The Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) is a center for planning and development within the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP)CoLab facilitates the interchange of knowledge and resources between MIT and community organizations. We engage students to be practitioners of this approach to community change and sustainability. 

NextShift Collaborative, LLC is a mission-driven firm that builds strategic partnerships for collective wealth generation in communities that have been marginalized by traditional economic development.

Cassandra Lopez Fradera is a communications strategy consultant, multi-genre writer, co-creator of Raíces Borikén Collective and healing justice advocate. Raised in the northeastern U.S. and Puerto Rican diaspora, her work as a writer, speaker, and strategist is centered on providing resources and strategies for healing and self-determination.

Through her reporting of local news on Café con Cass, a public access television show created in 2014, she conducts interviews with civic leaders, multidisciplinary artists, mental health specialists, and change makers in video, print, and podcast. Cassandra combines traditional journalism with emergent strategy to open new channels of communication in a rapidly changing economy and world through media and education.

Cassandra received a B.A. in Business Management from Babson College and in 2017, her M.A. in Journalism Studies from the Harvard Extension School and graduate certificate in Business Communication. She most recently worked in administration and as a union representative for HUCTW at Harvard University. In 2018, she launched her consulting practice to help people and organizations committed to social change and transformational leadership communicate their best message.