Social Impact Design Fellow

Website nhbdalliespgh Neighborhood Allies

VISION: We envision a Pittsburgh with healthy neighborhoods that are thriving, resilient, and livable for all.

MISSION: Neighborhood Allies works to support the people, organizations and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining healthy neighborhoods.

Position: Social Impact Design Fellow

Status: 6 Month Fellowship

Reports to: Program Manager for Social Impact Design


Neighborhood Allies is a social impact organization that collaboratively works to empower community partners. Over the next 10 years, we will expand our resources to Accelerate, Scale, and Sustain the work of our community partners to create healthy neighborhoods of opportunities and move 100,000 low-income Pittsburghers up the socio-economic ladder. We are achieving this by centering our work and investments to foster a more just, fair, and inclusive society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. We emphasize the importance of racial equity –the condition achieved when one’s identity no longer statistically predicts how one fares. Racial equity is a part of racial justice and thus we work to address root causes of inequities and not just their manifestations.

To further expand on our goals, we are seeking an individual to illuminate our role in design justice and equitable community development practices that support our focus neighborhoods. “Design” can be the development of the built environment, or program and product innovation. “Design thinking” is an approach to problem solving that integrates the identification of true needs with patient exploration of solutions. Our Social Impact Design Fellow will have design and design thinking skills that provide an asset to the communities we serve, in a multitude of ways.

Under the general direction of the Program Manager for Social Impact Design, and Chief Operating Officer, the Social Impact Design Fellow shall be responsible for developing an equitable approach to community development that centers design justice principles. The fellow will conduct an ecosystem analysis to scale the growth of programmatic opportunities that support Neighborhood Allies’ Centralized Real Estate Accelerator program and the RISE HIGH (Racial Inclusive Solutions for Equitable-Development, Healing, Impact, Growth and Health) Grant Partnership program. They will use their design skills to further expand the corresponding impact of those programs by working directly with neighborhood leaders and partners to creatively address and solve identified issues. They will have opportunities to build strong relationships with partners throughout the city including but not limited to the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the National Organization of Minority Architects, the American Institute of Architects, and the Design for Pittsburgh collaborative group, while also making connections at similar nonprofit design organizations around the nation that will serve as case study models.

The Fellow will be responsible for positioning Neighborhood Allies as a leader in equitable community development practices. Utilizing their knowledge, extensive research, presentation, and design skills the Fellow will work collaboratively with partners to support reinvestment efforts in our focus communities.


  • Co-create, support and help drive a clear vision and path forward for the organization that promotes organizational and programmatic sustainability by:
    • Conducting Programmatic Visioning/Ecosystem Mapping.
    • Providing high value thought leadership that helps position the organization as an essential community asset and leader in equitable community development.
    • Working directly with neighborhood partners and leaders to support design needs in our communities.
  • Assist with various activities including case study research, analysis, and program and project development and implementation.
  • Assist with the pre-development efforts to update our Neighborhood Level Strategies.
  • Report to the Program Manager, Centralized Real Estate Accelerator team, and the RISE HIGH team on a bi-weekly basis to ensure work supports strategic goals and organizational mission.
  • Develop design fee-for-service opportunities.
  • Participate in partner meetings to build stronger relationships.
  • Host community design charrettes, and thorough neighborhood level research to inform develop strategies that improve quality of life.
  • Produce visual take-aways that community partners could use to fundraise for new development opportunities.
  • We welcome initiative and will work together with a Fellow who wants to develop their own project within the scope of our time and existing priorities.


  • Degree in architecture, urban design, planning, or related field is required. (Direct professional experience and skills could replace this requirement.)
  • Proficient in planning and design suites such as: Sketch-up, Revit, Rhino, AutoCAD, GIS, and Adobe Creative Suites; strong written communication skills.
  • Cross-sectional interest in the arts, public policy, and research is a plus.
  • Grant writing experience is a plus.
  • An understanding of human-centered design, racial equity theory of change, and cultural sensitivity.
  • A passion and commitment to design for social justice and design excellence.
  • Ability to conduct thorough and organized research.
  • Ability to perceive design as a component of programs & systems in the real world.
  • Past projects demonstrating direct neighborhood development experience and community engaged processes.
  • An ability to express ideas in a clear and effective manner through a variety of media.
  • Strong problem solver and collaborative thinker.


Non-exempt Hourly Employee – $17-$19/ hour.


Please send cover letter, resume (including relevant coursework and design portfolio) by June 4, 2021 to:

Subject Line: ATTN: Social Impact Design Fellowship

Neighborhood Allies
429 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

No phone calls please. Position is open until filled.



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