Community Wealth Building Research Fellowship Opportunity

People’s Economy Lab is looking for a research fellow who is prepared to commit time starting now through at least June 2023 to support our research work on Community Wealth Building. 

About People’s Economy Lab

People’s Economy Lab (PEL) works to advance the transition to a regenerative economy in Washington State by supporting the development of new economic models and systems that center and empower BIPOC communities. We push the boundaries of what’s possible for a just transition to local, community-centered economies that are equitable, democratic, and regenerative. Our work is anchored in the Just Transition Framework, a set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. We embrace approaches that: 

  • Shift economic control to communities 
  • Democratize wealth and the workplace 
  • Advance ecological restoration 
  • Drive racial justice and social equity 
  • Re-localize most production and consumption
  • Retain and restore cultures 

Background on the Generational Wealth Building Project

Since May 2022, PEL has been working with the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods (DON) to research, analyze, and develop a report on generational wealth building and equitable economic strategies to reduce the racial wealth gap in Seattle. During the course of this project, DON and consulting teams convened a BIPOC Generational Wealth Building Community Roundtable composed of community leaders, entrepreneurs, and active changemakers representing various BIPOC communities and neighborhoods throughout Seattle. The group explored a definition of generational wealth to guide the work; engaged in learning sessions about BIPOC generational wealth building; provided guidance on research priorities, strategies, and case studies; and identified key areas of interest for data collection. Our research and discussions with the Community Roundtable have led us to recommend a community wealth building framework. While generational wealth building is a pathway to building BIPOC familial wealth within the existing extractive economy, community wealth building is a pathway to building BIPOC community wealth for a new regenerative economy. Community wealth building is an economic development model that transforms local economies by giving communities direct ownership and control of their productive assets. 

PEL will continue to support the work of DON and the Community Roundtable in 2023 to design and pilot projects within a community wealth building framework. 

Specifically, PEL will provide: 

  1. Strategic guidance and deeper learning on unifying the Community Roundtable as they continue to develop a collaborative framework and analysis for generational and community wealth building that advance systems change. 
  2. Support and steward pilot design and implementation by providing research on generational and community wealth building strategies so that the individuals and organizations who are leading the pilots have access to information required to build a strong pilot. The pilots will include the following strategies: progressive procurement, equitable small business ecosystem, community-controlled capital, wealth retention and asset protection, community ownership of real estate, broad-based worker ownership.
  3. Continue ongoing research and analysis of wealth building strategies and their impact on closing racial wealth gaps. 

Position Description

We are looking for a fellow who can support our research work on community wealth building and be prepared to commit time starting immediately through at least June 2023 with possibility for extension. The commitment is approximately 5 to 10 hours per week paid at a rate of $25 to $35 per hour depending on experience. The fellow is expected to work remotely and should be available for at least 1-2 hours per week for meetings between 8-5pm PT, Monday through Thursday, in addition to potentially attending in-person or virtual events that may take place in the evening or on weekends.


Tasks associated with this fellowship include the following:

  • Research and provide analysis of local and national community wealth building models
  • Assist in coordinating community conversations around community wealth building 
  • Create community profiles and other communications materials to highlight new strategies toward community wealth building
  • Attend community conversations (virtual), and help organize or document conversations
  • Attend regularly scheduled meetings with the PEL team 


  • Master-level student, graduate, or equivalent community research experience
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Interest in in economic  justice, equity, governance, or policy issues demonstrated through work, volunteer experience, or coursework
  • Experience in community engagement 
  • Desire and ability to learn new issues and areas quickly
  • Team player capable of working both collaboratively and independently
  • Detail-oriented, organized, and self-motivated

How to Apply

Please send your resume and cover letter describing your interest in the position to Shiho Fuyuki at [email protected] by February 28, 2023.

PEL strives to create an inclusive workplace in which we meaningfully connect as colleagues and community partners, reflective of the people with whom we live, serve, and share in community. As an equal-opportunity employer, we work with people of diverse personal, professional, and regional backgrounds, so that our team and community network have a collective impact on delivering on our mission. People of color and others from underrepresented groups, especially people with direct experience working within the communities PEL partners with, are encouraged to apply. We invite people to be part of our team, regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, marital status, age, disabilities, political affiliation, and religious beliefs.

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