On Friday, September 16, Fordham IPED students met at Concourse House in the Bronx for the annual Bronx Community Day Career Trip.
IPED at Concourse House
IPED Students at Concourse House
After a light breakfast provided by UNHP, the IPED students met a Bronx development panel with Elizabeth Strojan, an IPED alumna from Enterprise, Jumelia Abrahamson from University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP), John Reilly from Fordham Bedford Housing Corporations (FBHC), John Garcia from Fordham Bedford Community Services (FBCS), and a representative from Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC). Starting with a brief history of housing in the Bronx from the 1960s to present, the panel discussed the work that their respective organizations do in the Bronx and the greater New York City area, including testimonials for why they work in their chosen profession and the progress they have seen through their involvement in the community.
Bronx Development Panel
After the panel discussion, Gregory Jost from Designing the WE treated the students to a history lesson on how the Bronx became what we see and know today. From humble beginnings, to grandiose development, to its modern depiction, his presentation discussing the “Undesign the Redline” framework showed how the most affluent neighborhood in the East was transformed into a bastion of poverty and violence by exploring structural racism and classism and their repercussions in today’s Bronx.
Within 15 Years…
The Bronx during the New Deal
Students being redlined
Designing the WE
The day ended with a late bagged lunch in Poe Park, just behind Edgar Allen Poe’s home, where the discussion with Mr. Jost continued.
Gregory Jost in Poe Park
Adam Pearlman (IPED 2017) is a Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow Intern at the University Neighborhood Housing Program (UNHP) in the Bronx. UNHP is a community-based non-profit organization that has worked for over 30 years to create and preserve affordable housing and bring resources to the northwest Bronx. Their projects typically focus on low-income and homeless demographics. Since 2006, 12 Fordham IPED Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows have been hosted at UNHP.
As an intern, Adam performs studies and surveys and analyzes data in various areas such as housing policy, affordable water policy, and energy conservation, among others. Currently, he is focusing on an assessment of daycare provider subsidies that allow low-income working parents to afford childcare so they can maintain full-time employment. His assessment shows that daycare subsidies, which have been stagnant for over a decade, do not cover the costs of providing the service. Together with colleagues at UNHP, he facilitates dialogue between stakeholders to address issues, share best practices, and develop solutions.
In addition to his work on daycare subsidies, Adam helps in the Free Tax Preparation Program which assists low-income Bronx residents in preparing their taxes and contributes to the updating of databases on the status of city housing, which are used by lending institutions to assess their investments.
Adam shares that “My experiences at UNHP have increased my awareness and understanding of low-income and urban issues in the United States. The work of UNHP and other similar community development organizations is vital to the success of developing urban society, and I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to work with UNHP and contribute to these efforts.”
The internship with UNHP provides hands-on learning and valuable work experience in an urban environment. It provides an opportunity for fellows to develop valuable career skills, enhance their professional acumen, and increase their awareness and understanding of low-income and urban issues. The internship is part of the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship offered to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers at Fordham.