Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams

Marlon worked on the Integration Initiative and other special projects that create more equitable and inclusive cities. He worked to implement, test and spread strategies that create collaborations across sectors in service of greater collective impact and economic opportunity for city residents.

Marlon Williams joined Living Cities in February 2017 as the Assistant Director of Public Sector Innovation working on the Integration Initiative and other special projects. Marlon’s career has focused on improving the economic, social and physical wellbeing of all urban residents with particular emphasis on increasing access and opportunity for low income families and communities of color. He specializes in the leadership of multi-agency and multi-sectoral initiatives that require the coordination and mobilization of numerous stakeholders towards achieving progress on initiatives that cannot be achieved by any one entity working in isolation.

Marlon previously served as Director of Cross Agency Partnership for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where he worked with City agencies to identify opportunities for various City programs, policies and planning processes to maximize the potential to improve the health of local residents. This work included partnering with the housing department to integrate healthy home designs, the transportation and planning departments to build streetscapes that promote walking and cycling and the economic development agency to promote businesses that increase access to healthy and affordable foods.

His previous work has created impact through the creation of innovative new programs and policies including the Jobs-Plus workforce development program for public housing residents for the City of New York and financial empowerment programs and policies for the United Way of NYC. He also served as a Policy Adviser for the Deputy Mayor of New York City focused on housing, economic empowerment and aging. Marlon earned his bachelor’s degree from Williams College and his Master’s in Public Policy from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. He is also an avid wanderer and dancer.

Marlon Williams

Contributing Articles

A Public Sector Guide to Talking About Race

If the echos and chanting for equity haven’t rang clear in the last seven years since the Black Lives Matter movement emerged in 2013, we are rest assured that they have now been heard across America. The recent protests emerging in hundreds of cities across the country have made it impossible for local and state governments to ignore the rallies …

Lessons on Anti-Racist Organizing Across Government and Community

Living Cities works to create systemic change grounded in the understanding that systems and institutions are made up of people. Whether operating on the inside of institutions, or demanding change from the outside, the work of advancing racial equity is all about mobilizing people. Throughout our work we have seen the impact of people organizing to shift power from a …

Ending White Supremacy Culture: A Resource for Cultivating Abundance Mindset

Living Cities has learned that to do racial equity work with authenticity, we have to embrace a new way of working. It has to start with us, at the level of individual staff and project teams. As we set about creating a new network to advance anti-racist practices in local government, we are seeking to intentionally defy the norms set …

Racially Equitable COVID19 Rapid Response from a Front-Line Public Servant

While the realities and impacts of COVID19 continue to unfold, I reflect on past moments in my life that are reminiscent of this time. Prior to working at Living Cities, I worked as a Public Information Officer for the Center on Health Equity at the New York City Department of Health coordinating community outreach during the time of the Ebola …

Strength In Numbers: The Importance of the 2020 Census

The census holds power to bring visibility, resources and political agency to our communities. It’s up to us to share the facts and mobilize each other around the upcoming census, so that our communities receive equitable resources and representation in the coming decade. During the time between the 1990 and 2000 census, my family, like many other Caribbean families, moved …

What Does Racial Equity & Inclusion Look Like for the Public Sector?

Where do we go from here? That is the question. There was a training, or a book, or a conversation with a person you trust that broke down systemic racism for you. Now you can’t unlearn what you know but you don’t know what to do next. This is a place many find themselves in as they develop their racial …

Contributing Resources

A tool towards sustainability in cross-sector initiatives: Mayoral Transition

The purpose of this tool is to provide an organizing structure and tool to guide the planning for the sustainability and scalability of cross-sector initiatives in anticipation of changes in city administrations. At a recent convening of our Initiative Directors, we engaged them in an exploration of the strategic opportunities available to support the long term sustainability of their work …

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