Clay headshot

Emerson Fellow

Rachel Clay

10th Class, 2003-2004

Field Placement:  Community Harvest (Washington, DC)

Rachel conducted a community assessment of food security in the Ward 8 area, a low-income neighborhood.  She gathered demographic and statistical data on poverty rates and unemployment, free and reduced school lunch consumption, food stamp and WIC use, and nutrition related diseases and mortality.  Rachel also conducted surveys with residents, informal interviews at food pantries, and focus groups with area high school students about how their lives are affected by the current state of the Ward 8 food system.

Hunger Free Community Report:  

Assessment of Food Security in Ward 8 is a reference guide to the state of the food system in this historically underserved area of Washington, D.C.  The guide identifies the problems an inadequate food system in the neighborhood brings to its residents and serves as a tool to direct Community Harvest program activities.

Policy Site: Corporation for Enterprise Development (Washington, DC)

Rachel worked with the Assets team to advance CFED’s mission to promote asset building among the working poor mainly through Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).  She was a member of the asset policy work group and created a state-by-state manual for the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) project, which advocates for the creation of children’s savings accounts.

Pre-Fellowship Education/Experience:

Rachel is originally from Chicago, Illinois and is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University with a major in public relations and a minor in African American studies.  She also studied the influence of Blacks on literature, culture and art in Paris.  Her interest in social policy and love for children led her to serve as a mentor to elementary age children, East African refugee children, and high school girls.  Rachel has interned with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Clear Channel Radio, and Prudential Financial.