Find out what Hester Street staff members are up to and where you can meet us!


June 7 | 2022 Annual Meeting of Members | Nonprofit New York
New York, NY – Hester Street will be spotlighted at this year’s Annual Meeting, where Vanessa Monique Smith will showcase the challenges, solutions, and work that nonprofits can continue to do together. Register here.

May 31 | Social (In)Justice and Spatial Practice: Decentralization | AIA New York
Virtual – This second program in the Social (In)Justice and Spatial Practice series, focusing on Decentralizing the Brick and Mortar Institution, looks at new models for decentralizing institutions and expanding the foot print of cultural capital. Register here.

May 26 | HueArts NYC: Mapping An Equitable Future for New York City Arts and Culture Landscape | Museum Hue
Virtual – Join leaders from Museum Hue, The Laundromat Project, and Hester Street in a discussion on the driving force that compelled them to partner to develop the HueArts NYC initiative. Register here.

March 17 | Exploring Community Engagement with Hester Street: Building Community Control | AIA New York
Virtual – Join Hester Street as we explore ways to build community control through inclusive and meaningful engagement and participation. Register here.

March 9 | Using Open Election Participation Data to Inform Voter Outreach in NYC | NYC Open Data Week
Virtual – This event provides more information on how Hester Street incorporated CFB’s election participation data into an interactive map and how the CFB, Hester Street, and their partner organizations use it to perform outreach and envision how participation data can continue to support on-the-ground efforts to increase voter participation in future elections. Register here.


November 8 | 2021 GIA Conference
New York, NY – Intersectional work is essential to achieving any racial justice goal and a just transition for communities across the United States. The Surdna Foundation has been partnering with Hester Street and the Maria Fund in Puerto Rico to support artists and cultural leaders prototyping new systems to advance environmental justice throughout the island. Join us for a dynamic conversation with frontline leaders that will share two case studies that illuminate the role of culture for climate and environmental justice. Learn more.

November 4 | Together We Thrive: Supporting Black-Owned Businesses | Hindsight Conference
Virtual – This session explored how this coalition of practitioners, funders, technical assistance providers, and community economic development experts created an initiative that specifically addresses the strengths and barriers facing Black businesses today. Panelists discussed strategies to reduce the racial wealth gap, increase visibility of Black-owned businesses in NYC via interactive maps, and develop ways to better service a diversity of business needs. Learn more.

March 31 | From 2020 Census Engagement to 2021 Civic Engagement | Nonprofit NY
Virtual – The Hester Street team is joining Nonprofit NY and NYC Counts’ Meeta Anand to co-host this policy discussion and highlight lessons from the 2020 Census mobilization that can inform ongoing civic engagement strategies. Register here.

March 19 | Equitable Enforcement | Citizens Housing and Planning Council
Virtual – In this webinar, CHPC, Hester Street, New York Times journalist Grace Ashford, and Emerita Professor of Regional Planning Dr. Ellen Pader will examine code enforcement practices and how they can contribute to a more equitable and just city. Register here.

February 26 | Reimagining Code Enforcement Seminar | SCEMA
Virtual – The Hester Street team presented an informational seminar on equity and code enforcement for the Strategic Code Enforcement Management Academy, highlighting our work on Cities RISE. View the presentation here.

February 16 | Cooperative Works Report Release | Urban Design Forum
Virtual – This report release, which focuses on strategies for advancing an inclusive and just economy, was developed by the 2020 Forefront Fellows class (including Hester Street SPM Isella Ramirez and PM Priya Mulgaonkar). Read more.

February 3 | Diversity Fellowship in Real Estate | Coro New York/REBNY
Virtual – HST Co-Executive Director Betsy MacLean will be presenting on community-driven development for a gathering of REBNY Fellows, a first-of-its-kind leadership program for real estate professionals of diverse backgrounds. Read more.

February 1 | Centering Community Engagement | AIA New York
Virtual – Featuring HST’s Nisha Baliga, this panel brings together different perspectives from around the country to discuss what successful community engagement processes can look like for architects and planners. Read more.

January 21 | Culture x Policy: Racial Economic Justice | The Shed NY
Virtual – Panelists, including HST’s Betsy MacLean, will talk critically about the ways capitalism uses race as a divisive tool and imagine alternative economic solutions for a just society. Read more.


December 1 | 2020 ACD Webinar Series | Association for Community Design
Virtual – Hester Street and the Detroit Collaborative Design Center will discuss community engagement during COVID-19 and share recent work in a peer-to-peer discussion to explore challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic. Read more.

November 12-13 | Hindsight Conference | American Planning Association NY Chapter
Virtual – This year’s Hindsight is themed “Our Health, Our Future” and will feature a HST-led session on the intersections of Code Enforcement, Housing and Community Health, based on our work with Cities RISE. Read more.

October 15 | DWIH New York | FutureForum
Virtual – Hester Street Co-Executive Director Nisha Baliga participated in a panel discussion about equity and access in green city planning at the German Center for Research and Innovation (DWIH) NY’s FUTURE FORUM: #BuildingBiopolis event. Read more.

