The goal of asset mapping in Albany’s West Hill neighborhood is to heal socioeconomic fractures by engaging directly with local residents. These mapping activities involve community-based research, civic engagement and critical refugee studies. Through this process, the community strengths and needs articulated by diverse West Hill residents will be collected to create a narrative map. 

Asset mapping is a research methodology that addresses sites of contention in local communities. Trust is built by offering educational community activities for local residents such as college access workshops, neighborhood gardening, mural painting, English language classes, health and wellness events, and organized team sports such as soccer, running, dance and taekwondo. This enables the SPIn team to create, engage and collaborate with a wide variety of community members of all ages. The SPIn team will then invite community members to discuss what specific resources are needed in their particular block and immediate neighborhood.

Summer 2021 Accomplishments:

  • Extensive youth engagement activities 
  • Offered several well attended workshops to educate young students about College Access opportunities. 
  • Initiated an extensive community engaged research project. 
  • English Language courses offered on Wednesday nights (initiated in July and will continue all fall/winter 2021).
  • Women's Health and Pregnancy Workshops 
  • West Hill Asset Mapping in process; continuation fall 2021.
  • Eid Celebration with the 518Snug anti-violence team 

Next Steps:

  • Increase in year-round programming.
  • Refugee Voices Art Exhibit at the Opalka Gallery.
  • Publication of our 3-year SPIn project.
  • Hiring of Vista
  • Hiring of Program Director for the Center

Contacts: Vera Eccarius-Kelly or Ali Schaeffing