AAFE Community Development Training Fellowship

AAFE Community Development Training Fellowship

The Community Development Training Fellowship organized by Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) is an opportunity for recent high school graduates and college students interested in urban planning, sustainable development, public policy, community organizing, and related fields to gain in-depth experience with comprehensive community development. The Fellowship focuses on community development issues in Asian American communities in New York City, such as affordable housing, small business development, transportation, civil rights, policy advocacy, and environmental sustainability.

Fellows learn about the field of community development in a collaborative environment that focuses on building their capacity, and deepening their knowledge through grassroots participation. The Fellowship will consist of three integral learning components:

1. Community Development Training Workshops

2. Internship Placement

3. Community Project

The Fellowship is unpaid; however AAFE can work with Fellows enrolled in college to arrange for course credit through their university.

Learning Objectives

1. Gain knowledge related to best practices in comprehensive community development;

2. Learn about the intersection of community development strategies in diverse Asian American communities;

3. Build skills for community engagement, organizing and effective communication;

4. Lead a project from planning and development through implementation.

Training Workshop Topics

  • Community Engagement and Organizing

  • Public Policy & Legislative Advocacy

  • Zoning & Land Use

  • Housing

  • Community Equity & Wealth-building

  • Transportation in NYC

  • Local Economic Development

  • Environmental Sustainability & Health

  • Open Space & Parks

  • Physical Planning & Urban Design

Internship Placements

Fellows will be matched with a community development organization during the Spring Session to complete a 14 week internship. Internships are a commitment of 15 hours per week for the duration of Spring Session. Fellows will implement a Community Project in conjunction with their placement organization.

Community Projects

The Community Project component is an opportunity for Fellows to apply the community development knowledge they have gained from the Training Workshops and Internship

Placements through a project they will design, plan, and execute by the end of the Fellowship.

The Project also allows Fellows to investigate more deeply a community development issue that interests them in a neighborhood context. With support and guidance from AAFE and the organizations where they will intern, Fellows will develop the project throughout the Fall Session, and execute it during the Spring Session. The Project can involve a range of community development topics, and can apply a number of various strategies. However every project will include a community engagement component and should be action-oriented by design. Some examples of potential projects include:

  • Assessment of housing needs in an emerging community

  • Survey of small businesses along a commercial corridor

  • Study of parking or traffic in a neighborhood

  • Studying a policy issue and its impact on a local community

  • Physical planning or design solutions to a neighborhood problem


The Community Development Fellowship will take place over 8 months (October 2010 – May 2011) during Fall and Spring Sessions.

The Fall Session will consist of 8 weekly 3-hour workshops on Friday mornings (10 AM – 1PM).

During the break between the December/January break Fellows will be assigned to produce a proposal for their Community Projects, which will be implemented in the Spring.

During the Spring Session Fellows will intern with local community development organizations for up to 15 hours per week for 14 weeks. The specific weekly schedule for internship placements will be determined by the partner organizations and the Fellow as arranged by AAFE. There will be monthly Group Sessions scheduled for Fellows to come together, continue learning, and collaborate during the Spring Session. Throughout the year there will also be opportunities to attend workshops and panels about a range of community development issues in New York City beyond the planned Fellowship workshops.


  • October 15, 2010 Fellowship Orientation and Intro to Community Development

  • October 22, 2010 Training Workshop I

  • October 29, 2010 Training Workshop II

  • November 5, 2010 Training Workshop III

  • November 12, 2010 Training Workshop IV

  • November 19, 2010 Training Workshop V

  • December 3, 2010 Training Workshop VI

  • December 10, 2010 Community Project Planning and Prep for Spring Session


  • January 24, 2011 Internship Placements Begin

  • February 4, 2011 Group Session

  • March 4, 2011 Group Session

  • April 1, 2011 Group Session

  • April 29, 2011 Internship Placements Conclude

  • May 6, 2011 Year-end Presentation of Community Projects (Tentative)

Eligibility & Application Process

The Fellowship is open all recent high school graduates and college students in the New York metropolitan area who have an interest in and commitment to community development.

While prior experience working within an Asian American community and the ability to speak an Asian language are preferred, these are not required from applicants. The Fellowship requires a significant time commitment of up to 15 hours per week for the 8-month period. Interested applicants should seriously consider this time commitment before applying.

All interested applicants need to submit (1) the Application Form and (2) a Resumevia email to douglas_le@aafe.org no later than September 24, 2010, at 5 PM. Hard-copies of the application can also be mailed to: Asian Americans for Equality, 108 Norfolk Street, New York, NY 10002. Please see the 2010 Application Form for more detailed submission instructions.

DEADLINE for Applications: Friday September 24, 2010, at 5 PM

If you have any questions regarding the Fellowship or application process, contact Douglas Nam Le at douglas_le@aafe.org or 212-979-8381 ext. 103. All applicants will be notified about their participation by October 8, 2010.

About Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE)

Founded in 1974 to advocate for equal opportunities for Asian Americans, immigrants and low income New Yorkers, AAFE (http://www.aafe.org) has evolved into a nationally recognized community development and social services organization that serves New York City’s nearly one million residents of Asian descent with programs that encompass the organization’s comprehensive approach to community development, including: affordable housing development, small business assistance, homeownership service to emerging communities, housing and social services, and legal services. Our client base is multi-ethnic and multicultural, representing all five boroughs of New York City.

AAFE’s mission is to advance the rights of Asian Americans and all those in need through advocacy and access in civil rights, immigrant assistance, social services, affordable housing, and economic development; to empower our communities through research and publishing that embody our issues and concerns; and to foster understanding and unity among diverse communities through building coalitions and forming collaborations.