I am a Hudson Valley / New York City-based non-profit professional, writer, and environmentalist
with 6+ years’ experience in non-profit development, program management, and communications. In a past life I was a trained journalist and aspiring foreign correspondent; in my free time, I’m an amateur urban homesteader, avid gardener, and volunteer on my city’s Conservation Advisory Council. I’m currently in the process of launching the Peekskill Sustainability Network, a grassroots platform for connecting and supporting Peekskill residents concerned about climate change and food security.
I studied History (Latin American) and Journalism at Saint Michael’s College, and received my Masters of Science in Urban Affairs from Hunter College in 2015 with a focus on Urban Sustainability & Community Development. The problem of how cities might respond to climate change in equitable, adaptive ways – as well as my interest in vulnerable communities and the developing world – is what guided my research. I wrote about climate risk in Angola, spatial polarization in Caracas, and sea level rise in my native New York.
These interests led to a role as Research Associate with the CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities (CISC) from 2015 to 2016. In addition to editing and conducting research for academic papers, I coordinated a household survey project in vulnerable waterfront communities and contributed to the Mid-Hudson Sustainability & Smart Growth Toolkit, a collaborative project between CISC and the Regional Plan Association.
Currently, I work in a development and government relations role at a small, community-based housing and homelessness organization on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where I’m responsible for grant writing, grants management, government relations, and contract compliance.
From 2016 to 2018 I served as the same organization’s Resiliency Coordinator, a position funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. In that role, I developed disaster preparedness curriculum for community members and staff; participated in the neighborhood’s Long Term Recovery Group; developed an organizational and community disaster plan; worked with City agencies to brainstorm post-disaster response strategies; and spearheaded various retrofit projects in the organization’s Shelter and Supportive Housing properties, including solarization, flood risk audits, heat mitigation, and weatherization.
Earlier roles include my incredibly rewarding time as Communications Consultant for the Queens-based Refugee & Immigrant Fund (RIF), a non-profit serving asylum seekers in New York City (2014 to 2015), and my stint as a staff writer for the now-shuttered Argentina Independent, an English-language online and print paper (September 2012 – March 2013) – the closest I came to achieving those foreign correspondent dreams. Finally, from 2011 to 2012 I served as an AmeriCorps tutor with City Year in East New York, Brooklyn; the experience that inspired my love for community-based work.
Outside of work, I grow vegetables, plant fruit trees, cook Italian food, and raise a little girl, two cats, and two chickens with my wife.
You can contact me at crvbarrett [at] gmail [dot] com or follow me @crvbarrett.