Charmaine GentlesCharmaine Gentles

I recently graduated from CCNY (May 2020) with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a double minor in Sociology and Community Change Studies. I came into CCNY with a preconceived interest in public policy and how it affected the most vulnerable of people/institutions (i.e. the homeless, the financially insecure, educational system, housing, etc.) However, amid my college career, I realized a lot of my advocacy was in writing rather than action. I had participated in a lot of discussions and academic scholarship on the issues of our time, but never met said issues head-on with activism (i.e. community organizing, protests, etc.) Through being a part of the Partners for Change fellowship and completing the Community Change Studies minor, I’ve learned valuable lessons on taking initiative and building power on pressing issues. These many lessons include learning how to find political targets and organize individuals with common concerns (base build) in our Community Organizing course, working on housing insecurity and black womanhood through an internship with CVH (Community Voices Heard), and the fruitful conversations and discussions I had with my peers in the program. Overall, being a part of the Community Change Studies program helped me build my political narrative and find meaning/detail in my passion for educational equity/policy. Additionally, my participation in the Community Change Studies program has given me friendships, community networks, and professional connections that will guide me for the years to come!

Kori HambricKori Hambric.

I recently graduated from CCNY (May 2020) with a Bachelor’s of Arts in sociology and Black studies, with a double minor in public policy and Community Change Studies. I became involved in the Community Change Studies through the Partners for Change Fellowship, and this program helped me to gain a new perspective on organizing and community involvement. With the fellowship and the minor joining together, there were so many things I was able to be a part of that helped me to navigate my career post-graduation. I enjoyed learning about the multiple roles that one can be involved in when it comes to organizing, particularly through a panel on Legal Strategies and Support for Community Organizing. One of my favorite classes was the “Community Organizing” class. While I learned so much about the field, it taught me so much about myself when it comes to power-building and finding my own voice. I was able to intern at Community Voices Heard in the Hudson Valley where I learned more about community engagement and focused on issues of housing in underserved communities. This minor has showed me the different ways that I can implement change in my community for the future.” 


Sabina DorvileSabina Dorvile

I recently (May 2020) graduated from The City College of New York. I majored in Political Science and double-minored in Black Studies and Community Change Studies. I am happy to say that minoring in community change studies has helped me a lot. I learned how I can include my community in any research I am conducting and the processes of creating a campaign. Often, researchers either come from another community and/or fail to hear the residents’ voices. The classes in the minor taught me the importance of hearing the community’s voices and their input in how a solution would benefit them the most. During the community-based research class, I learned how to collect and analyze qualitative data through participatory action research. I am really grateful to have had significant tangible experience before I graduated college. Now, along with pursuing my MPA degree at NYU, I am hoping to secure a job at a non-profit organization with a mission of closing the racial health and education gap.


Muska AkbariMuska Akbari

I recently graduated from CCNY with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in political science and philosophy and a minor in Community Change Studies. As part of my minor in Community Change Studies, I conducted extensive research on the resources available (and unavailable) for undocumented LGBTQ+ individuals in a required class called “Community Based Research.” I also completed a class called “Community Organizing,” which taught me how to effectively engage the public to bring about meaningful social change. During the summer, I interned at an organization called Community Voices Heard, which is a community led organization focused on addressing problems such as homelessness and unemployment in East Harlem. The classes and internship I participated in as part of my minor were extremely fundamental in shaping what I want to do in the future. It helped me realize that I want to work on empowering others to bring about social change in their communities from the ground up. I also began to understand the importance and necessity of organizing work, which I plan to incorporate in the work I do in the future; hopefully as an attorney at a public interest law firm. I’m currently working as a paralegal in Bronx Legal Services’ Public Benefits and LGBTQ advocacy unit.”

Ramon Mendez
Ramon Mendez

“I was a Political Science Major at CCNY but couldn’t find something that connected the theory with everyday life and struggles.Once I took my first class in the Community change minor, I saw how all the things I had learned can be put to use. In Community organizing class  I was exposed to tenant organizing and solutions to real-life problems I myself face in my community. I would’ve minored in Community change studies if it wasn’t my last year at the school when I found out about it. New students with similar interests and experiences should take advantage of this great minor. While I was still in school I was able to become a tenant organizer myself at the Northwest Bronx community & Clergy Coalition and have been here for two years this April. Since being here I have  used what I learned in Politics of Protest and other classes numerous times. Without the exposure to the world of organizing and non- profits I don’t know if I would be a Community Organizer today.”

Isael TejadaIsael Tejada

“I took a course called Community Based Research, which led me to collaborate with a grassroots organization, Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) to complete a participatory action research project. The fieldwork required for the project helped me to discover the potential within myself to empower minority community members by providing access to opportunities… Upon completion of my Bachelor’s Degree, I joined a Community Organizing Apprenticeship program through ANHD to enhance my knowledge and practical skills in creating sustainable change in misrepresented communities.Through my combined role as a Center for Neighborhood Leadership Apprentice and Community Organizer for CASA, I coordinated 12 monthly Rent-Stabilized housing workshops, administered multiple Know Your Rights sessions, organized over 350 tenants, co-coordinated marches and rallies, managed a basketball tournament fundraiser, and completed 10-months of training. At the end of the apprenticeship, I was offered a full-time position at CASA.” – Isael Tejada, Graduated May 2016, entering a Master’s in Public Administration Program at CCNY.

