Urban Affairs

The Urban Affairs program is focused on projects that enhance New York City’s vitality as a leading and livable urban capital.

We partner with civic and cultural institutions, local government, and independent nonprofits that design innovative, feasible initiatives to address the common needs of diverse New Yorkers.

The Foundation continually seeks opportunities to strengthen the city’s pluralistic communities and civic spaces, re-envisioning public libraries, affordable housing, and local public affairs journalism to cultivate engaged, creative urban citizens.

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Featured Project: CUNY Graduate School of Journalism – Newsmaker Series and Urban Investigative Project

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito addressed the members of community and ethnic media at an Q&A session at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on Feb. 18, 2016.

Established in 2006, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is an innovative institution training the next generation of journalists to thrive in a rapidly changing media landscape. In 2011, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism launched the Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM) with the goal of providing professional training and support to this sector of the City’s media. With Revson’s support, the Center for Community and Ethnic Media, in partnership with the Journalism School’s Urban Reporting Program, has expanded its Newsmaker Series to monthly in-depth Q&A interview sessions between NYC’s civic leaders, journalists from the community and ethnic press, and CUNY’s journalism students.

The Newsmaker Series is led by Errol Louis, the Director of the School’s Urban Reporting Program and the host of Inside City Hall. Over the past year, Mr. Louis has organized these sessions, invited leaders to speak, and worked with members of the community and ethnic press to help prepare them for these interviews. He also co-hosts each Newsmaker session. VoicesofNY.org, the ethnic and community wire service run by the Center, has supplemented Louis’s efforts by enlisting its editorial staff to work with reporters immediately after the Q&A sessions to review the most newsworthy items and help frame follow-up stories. Recent Newsmaker sessions have included interviews with: NYC City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. All Newsmaker sessions are filmed, posted online, and can be viewed here.

Building on the School’s public mission to train its students to cover New York City, hold local government accountable, and illuminate issues that affect the range of New York’s communities, the Foundation is also supporting the Journalism School’s Urban Investigative Project. The Project funds 5-6 New York-related investigative projects per year by working journalists. Urban Reporting students assist these journalists in their research and reporting, gaining first-hand experience with seasoned journalists in the field.