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Abstract

Through the lens of an innovative community-university partnership in the Greater Boston region, the authors analyze how welfare reform organizing overtook a resident-driven empowerment project. Since a major goal of the Chelsea/Dudley Partnership in MA is to support residents in exerting greater power over the practices and policies of community agencies, projects have been initiated in the city of Chelsea and the Dudley neighborhood of Boston to organize, and to strengthen, low income women by training them as welfare advocates. This paper examines how the efforts evolved, and how the community and the university partners are playing a key role in making connections and developing skills. Urgency of now factors are discussed and the call is made for greater recognition of the strength of recipient organizing. Recommendations are offered for human service providers.

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