Sarah McKinley is Manager of Community Development Programs for The Democracy Collaborative and the European Representative for the Next System Project, working out of her home-office in Brussels, Belgium.
She manages the Learning/Action Lab for Community Wealth Building, a multi-year initiative supported by the Northwest Area Foundation, assisting ﬁve organizations in Indian Country to create social enterprises and employee-owned companies. She co-authored Cities Building Community Wealth, The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs, and Raising Student Voices: Student Action for University Community Investment. She has a background in community development and has worked with a number of community development organizations, including the Greater Southwest Development Corporation, a Chicago-based community development corporation, and the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations. While earning her master degree in urban and regional planning at Cornell University, McKinley was a co-author of “A People’s Plan for New Orleans,” a bottom-up community development plan for the 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in urban history from the University of Chicago.
Most recently, McKinley moved to Brussels, Belgium. She will continue in her role with the Democracy Collaborative, working remotely to manage the Learning/Action Lab while also exploring new partnership opportunities in Europe. She looks forward to learning French, enjoying the food and culture of Belgium, and learning more about new economy efforts across Europe!
In an era of persistent urban inequality and chronic unemployment disproportionately impacting historically marginalized communities and communities of color, new alternatives to the traditional economic development strategies that have failed to bring broad and evenly distributed prosperity to America's cities are clearly needed.
This study seeks to introduce a framework that can assist anchor institutions in understanding their impact on the community and, in particular, their impact on the welfare of low-income children and families in those communities.
This report, the companion to our The Anchor Dashboard: Aligning Institutional Practice to Meet Low-Income Community Needs, presents the research behind the framework we have designed to assist anchor institutions in measuring their community impact.
Democracy Collaborative Research Director Steve Dubb along with Executive Director Ted Howard and Research Associate Sarah McKinley contributed the chapter “Economic Democracy” to the two-volume encyclopedia, Achieving Sustainability, now available courtesy of Gale Publishing. They outline the history of the economic democracy movement, highlighting community wealth building strategies such as community development finance institutions and cooperatives.
This new report from The Democracy Collaborative and the Responsible Endowments Coalition seeks to connect struggling communities to local institutional wealth through engaging student activism. The report profiles three administration-led initiatives and three student-led initiatives, as well as five potential future partnerships, where institutional investments are directed into local communities in a way that empowers low-income residents, develops small businesses, and generates sustainable economic development.
- Asheville Fm
In this radio show Asheville 103.3 FM interviews Sarah McKinley on the work of the Democracy Collaborative...listen here
- Shelterforce Magazine
This article by Tamara E. Holmes describes what local government can do to support new, more inclusive economic models:
- Wisconsin Public Radio
Our Manager of Community Development Programs was interviewed on Wisconsin Public Radio as she travelled to Wisconsin to spread knowledge on economic development alternatives and empowerment programs based on equality and place-based cultural consciousness:
In partnership with Northland College's Center for Rural Communities and WITC, a League Forum features Sarah McKinley, Manager of Community Development Programs at the Democracy Collaborative. She presents on her research and travels around the US visiting cities who noted for their innovative strategies resulting in growing more prosperous local communities.
Read more about "Building Community Wealth" Forum featuring Sarah McKinley...