulatory agencies. NCRC frequently provides expert commentary for national, regional and local media, and our research and policy papers are routinely cited by journalists, economists and scholars focused on banking, housing, urban renewal, rural development and civil rights. More information is available at https://ncrc.org/


Fellows will receive stipends (up to $20,000) in exchange for full participation and commitment to the fellowship program.

Thanks to the support from Morgan Stanley, host organizations are not responsible for any direct financial costs in participating in the fellowship program.


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