Burnside headshot

Emerson Fellow

Ashley Burnside

23rd Class, 2016-2017

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ashley graduated with honors from the University of Michigan with a degree in social theory and practice and a minor in community action and social change. She spent a summer living in Detroit and worked in a racial justice organization called Focus: HOPE where she helped analyze community survey data on food and education access. In addition, she led workshops on race with high school students from the Metropolitan Detroit area through the University of Michigan Intergroup Relations Office. Ashley has also interned at Congressman Daniel Kildee’s office through the Victory Congressional Internship Program and at the Human Rights Campaign where she focused on HIV/AIDS issues and transgender equity.

Field placement: Denver Urban Matters

Denver, Colorado

Ashley expanded the efforts of the DenUM Community Relations Department by promoting voter engagement efforts and leading weekly dialogues with food pantry clients. She registered and pledged over five-hundred food pantry clients to vote and created a nonpartisan, accessible ballot guide to help community members understand everything they would be voting on in the election. She also led weekly meetings with a group of clients called the DenUM Community Leadership Team, which helped clients become more involved in their community and the food pantry.

Policy placement: RESULTS

Washington, D.C.

Ashley took on a wide array of projects and responsibilities during her time at RESULTS. She conducted research and updated resources on tax policy such as the EITC and CTC along with the Racial Wealth Gap. She planned and moderated a workshop for the RESULTS International Conference on understanding hunger, taxes, and healthcare as racial justice issues. She also expanded grassroots capacity and engagement for the organization and authored recommendations for making recruitment practices inclusive of marginalized communities.

Hunger Free Community Report

A Model for Engaging Food Pantry Clients: Analyzing the DenUM Community Leadership Team is a guide to help other food pantries create their own DenUM Community Leadership Team model to engage their clients. The guide includes recruitment strategies, agenda and workshop templates, and recommendations on making the space accessible.

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