Nina TinikashviliNina Tinikashvili

Since graduating from CCNY in May 2016, I have been working at the NYC Dpt. of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) in the Office of External Affairs, managing correspondence between the agency and elected officials and constituents. The Community Learning Partnership program at CCNY was a great opportunity, especially during my senior year of college. Both the Community Organizing Course and PAR course exposed me to the vast categories of organizations and individuals working in the NYC public service field while also putting their work into context of the larger history of organizing and movements for social justice. The program is dynamic, interactive, allowing students to gain important skills working on projects with community based organizations in real time. I would recommend this program to any student interested in public service, social justice, or organizing after college. CLP gave me a chance to understand the dynamics of organizations that serve the public in different forms (government vs non-profit vs advocacy) and also skills such as communication, outreach, member engagement, and policy analysis. I use these skills every day in my current position and plan to leverage my experience working with CPL and CASA into future public service career endeavors.”

Jake NillJake Nill

“I grew up in Center Moriches, New York. Growing up in suburban Long Island, I would see activism and organizing on the internet from all over the world, but such efforts were never explicitly practiced in my community. I wanted to learn how I can become an activist but I had very limited resources. After completing my associate’s degree thanks to the incredible support from peers and faculty at Suffolk County Community College, I transferred to the City College of New York. With my interests honed in on political science and learning on how I can be a part of impactful change, I found out about the Community Change Studies minor. This exposure helped me learn the different ways in which activism can be practiced and even become a career. Since September 2019 I have continued learning about activism/organizing and practicing my skills through my internship at VOCAL-NY and their sub-group Queerocracy. Though working with VOCAL, I began to see how issues are never isolated from one another and often overlap….I know being a community-based organizer is the career path for me.”- Jake Nill, Harlem, Graduated May 2019, currently in the MA in Urban Affairs program at Queens College.

Yatziri Tovar-CamposYatziri Tovar-Campos

“I first got involved in community organizing in 2009. There was a huge march on DC to support the Dream Act, which is something I’m directly affected by. I joined the NYS Leadership Council, an undocumented youth-led organization 2010 came and we organized to get the DREAM Act passed and lost by 5 votes. That’s when the idea for the NYS Dream Act came about. Then, in the beginning of 2012, we got the idea to start the CCNY Dream Team to create a safe space for undocumented youth and their allies to come and talk, share information about scholarships, etc. The Community Organizing class has been a way to re-energize and re- charge my batteries after I had burned out. I also had to take spring semester 2016 off due to financial issues. When I was looking at classes to sign up for under my major (political science), I saw they had this Community Organizing class. I read the description and thought this is exactly what I need. I’ve never see anything like this before. The class has opened my eyes to new and different types of organizing. The class had made me think more about what I want to do. This class is changing people’s perspectives about a lot of things.” – Yatziri is a current media specialist with Make the Road New York.

Densia WrayDensia Wray

“I have witnessed how poverty and the lack of resources have affected my neighborhood. With my passion for
media and activism, my goal is to use media as a tool to empower disadvantaged communities to give them a platform to voice their issues to government officials… My minor in Community Change Studies has had a significant influence on these goals…Additionally, taking the minor pushed me to get involved with an activist group at City College called NYPIRG, where I interned this fall and took the leadership role as the head of the Hunger and Homelessness Campaign…The Community Change minor enabled me to make an impact on my campus and has given me the tools to help combat poverty in my own community in the future.- Densia Wray, Brownsville, Brooklyn, Graduated May 2019, now part of ANHD’s Center for Community Leadership Apprenticeship Program.


Jennifer ClotaireJennifer Clotaire

“As a Psychology major, I wanted to minor in a program that would support my desire to educate and mobilize members of my community. I firmly believe I have been given the tools to make a positive impact by doing a Minor in Community Change Studies. Through its courses, I have learned out to put my innate desire to help into practice. In the Community-Based Research course I worked in collaboration with the the “Protect Our Places” Coalition on a participatory action research project to stop valued nonprofit and community spaces from being wrongfully placed in the City’s tax lien sale. The following summer I had the privilege of continuing the work through an internship with Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center. Through this experience I had the opportunity to engage with many different nonprofit organizations and with what I’ve learned in my coursework to suggest effective policy solutions. I’m grateful to have been part of a program that educates students about what it takes to affect change, and that intentionally highlights the need to change the narrative, as well as the immediate circumstances within communities. The Minor in Community Change Studies has allowed me to recognize that I can have a substantial impact within my community in ways that will guarantee long term effects and provide community members with the information they need to thrive within this society.” – Jennifer Clotaire, Queens, Graduated May 2019

Last Updated: 08/04/2020 22:27