CENTER For Urban Initiatives
Administering Justice and Bringing Healing in Our Neighborhoods, Cities, Counties, States, and Nations
The Center for Urban Initiatives engages students to develop and/or participate in strategies that end social injustices in the tradition of past and contemporary Christian reformers. God has used these reformers to administer Justice and bring healing as taught in the Christian scriptures. Students learn how to identify, engage, and solve critical issues that have left neighborhoods, cities, counties, states or even entire nations pained and conflicted.
Sofia Herrera, PhD
Dr. Sofia Herrera is a licensed clinical psychologist by training and a community psychologist by heart and trade. She is a research faculty member at the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Director of the Fuller Seminary Office for Urban Initiatives. Her areas of interest are homelessness, trauma, resilience, risk and protective factors, positive youth development, public policy implementation and analysis, and program evaluation. Dr. Herrera's current research includes many homeless counts and reports required by the federal government in several jurisdictions throughout the State of California. In addition, her research has focused on the needs of single women experiencing homelessness in the United States. In this capacity, she has collaborated with key partners to bring the needs of unhoused women to the forefront at the local, state, and national levels to recognize them as a population of interest with distinct needs that require a gender lens to services and housing.
Dr. Herrera is a research committee member of the Homelessness Policy Research Institute at the Center for Social Innovation of the Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, an established and highly regarded network of researchers working to solve homelessness in the United States. Dr. Herrera's endeavors also include research in international settings on the effects of community violence, traumatic stress, and trauma on teachers and adolescents in El Salvador, Central America, and as a consultant for research on displaced persons in Colombia, South America. In addition, she has served as a consultant in program evaluation for local agencies and international nongovernmental organizations. In her research trajectory, Dr. Herrera served in the past as the coordinator of the Fuller Youth Initiative for Positive Youth Development and Violence Prevention, a 3.5M grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Dept. of Justice to the Fuller Graduate School of Psychology where she also supervised many doctoral research fellows and research assistants. As a contemplative community psychologist, Dr. Herrera is a passionate follower of the teachings of Teresa of Avila and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.
Joe Colletti, PhD
Dr. Joe Colletti is a social reformer who has modeled his life in the tradition of past and contemporary Christian reformers who have dedicated their lives to solving and ending social injustices. He has worked passionately with many cities and counties to end homelessness and has helped develop and implement many plans and programs that have resulted in thousands of homeless people exiting their state of homelessness. He has also strategized and labored with several jurisdictions in bringing social and economic reinvestment to neighborhoods that have experienced decades of disinvestment. He has worked passionately with non-government and government agencies to end various types of discrimination involving class, disabilities, ethnicity, gender, housing, income, race, and land use by changing such practices in local jurisdictional ordinances and statutes within their municipal codes.
He is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Studies. Much of his teaching and community and economic development experience focus on the issues of affordable housing, economic development, fair housing, health and mental health care, homelessness, human trafficking, and substance abuse, and how to integrate biblically rooted spiritual principles and practices into community efforts to help achieve solutions for social struggles.
Projects and Activities
INTERN AND PRACTICUM STUDENTS
The Center for Urban Initiatives has supervised numerous interns and practicum students at Fuller Theological Seminary since 2006. Contact us to indicate your interest in completing your internship or practicum with our office.