There’s more to Kenneth Cole than just shoes—and
19 Emory students let Atlanta know that last summer.
As members of the inaugural class of the Kenneth Cole Fellowship
in Community Building and Social Change, teams of fellows worked
with community agencies on one of five collaborative projects:
the Livable Centers Initiatives (LCI): Launched
by the Atlanta Regional Commission in 2000, LCI encourages communities
to link transportation and land-use planning to improve quality
• East Central
Atlanta Neighborhood Collaborative: Six intown neighbohoods—including
the Reynolds-town and East Atlanta Revitalization Corporations—work
to ensure long-term well being within each community.
Health and Wellness Initiative of the East Lake Community:
Neighborhoods, schools and community partners join to promote wellness
in the Villages of East Lake, a mixed-income community in DeKalb
Initiative for Women of Color: The AIDS Research
Consortium of Atlanta, SisterLove, AID Atlanta, Aniz and Morehouse
School of Medicine work to design a comprehensive outreach program
for African American women in metro Atlanta.
Affordable Housing in the City of Atlanta: A collaboration
with the Community Design Center of Atlanta and the Mayor’s
office to encourage rehabilitation and preservation of small, multi-family
Armed with PowerPoint presentations, statistics and undaunted enthusiasm,
the fellows presented their summer work to other fellows and fellowship
administrators on Thursday, Sept. 26, at a dinner program at the
Emory Conference Center.
“I can’t think of a group I’ve felt prouder to
have watched grow over the last few months,” said Sam Marie
Engle, director of the fellowship. “When we started, everybody
looked a little worried and concerned, unsure of what was going
to happen, excited but more nervous. But the faces I see today are
faces full of confidence, a lot of pride—pride in their work.”
From June to August, students worked 32 hours a week at agency offices
and in the community. A graduate fellow from the Office of University
and Community Partnerships (OUCP) worked at each project site, serving
as the team’s mentor and project coordinator, and an agency
staff member provided day-to-day onsite supervision and project
Once a week, the fellows gathered for dinner presentations and discussion
by community builders, including WSB-TV political reporter Bill
Nigut, Georgia Justice Project Executive Director Doug Ammar and
state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver.
For senior Christopher Richardson, who worked with the Community
Design Center and plans to attend law school to study poverty law,
the summer projects allowed him to put classroom knowledge imparted
in the fellowship’s initial spring course to practical use.
“In classes, you learn on an intellectual and academic basis,”
Richardson said. “Working in the field really gives you the
real- world experience on how to solve issues that affect urban
Students are enrolled in their final fellowship class this semester,
ending the yearlong program that kicked off with a class during
Inspired by her work with the HIV/AIDS project and with the fellowship,
senior Jacinta Williams, a sociology and psychology major, said
she plans to pursue a graduate degree in public health, concentrating
in HIV and AIDS education.
“It is a sad topic, but I felt like I was a piece of the puzzle
that may save somebody’s life one day,” Williams said.
“It just touched my heart that so many people are dying [from
AIDS] and that it can be prevented.”
Launched in January, the fellowship is a partnership between Emory
and the Kenneth Cole Foundation. Cole, a 1976 Emory College graduate,
is a fashion designer, business executive and founder of Kenneth
Cole Productions Inc., and he has long incorporated social consciousness
in his product marketing.
Through coursework, the summer practicum, an annual conference and
field experience, the fellowship shows the critical role collaboration
plays in the day-to-day activities of the greater community.
Fellows have the opportunity to explore the types of skills and
career paths needed to launch and implement effective, complex initiatives
that strengthen communities.
The search for the 2003–04 fellowship class is under way,
and applications are due by Friday, Oct. 25. For more information,
contact Engle at 404-712-9692 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Information also is available at http://oucp.emory.edu/kennethcolefellows.html.