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FELLOWSHIP for Woman of Color: CVH's Gail Aska Policy & Research Fellowship

> Gail Aska Policy & Research Fellowship
> Organization Description:
> Community Voices Heard ( is a 15 year-old membership
> organization of low-income people, predominantly women, working to build
> power in New York City and State to improve the lives of low-income families
> and communities.
> We were started as a welfare rights organization and have since evolved to
> work more broadly on economic justice issues.  CVH uses a combination of
> strategies including base-building & mobilization, leadership development,
> direct-action, legislation promotion & advocacy, grassroots-driven research,
> media & public education, voter education & engagement, and coalition
> building to lead campaigns to win benefits for our membership of low-income
> families.
> Our main office is located in East Harlem/ El Barrio of New York City, and
> we have additional organizing projects in three other small cities in New
> York State – Yonkers (Westchester County), Newburgh (Orange County), and
> Poughkeepsie (Dutchess County).
> Fellowship Description:
> The Gail Aska Policy & Research Fellowship is a 10-month, full-time
> fellowship from March through December, and is designed to support and
> develop the skills of a woman of color to shape public policy and conduct
> constituent-driven research on issues affecting low-income communities.  The
> fellowship is inspired by its namesake, Gail Aska, a founding member of
> Community Voices Heard, and aims to address the scarcity of women of color
> in the fields of public policy and research working on social and economic
> justice issues.
> In 1994, at a time when many welfare recipients were being excluded from the
> ongoing debate over public assistance, Gail Aska was among a group of women
> who refused to be ignored by policy-makers. As a veteran of the New York
> City shelter system who knew first-hand the challenges of being a mother on
> welfare, Gail was a leader in building CVH into an organization that
> represented and empowered its members. Over the next decade, CVH grew from
> its initial meeting with 80 people to one of the leading organizations
> working for economic justice in the country. Gail helped push New York City
> to replace workfare with transitional paid work, fought state-level welfare
> cuts and in the process she inspired hundreds of women to join her in
> fighting for their rights. Gail passed away in 2005 after a long battle
> against multiple health problems.
> The Gail Aska Policy & Research Fellow will work closely with the CVH
> Executive Director, Policy & Research Coordinator and a CVH community
> organizer working on a campaign or project to improve the lives of
> low-income individuals, their families and their communities.  Policy and
> research work will be oriented around our four current organizational policy
> priority areas: welfare/ workforce development/ job creation, public &
> low-income affordable housing, equitable & accountable community/ economic
> development, community governance & decision-making.  Work will include
> developing policy proposals, conducting research, supporting organizing
> campaigns, providing training to community members, advocating for change,
> and working in coalition.
> The core work of the Fellow is expected to be linked to the welfare/
> workforce development/ job creation campaign, including: (1) a participatory
> research project focusing on joblessness and the services and programs
> provided to propel people towards employment in NYC, and (2) federal welfare
> policy reauthorization and the national debate about to ensue around
> adjustments that should be made to the “reforms” enacted in 1996 and last
> reauthorized in 2005.
> Eligibility:
> This Fellowship is open to women of color with a desire to develop and
> strengthen their skills in public policy and research in a grassroots,
> community-organizing setting. Demonstrated commitment to or interest in
> building long-term power for low-income people of color, their families, and
> their communities is critical.
> A background working on public policy is not required.  While a Bachelor or
> Associate’s degree is preferred, it is not essential, and candidates from a
> variety of educational backgrounds are encouraged to apply.  Should a viable
> candidate not have completed her B.A., we will give preference to those
> applicants are on their way or committed to completing it.
> Applicants of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, but special
> consideration will be given to applicants from low-income backgrounds and/
> or with current or past experience receiving public assistance or living in
> public housing.
> To Apply:
> Applicants should send a resume and a cover letter that outlines their
> experience or interest in working for social and economic justice and why
> they are seeking to develop their skills in public policy and research.
> Submissions are due by February 18th, 2011, but will be reviewed on a
> rolling basis.
> Materials should be sent to Sondra Youdelman, Executive Director, Community
> Voices Heard, 115 East 106th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10029 OR by
> email to  If emailing, please put “Gail Aska Policy &
> Research Fellowship” in the subject line.
> Salary/ Benefits:
> The Fellow will receive a salary rate of $30K and benefits including health
> insurance (medical, dental, & vision), personal days, holidays, and accrued
> paid leave time.

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