Linda Dorcena Forry, Vice President for Northeast Region on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations, Suffolk Construction and former Rappaport/Boston Urban Scholar
Alison Collins, Health Systems Advisory at USAID and Former Rappaport Public Policy Fellow
Massachusetts Office for Transitional Assistance
Eric Hansson, Research Manager
Description of Fellowship
Samantha Berlus will work with the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA)—the agency that administers both the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) on behalf of Massachusetts—in an effort to advance the agency’s equity work and how to better serve as a true anti-racist organization committed to advancing professional opportunities for employees of color. In an effort to bridge knowledge gaps and advance otherwise qualified individuals from a broader diversity of professional and academic backgrounds, DTA is interested in creating an internal “Policy Academy.” This Policy Academy would create an opportunity for interested candidates to obtain foundational knowledge about the public benefit programs DTA administers increasing the viability of their candidacy for various positions within DTA as well as among other agencies and organizations involved in poverty disruption and public benefits. Samantha will develop two sets of curriculum, one for SNAP and one for TANF, that DTA could utilize in the implementation of this Policy Academy.