The Bell Launches Inaugural Bell Economic Mobility Fellowship ​

Photos of five fellows for the Bell Policy Center 2023-2024.

The Bell Policy Center is pleased to announce its inaugural group of fellowship projects that will advance game-changing research and conversations intended to further economic mobility and equity in Colorado.

The Bell Economic Mobility Fellowship was established through a generous grant from a longtime donor. The fellowship supports research that explores new perspectives on economic mobility in Colorado and advances actionable, equitable solutions. The projects were chosen this month and will conclude in November, 2024.

“We are so excited about these research projects and the potential they have to illuminate the path to greater economic mobility for every Coloradan,” said Scott Wasserman, Bell Policy President. “We look forward to sharing this work with policy makers and the broader community.”

The fellows and their projects are:

  • Kelly Mitchell with Inclusive Design Group in Denver, will lead a community study telling the economic story of Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. By utilizing a combination of both traditional academic and community-focused strategies, she will examine the forces contributing to the racial wealth gap and gentrification in Five Points and their effects on Black communities in Colorado.
  • Robin Kniech, former Denver City Council member, will lead a case study and narrative approach that examines land-use reform issues from an equity perspective. She will specifically focus on the the effects of land-use policies on the affordable housing landscape.
  • Sara Walsh, Yesenia Silva Estrada, and Zachary Haberler will work on an equity-focused housing blueprint for Colorado’s rural resort communities. The team will conduct both quantitative and qualitiative analysis of the effects of current housing policy in rural resort areas, with specific focus on Gateway and Natural Amenity Regions (GNAR), a community type that has grown with a wider adoption of remote work.

The research and projects the fellows will produce are anchored in the Bell’s economic mobility policy priorities, which are:

  • Public Funding for Economic Mobility: Ensure public funding for key levers of economic mobility in Colorado;
  • Strengthening the Care Economy: Elevate and strengthen the caring workforce (workers and caregivers providing child care, or direct care for older adults and people with disabilities) and the families they serve;
  • Closing Equity Gaps: Address structural barriers in economic mobility systems, particularly housing, asset-building, credit, and financial services, postsecondary education and workforce development, and aging;
  • Telling the Economic Story: Tell Colorado’s economic story through the lenses of tax fairness, racial equity, and economic mobility.

Each of the projects will have three main components. They are:

  1. A research project culminating in a major report or series
  2. Shared learning and community
  3. A series of events and communications to disseminate key findings.

The Bell Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) based in Colorado that engages in research and advocacy intended to advance economic mobility for every Coloradan.

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