Erica Kohl-Arenas - Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management
  • Faculty

    Erica Kohl-Arenas

    Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Management

    Office Location:

    Fanton Hall/Welcome Center


    Erica Kohl-Arenas is an Assistant Professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy and is the first recipient of The New School award in Outstanding Achievements in Diversity and Social Justice Teaching. She earned her PhD from the Social and Cultural Studies in Education program at the University of California, Berkeley (2010), an MS in Community Development from the University of California, Davis (1999), and a BA in Sociology from Reed College (1991). While at the University of California she was a fellow with the Institute for the Study of Social Change, the Labor and Employment Research Fund of the UC Office of the President, and The Spencer Foundation. She was awarded the UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award in 2008.

    Kohl-Arenas' book (forthcoming, University of California Press) analyzes the history of philanthropic investments in addressing farmworker and immigrant poverty across California’s Central Valley. Her primary research areas include studies of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, participatory community development, and the intersection of American and global poverty studies. As a publically engaged scholar-teacher Kohl-Arenas’ remains engaged in the practice of participatory development by designing and managing community-university partnerships across New York City.

    Prior to her graduate studies, Kohl-Arenas worked as a popular educator and community development practitioner in a variety of settings including urban public schools, immigrant nonprofit organizations, coal mining and ‘crofting’ towns in Appalachia, Scotland, and Wales, and across southern Africa where she studied grassroots citizenship education. Kohl-Arenas’ work in communities and classrooms is inspired by an early experience working with Myles Horton and the Highlander Research and Education Center. She has also been a fellow with the Coro Foundation, The Thomas J. Watson Foundation, and the Sustainable Communities Leadership Program.

    Recent Publications:

    Kohl-Arenas, Erica , Myrna Martinez Nateras & Johanna Taylor (2014) Cultural Organizing as Critical Praxis: Tamejavi Builds Immigrant Voice, Belonging, and Power, Journal of Poverty, 18:1, 5-24

    Will the Revolution be Funded? Resource Mobilization and the California Farm Worker Movement
    Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, 2013

    Kohl-Arenas, Erica. (2011) Governing Poverty Amidst Plenty: Participatory Development and Private Philanthropy, Geography Compass, 5 (11): 811–824.