Published On: November 17th, 2020

Resident leadership development is essential to the work CSNDC’s Community Organizing & Resident Resources department (CORR) is engaged in and is to critical building community-based power and exacting positive change for the community.

CSNDC’s Resident Leadership Institute (RLI) was designed, launched and is facilitated by Marilyn Forman, CSNDC’s Lead Community Organizer. RLI provides participants with training that grounds them in the principles of civic engagement, community advocacy, effective organizing and meeting facilitation.

The success of this program led to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to reach out to Forman and ask her to serve as a Community Mentor for MIT’s Civic Media Co-Design Studio. We congratulate Marilyn for this recognition and her stellar work in the community!

This program is a project-based studio course in the collaborative design of civic media. Civic media is the use of various media/communication platforms to enhance civic engagement. Students work with CSNDC to create civic media grounded in real-world community needs.

The collaboration with CSNDC will focus on building systems of collaboration between municipal government and local care networks to facilitate effective co-creation of policy. CORR staff asked that MIT expand their invitation to include local resident graduates from CSNDC’s Resident Learning Institute and as a result we now have three RLI community resident alumni working on this project in collaboration with MIT and CSNDC.

Students, resident leaders and CORR staff will be focused on climate resilience and developing tools that will increase knowledge of climate change, its impacts on communities and how to frame this information as an incentive to take action. This work will intersect with CSNDC’s Eco-Innovation District priorities as well as have students and  resident leaders reach out to public entities such as the Boston Public Health Commission and others. This highlights the essence of CSNDC’s resident leadership development work, as it effectively intersects learning and real-world action that supports neighborhood resiliency.

Congratulations, again, Marilyn, and thanks for your work to build resident leadership and effect change!

The next session of the Resident Leadership Institute will begin in January 2021. For more information, please contact Marilyn Forman at

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