Lowell headshot

Emerson Fellow

Caitlin Lowell

22nd Class, 2015-2016

Field Placement: 9to5 Colorado (Denver, CO)

Caitlin engaged new members and supported the community leadership within 9to5’s campaigns as members shared their stories, gave speeches, and wrote blog posts on issues including renters’ rights, labor rights for parents, and the Fair Chance Denver campaign. She organized focus groups for the Integrating Resources project, a project that consulted low-income parents about their experiences accessing public assistance—including SNAP, TANF, and affordable child care—to ensure that issues parents consider critical are central in shaping policy proposals on these issues. The report from the focus groups was used to replicate this project in Atlanta and Boston.

Hunger Free Community Report:

Time for a Fair Chance: Stories from Coloradans on Why We Need to Ban the Box is a storybook and advocacy tool for the Fair Chance Denver campaign, a coalition that seeks to pass a local Fair Chance Ordinance to increase access to jobs and housing for people with criminal records. The toolkit, and the “Fair Chance Denver” social media campaign, features the stories of community members with records and describes how a Fair Chance Ordinance would increase their job and housing security, and would benefit the Denver community as a whole.

Policy Placement: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance (Washington, D.C.)

Caitlin is conducting research and developing tools that highlight best practices within states for providing ongoing employment supports for families that leave TANF through partnerships with other programs that support career pathways for low-income individuals, including SNAP Employment and Training. Her work is strengthening federal cross-agency communication and collaboration to increase employment support for former TANF families. The information developed through this project will be transmitted to state and local program administrators through publications, webinars, and meetings.

Education and Experience:

Originally from Portland, Maine, Caitlin graduated from Columbia University in 2015 with a degree in political science and American studies. Caitlin has organized around issues of economic justice with ACLU, Lambda Legal, and Queers for Economic Justice. Caitlin served as a Victory Congressional Intern in Congressman Mike Michaud’s Office. At Columbia, Caitlin worked to improve identity-conscious mental health and sexual violence services for students with marginalized identities.