Brownsville Sentiment
Equity Project

The Brownsville Sentiment Equity Project seeks to address the ongoing crisis in confidence in public institutions – helping city government, local businesses, community organizations, and residents identify challenges posed and exacerbated by COVID-19, and implement data-based and co-designed solutions that support long-term recovery and growth – focusing on financial, health, and social equity.


Brownsville is a uniquely-situated community in Brooklyn, New York.

There are approximately 112,000 Brownsville residents, 71% of whom identify as black, 20% as Hispanic. Pre-pandemic, the community faced a 16% unemployment rate, and nearly 40% of residents lived below the poverty line. The median household income was $21,000 (nearly 67% less than the citywide median household income.) With the pandemic, Brownsville has had a COVID-related hospitalization rate twice that of the City’s average, and there has been a surge in gun violence between June – August.

Built for multi-year engagement, this project leverages data collected through genuine community engagement to address systemic inequities through iterative policy design.

The project’s four goals include:

1. Guiding policymakers’, social scientists’, and other key decision makers’ efforts to respond to the current health and economic crisis, and better prepare for future crises;

2. Strengthening civic participation across diverse segments of the community;

3. Connecting Brownsville residents to resources and interventions that may help with their specific mental, physical, and overall needs and concerns;

4. Building trust and understanding among residents and decision makers about what kinds of programs and policies will work best for the community.




A resident co-designed, bi-weekly, bilingual (English & Spanish) electronic survey, focused on a broad range of issues including: Stressors, Mental Health, Trust in Institutions, Message & Communications, and Demographics.


Custom-built platform centralizing survey, bi-weekly results, COVID19 recovery resources, community updates, and policy and program updates.


Brownsville grassroots leaders responsible for recruiting & retaining participants, analyzing data, developing recommendations, and co-designing solutions with local decision makers and community partners.


Working Group trainings on measurement, survey design, statistical analysis, and data visualization methodology and best practices.


A coalition of over 70 Brownsville-based organizations coordinating survey participation and proposed solutions feedback.


We are also preparing to launch a separate, complementary research stream, using voice and video recordings to capture residents’ open-ended responses to a series of short questions aimed at exploring their mental health and well-being as it relates to ongoing social, economic, and political conditions within the community.


Robin Hood Foundation

Robin Hood is New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization. For over thirty years, the organization has been finding, fueling and creating the most impactful and scalable solutions to lift families out of poverty in New York City. They partner with over 250 nonprofits to support food, housing, education, legal services, workforce development, and more to New Yorkers living in poverty across all five boroughs.

ConEdison’s Civic Leadership
Development Program

ConEdison’s partnerships in the communities it serves help to create opportunities and enrich lives. In 2018, ConEdison donated more than $500,000 to programs that empowered youth, minorities, and immigrant communities to participate in civic life through voter registration, Get Out The Vote (GOTV) programs, civics education programs, and volunteerism.