September 25 | ASLA New York | PlanScapeArch Conference
Virtual – Hester Street Co-Executive Director Nisha Baliga participated in a closing panel discussion for this ASLA/AIA/APA multi-disciplinary conference that seeks to examine how current events have shaped Public Health, Transportation, and Technology, and how the design and planning professions can aid communities during times of crisis. Read more.

July 15 | Webinar: Essential and At-Risk Report Release
Virtual – Hester Street debuted our Essential and At-Risk report that highlights the importance of preserving CBOs in their neighborhoods with a Zoom discussion featuring NYC Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, Citi Community Development’s Greg Schiefelbein, Brotherhood/Sister Sol Executive Director Khary Lazarre-White and Make the Road NY Chief of Staff Arlenis Morel.

May 19 | Webinar: Nonprofit Capital Projects During COVID-19
Virtual – In collaboration with Nonprofit NY, Hester Street’s community development team hosted an informational webinar to discuss challenges and resources surrounding nonprofit capital projects during the COVID-19 crisis. Make the Road NY also participated and shared their experience related to their new Community Center.

March 2 | Equal Justice Initiative | Legacy Museum Tour
Montgomery, AL – Hester Street Co-Executive Directors Betsy MacLean and Nisha Baliga will be visiting EJI’s Legacy Museum as part of a group of Brooklyn Public Library representatives seeking to study and explore EJI’s efforts to memorialize and address the history of slavery, incarceration and injustice in America. This visit will inform BPL’s efforts to honor and recognize the site of its New Lots Avenue branch situated on an African burial ground in  East NY. Learn more about the project.

February 12 | Institute for Sustainable Communities | Partnership for Resilient Communities
Atlanta, GA – Hester Street joined a cohort of PRC grantees from across the country for an “Our Lives, Our People, Our Communities: Advancing Climate Resilience for Equity and Opportunity” convening to network and share knowledge around grassroots and community-based climate justice efforts. Hester Street is providing support to Nos Quedamos, which received PRC funding in 2020 to study and implement sustainable and resilient green spaces in the South Bronx. Learn more.

February 12 | BRIC Arts | MediaShare 2019 Video Premiere
Brooklyn, NY – Hester Street joined a cohort of other NYC nonprofits for a screening of final video projects created in partnership with BRIC Arts as part of its MediaShare grant program to provide access to media skills and training. Hester Street created a video focused on East NY and our community engagement work with Brooklyn Public Library. Watch the video here.

January 28 | NY State Capitol | Cities RISE Press Conference
Albany, NY – Hester Street joined state officials, city representatives and other stakeholders in Albany for the announcement of $8 million in funding for the 10 municipalities that Hester Street worked with for Cities RISE. The grants will support neighborhood revitalization across the state and help cities address unjust and discriminatory housing practices. Learn more.

January 26 | El Museo de Arte Contemporaneo | 'Estamos Aqui' Panel Discussion
San Juan, Puerto Rico – El Museo de Arte Contemporaneo and Hester Street will be hosting two panel discussions featuring artists, residents and community leaders working in Puerto Rico and Medellin and highlight ways in which art and culture preserve memory and heritage, reaffirm community identity and prevent displacement in San Juan and other neighborhoods. Learn more.


December 9-11 | London Public Housing Tour | Citizens Housing and Planning Council NY
London, UK – Hester Street’s Betsy MacLean and select Board Members joined housing advocates and officials in London for a tour and convening highlighting the city’s innovative public housing models. Learn more about the CHPC here.

December 6 | Hindsight Conference | American Planning Association NY Chapter
New York, NY – Hester Street staff attended and presented in 3 sessions this year focused on “Planners as Healers”, “Self Determination in the South Bronx” and “Community Power to Remember History Erased”.  The 2019 Conference, centered on theme “Erasure, Remembrance, and Healing”, spotlights challenges and opportunities for diversity and social equity in planning and community development. Learn more here.

December 4 | 46th Annual Awards Dinner | NY Housing Conference
New York, NY – Hester Street was honored with the Public Service Award at the 46th NYHC Annual Awards Program luncheon. The theme of the program was “Inclusive By Design”, which highlighted NYC’s affordable housing practices and communities by and for the people. Learn more here.

November 20 | 2019 Navigator Awards Dinner | Route Fifty
San Antonio, TX – Hester Street’s Jimena Veloz represented Hester Street as the winner of the Allies category for our work on Cities RISE. This annual program honors individuals and teams working in or with state and local governments across the U.S. to improve public sector services and the communities they serve. Learn more here.

October 15-18 | Conscious Cities Festival | Centre for Conscious Design & Pratt Institute
Brooklyn, NY – This annual festival tackles pressing issues facing urban populations around the themes of Resilience, Families, Aging, and Mental Health. Hester Street, along with the Family Services Network and other partners, presented on our work on the Bushwick Community Plan. Learn more here.

