News from Pratt Center: March 2021

Illustration: Three people standing around a map gesturing and pointing

Hunts Point Forward Kicks Off

This month, we kicked off a new chapter of work in the South Bronx. At the request of the Hunts Point and Longwood Community Coalition (HPLCC), the New York City Economic Development Corporation tapped Pratt Center to lead a process to engage Hunts Point community members to envision the future of their neighborhood. The process, called Hunts Point Forward, will build on and expand previous engagement and consensus building work that gave rise to the 2004 Hunts Point Vision Plan, in which we were also a proud partner.

In this first phase, we’re collaborating with members of the HPLCC, the Bronx-based team at Mainland Media, and Barretto Bay Strategies to spur a bilingual outreach campaign and maximize participation of local residents. By using the existing social media channels and web infrastructure, a central hub for the neighborhood maintained by The Point CDC, the campaign is starting with an already-engaged audience. This campaign along with a flyering blitz helped turn out over 125 participants for the first public meeting on March 11, 2021, which was held virtually.

The Hunts Point Forward team will conduct additional workshops and interviews throughout the spring and summer, which will culminate in a final public meeting before the plan is released in the fall.

Read more about this project


An alternating pattern of spheres, one comprised of data nodes connected by a web, and the other an illustration of the covid-19 virus

Building Data Fluency During COVID

As part of our Democratizing Data initiative, we recently launched a more intimate type of data training model to complement the large format trainings we've hosted around the Neighborhood Data Portal. Staff from eight organizations that are members of the New York Immigration Coalition participated in a three-part workshop series that covered a wide range of data-related topics, from key data issues and considerations to tips and tricks for communicating and visualizing data.

While participating organizations already use data in program development, public education, and fundraising, the goal of this series was to expand their organizations' respective data capacities by exploring additional methods of accessing data and the tools and applications to help interpret and portray it for maximum impact.

One member of the cohort, Soco Hernandez-Serrano, is the Program Coordinator at Qualitas of Life Foundation, which provides financial literacy education for the Hispanic community in partnership with community-based organizations and financial institutions. As a community organizer, she regularly finds herself in a position of collecting and analyzing data, so the training series had an immediate application to her work. She explains,

“During COVID, we distributed almost half a million dollars on gift cards to over 4,000 people and we collected data through this process, but our workload was incredible and filtering the data manually—for example, finding out how many times X family received a gift card—was taking three hours. After the workshop, I was able to set up an internal system to automatically filter that information for us.”

If your organization is interested in joining a future data cohort, contact Paula Crespo (


After Fourteen Years...

This month we are bidding farewell to our Deputy Director and longtime policy and organizing mastermind, Elena Conte. Check out our full tribute to Elena, along with “Organizing for Change,” an interview with Elena published by Pratt Institute as part of Women's History Month.


Director of Policy and Planning at Pratt Center

We’re seeking a collaborative, mission-driven colleague to help drive our community-based planning and policy and advocacy work.

View the full description

Illustration: Newspaper folded into an airplane flies toward a recycling bin

What We’re Reading

From The City
More than two-thirds of the City Council is up for grabs—we made a map

From Eco-Districts Institute
Centering Culture and Healing in Community Development [Webinar] 

From Fast Company
Architecture has a racist past. These artists radically reimagined it


29 Mar, 2021