Graduate urban planning student Jonathan Bonilla (MCRP ’23) was one of nine selected as a 2022-23 Morgan Stanley Community Development Graduate Fellow.
Now in its 11th year, the Fellowship is a program that supports the training and development of emerging community development leaders while also building the capacity of community development organizations. It is hosted by the Associate for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD). Each year, ANHD pairs nine students from highly respected graduate school programs with ANHD member community development corporations (CDCs) to work on a community-based project.
This year’s Fellows will spend the next 10 months working on projects focused on a range of issues, including housing preservation and development, community land trusts, cooperative conversions, building sustainability and energy efficiency, anti-displacement, economic development, and small business support and organizing throughout NYC. They bring a fervent and sincere willingness to uplift the field of community development through their commitment to member organizations and allies.
Jonathan will be working at Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco). WHEDco is a community development organization founded on the simple idea that all people deserve healthy, vibrant communities. Its mission is to give the South Bronx access to all the resources that create thriving neighborhoods: from high-quality early education and after-school programs to fresh, healthy food, cultural programming, and economic opportunity.
At the Bloustein School, Jonathan is a Master of City and Regional Planning student. He is driven by creating equitable outcomes and sustainable socio-economic development to make a positive impact in communities. Through his research and fieldwork in cities across Guatemala, South Africa, and Denmark, he learned about the struggles for the right to the city and the need to empower marginalized and underrepresented groups to determine their futures. These experiences anchored his interest in addressing racial justice, climate resilience, community-wealth building, and economic democracy. Jonathan is grateful to serve as a fellow in WHEDco’s Community Development Department and eager to support small businesses and local residents of the Bronx in achieving economic and community well-being.