October 11 | Feedback+New York Summit | Feedback Labs
New York, NY – Hester Street’s Isella Ramirez and partners from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development presented on Where We Live NYC. The Summit brings together changemakers in philanthropy, aid and governance to ignite community experimentation and collaboration on constituent feedback.  Learn more here.

October 2-4 | Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference | Center for Community Progress
Atlanta, GA – Hester Street, Tolemi and Harvard’s Ash Center participated in a panel discussion to discuss our work around equitable code enforcement for Cities RISE. The theme of the national conference this year was “Equity First: Revitalizing Communities Together”. Learn more here.

September 10 | Black Entrepreneurship Initiative Kickoff | NYC Small Business Services
New York, NY – Hester Street partnered with SBS to engage Black entrepreneurs, small businesses and other stakeholders as the city seeks to develop a strategy and plan to address challenges and bolster opportunities for Black entrepreneurs. The kickoff event was held at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Learn more here.

June 26-29 | Vanguard Conference | Next City
Newark, NJ – Hester Street’s Nisha Baliga attended this national gathering that convenes urban leaders working to improve cities across sectors, including urban planning, community development, entrepreneurship, government, and more. Learn more here.

June 21 | 2019 Network Conference | Planner's Network
New York, NY – Hester Street joined Make the Road NY and VOCAL-NY for a panel discussion focused on “Community Control: Development to Combat Displacement”. This 2019 Conference theme is “Resisting Displacement and Dispossession”. Learn more here.

June 15 | Organizing for Change and Placemaking | Center for Court Innovation
New York, NY – Hester Street’s Kim Ochilo, Daryle Ward-Cherry and Cesar Mesias attended this training and networking event at the Pratt Institute. Topics included organizing, placemaking, human-centered design, sustainability and public housing. Learn more here.

June 4 | 2019 Excellence in Design Awards | NYC Public Design Commission
New York, NY – Hester Street and Grain Collective were honored with an Excellence in Design Award for the renovation of  an underutilized East Village lot into a garden and greenhouse for residents at Project Renewal’s Third Street Men’s Shelter. The Ceremony was held at the Ford Foundation’s offices. Learn more here.

May 9 | Presentation to CBOs from Belarus | U.S. State Department
New York, NY – Hester Street’s Nisha Baliga and Jimena Veloz welcomed a delegation of community-based organizations from Minsk, Belarus to the Hester Street offices. Organized through the U.S. State Department, the group learned more about Hester Street’s mission, project work and experience.

April 15-17 | People + Places Conference | National Urban League
Arlington, VA – Hester Street’s Tenzing Chadotsang spoke on two panels focused on “Impacts of Policies and Politics on Communities of Color” and “Modern Inequity in Communities of Color”. The theme of the national conference was “Promoting community prosperity and racial equity”. Learn more here.

April 13 | Spaces & Places Conference | BlackSpace
Oakland, CA – Hester Street’s Daryle Ward-Cherry attended this conference that assembled urbanists and community leaders for a day of learning and exchange highlighting Black Cultural Districts, affordable housing, community power and environmental justice. Learn more here.


November 16 | Annual Chapter Conference | American Planning Association NY Chapter
New York, NY – Hester Street attended this Conference and was awarded the APA’s Paul Davidoff Award for leadership in housing and equal opportunity for our work on the Bushwick Community Plan. Members of the BCP Steering Committee accepted the Award. Learn more here.

November 3 | Hindsight Conference | American Planning Association NY Chapter
New York, NY – Hester Street staff attended the Conference and presented on 3 different panels — Think!Chinatown, equitable economic development; Where We Live NYC, the city-wide fair housing assessment; and community facility development. The Conference theme highlighted “Urban Planning through an Equity Lens”. Learn more here.

September 13-14 | Public Engagement Panel | City of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA – Hester Street’s Julia Lindgren and Gabriel Halili were invited to Pittsburgh to present and discuss Hester Street’s work and innovative public engagement methods. They also met with the city’s Comprehensive Planning Team to discuss strategies, tools and ideas for bolstering community engagement efforts and activities.

June 6 | NFG 2018 National Convening | Neighborhood Funders Group
St. Louis, MO – Hester Street’s Betsy MacLean attended this conference themed “Raise Up: Moving Money for Justice” to connect with grantmakers committed to racial, social, economic, and gender justice. She also spoke on a panel about community self-determination and ownership alongside Surdna Foundation, South Bronx Unite and the Land Loss Prevention Project. Learn more here.

May 18 | Presentation to Urban Planners from Belgium | CityTech
New York, NY – Hester Street joined partners Grain Collective and WXY Studio to present to a group of urban planners from Belgium at the New York City College of Technology. Our staff presented our work on the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan and Prospect Park’s Rose Garden.

February 13 | Affordability as Infrastructure | Urban Design Forum
New York, NY – Hester Street’s Betsy MacLean joined public and private sector housing professionals to debate how to maintain and expand affordable housing in NYC. The discussion centered on possible strategies for balancing growth without exacerbating displacement. Learn more here.