Neighbor in Residence

What is the Neighbor in Residence (NiR) Program?

Developed by Dwight Hall and Tsai CITY the Neighbor in Residence (NiR) Program was designed for individuals living in New Haven. 

The Neighbor in Residence (NiR) Program is a paid, semester-long fellowship for New Haven residents, change-makers, and leaders with lived experience to engage, educate, and grow within the Yale community.

Selected NiR’s will work alongside staff at Dwight Hall at Yale and CITY to advance social justice and service in New Haven. During the program, NiR’s will focus on their own unique project and provide mentorship to students launching social justice initiatives. By the program’s end, NiR’s will have a clear path to continuing their impactful community work and be better connected into the Yale community. Through the program, NiR’s will gain access to a variety of Yale resources to catalyze their work in the community while uplifting the structures, histories, institutions, and traditions that make up New Haven.

NiR Goals:

  1. This program will create an opportunity for New Haven community members to better serve their communities by gaining value from the staff time, expertise, and resources of Dwight Hall and Tsai CITY.

  2. The Yale community will engage, learn, educate, and grow from the lived experience leadership of New Haven residents.

  3. This opportunity will create a space for members of the New Haven and Yale communities to connect and share human, financial, and educational assets in a way that is mutually beneficial

  4. Highlight New Haven Leaders with Lived Experience for the benefit of New Haven and Yale by helping Yale understand what New Haven has to offer and to tap into those vital resources and assets.

  5. Build exciting partnerships and collaborations between aspiring change-makers living in New Haven.

  6. Leverage insights and knowledge from New Haven change-makers to help inform and design the Yale entrepreneurial ecosystem to better serve the New Haven community.

  7. Help Yale students gain a better understanding of how to make a positive impact in the New Haven community.

  8. Identify opportunities for the Yale and New Haven communities to share resources and work together towards a common goal.

NiR Requirements:

  1. Substantial experience in and a deep understanding of New Haven (its neighborhoods, the nonprofit / social enterprise sector, and the socio-politics of the area)

  2. Prior or current participation in a leadership role in the New Haven community: community organization; social enterprise; Neighborhood Watch, Parent Teacher organizations, religious groups etc.

  3. A minimum of 10 consecutive years as a New Haven resident

  4. Initiative and self-motivation

  5. Strong sense of humor

NiR Benefits:

  1. $500 to support a project in their community.

  2. $1,500 personal stipend.

  3. Participation in the Social Innovation Lab at Dwight Hall to access development support and mentorship for your community work.

  4. Access to Yale resources, including the support of staff time from Dwight Hall and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale.

NiR commits to:

  1. Hold at least one office hour session each week (approximately two hours each session) with Yale students, faculty, or staff as they seek to make strong connections in the New Haven community.

  2. Co-create and support the delivery of the Knowledge Equity Intensive with Tsai CITY, a program to help students learn about the value of lived expertise for innovation, entrepreneurship, positive social change, and creating effective collaborations. Supporting other New Haven residents in accessing opportunities, resources, and events within the University.

2018 Neighbor in Residence Participants

Kimberly Hart: Organizing New Haven residents who are living in poverty and their allies, to create public awareness. A media campaign is in process which will allow residents to share stories, and solutions with community leaders, elected officials and landlords to ensure that there is increased awareness of the need for more affordable housing.

Paul Bryant Hudson: Sofar Sounds (New Haven) was founded to bring back that magic. In 2009, Rafe Offer invited some friends over to a London flat for a low-key, intimate gig. Eight people gathered in the living room to listen to live music performed by friend and musician Dave Alexander. They shared a drink, and sat on the floor, attentively listening to the music. The room was so quiet, you could hear the clock ticking in the background. Quickly, what started as a hobby in London spread into a global community for artists and audiences to come together in unique and welcoming spaces - with an added element of surprise - to share, discover, create and, hopefully make a friend or find their new favorite band along the way

Beatrice Codianni: SWAN, a grassroots organization working to end violence against sex workers was founded in November 2016. Their work is rooted in harm reduction, prison abolition, and dignity for all. Their mission is devoted to the protection of the rights of sex workers in New Haven and to the delivery of services to such persons.

NiR Program Timeframe and Time Commitments

February 2019- May 2019

  • Meetings include: 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/16, 5/7

  • Office hours

  • Knowledge Equity Intensive

  • Social Innovation Lab

Spring 2019 Nomination/ Application

Nominations/ applications close Thursday, January 17th at 11:59PM EST

If you have any questions please email Marquita Taylor at