Remote video URL
Launching Urban’s Community Engagement Resource Center: Building Community Power and Institutionalizing Participatory Practices

Session 1: 12:00 p.m. -  1:30 p.m.

The Urban Institute is launching the Community Engagement Resource Center (CERC) to help develop capacity for the field and to create systems-level change to center community and people with lived experience in policy, practice, and research.

Please join Urban and our partners for a lightning-round conversation on the importance, approaches, and challenges of building participatory methods into our institutional commitments and systems. We will take questions from the audience and will aggregate them with our responses to be shared as a follow-up to the event.



  • Angela Bednarek, Project Director, Evidence Project, Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Elsa Falkenburger, Director, Community Engagement Resource Center, Urban Institute (facilitator)
  • Lauren Farrell, Manager, Community Engagement Resource Center, Urban Institute (facilitator)
  • Chhaya Kolavalli, Senior Program Officer, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Gerri LeBeau, Director of Operations, Black Hills Community Loan Fund
  • Teesha Miller, Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • Celina Barrios-Milner, Co–Vice President, Office of Race and Equity Research, Urban Institute 
  • Gabrielle Newell, Senior Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation within the Administration for Children and Families
  • Harlan Pruden, Indigenous Knowledge Translation Lead, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control
  • Helen “Skip” Skipper, Executive Director, NYC Justice Peer Initiative
  • Alisha Small, Scholar for Economic Growth, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy
  • William Wells, Executive Director, aSTEAM Village



Advancing Institutional Commitments to Community Power Building and Participatory Practices

SESSION 2: 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For individuals interested in sharing, discussing, and making commitments to the efforts highlighted in the event’s first session, Urban will host discussion groups in the afternoon. Please register separately for this second session, and indicate your first and second choice for breakout room assignments.

Breakout room topics:

  • Race and positionality. How it affects our work conducting engaged research and changing systems and structures to support engaged research
  • Community hiring and leadership. Why youth facilitators were key to the Kansas City data walk and what that means for your community engaged work
  • Federal context. What are some of the challenges and effective practices for incorporating community advisory boards at the federal level (planning, interactions with the Office of Management and Budget, compensation)
  • Relational accountability. How can we strengthen relational accountability in our engagement efforts to center equity and ensure multiple ways of knowing are integrated into decision-making

  • Community benefit. How to center community benefit along with reparation and prevention of harm.

Registration for Session 2 is closed due to capacity. Please contact [email protected] for more information. 


Funding for the Urban Institute's Community Engagement Resource Center is provided by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more on Urban’s funding policies, go to

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. Please email [email protected] if you require any accommodations or have any questions about this event.  


Date & Time Friday, March 10, 2023

Urban Institute Speakers
  • Co-Vice President
  • Senior Fellow
    Director, Community Engagement Resource Center
  • Deputy Director, Community Engagement Resource Center
    Policy Associate