Angela D. Allen, PhD, MSW has been a community program coordinator and community educator in city and neighborhood planning, digital media arts, and education. Education has been central to her sustainable community development with residents through partnerships that make building community capacity real and vibrant. The CNRED Educator – Milwaukee County position brings her experience full circle, and provides the environment to work with those stakeholders who are essential to realizing transformative community change.
Since fall 2011, Angie lived and volunteered in Northeast Detroit; the community in which she was born and raised, as her neighbors formed a joint organizational partnership to create their first resident-led, comprehensive community revitalization plan called RESTORE Northeast Detroit (Residents Empowered, Strengthened, and Transforming Our Residential Environment; http://www.restorened.org). Angie co-authored the successfully funded Strategic Alliance Demonstration Project Grant that allowed RESTORE NED to achieve the technical assistance partnerships needed; including a fully resident engaged and digitized residential parcel survey of over 60,000 parcels, undertaking a participatory land use planning process, and creating their website, which she established to coordinate community-wide information. Angie’s passion for asset-based, comprehensive community capacity building and strategic planning began as a community issue organizer with local Detroit nonprofits, and as a former Planner/Coordinator in the City of Detroit Planning Department with the 1997 City of Detroit Community Reinvestment Strategy.
In spring 2011, Angie graduated from Allied Media Projects’ Detroit Future Media community training program. With three other DFM graduates, the documentary they co-produced has received national recognition in 2013. “13 in the Hole”, about 13 community residents’ 40 year struggle to gain environmental justice in one of the nation’s worst polluted ZIP codes, has been featured twice in July 2013: at the Culture Unplugged Online Film Festival, and; a national briefing call on using film as community engagement with Arts and Democracy.
Angie deeply values the role university faculty, staff & students play in facilitating sustainable community development. During her doctoral program, involvement in national community-university partnership conferences and projects inspired her to co-create the 2007 Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium with a fellow doctoral student. Shortly after, she was invited to co-author 3 chapters in the two-volume 2010 Handbook of Engaged Scholarship (Michigan State University Press). A 2008 Charles F. Kettering Foundation Doctoral Research Fellow, Angie co-authored “Higher Education Institutions and the Civic Capacity of Communities” with KF program officer Dr. Derek Barker (March 2011). In July 2013, she was invited back to the Kettering Foundation for a Civic Capacity Builders Workshop with 20 other national civic builders.
Angie holds a PhD in higher, adult, and lifelong education from Michigan State University, a Master degree of Social Work in community organization administration with children, youth and families from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and a Bachelor degree of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from Michigan State University. For more about Milwaukee County Cooperative Extension, please visit http://milwaukee.uwex.edu