Our Initiatives

Kerry McLean

“In immigrant communities, we can make wealth-building strategies a fundamental part of community development work if we better understand the factors that influence immigrants’ income and economic decisions, and look closely at the available vehicles to stabilize and grow wealth.”

Kerry McLean breaks down the hidden barriers to building wealth in low-income communities, especially for immigrants and people of color.

Kerry is the vice president of community development at the nonprofit Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco) in the South Bronx. She directs the organization’s neighborhood planning, commercial revitalization and creative “place-affirming” initiatives. She has also managed cultural programming at the Bronx Music Heritage Center.

She says the Bronx has been a refuge for her family since the early 1990s, when they came to the U.S. from Jamaica. With more than 15 years of experience in community development, she has worked for the city of New York, both as a housing planner in the Bronx and community liaison in Manhattan. She has connected unemployed and underemployed people to good jobs at BronxWorks. And she managed economic development efforts, both as a program officer for the municipality of El Torno in Bolivia, and as project administrator at Chemonics International in Washington, D.C.

The American Planning Association has featured Kerry’s work, as have Americans for the Arts, the International Downtown Association, the Municipal Arts Society, TEDx Manhattan, the NYC Department of Health, the NYC Department of Small Business Services and NYC Parks.

Kerry is a Coro NY Neighborhood Leadership Fellows Program alumna. She has a master’s degree in urban planning from Hunter College of the City University of New York and a master's degree in international development from American University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and literature from Binghamton University.


Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation; Bronx, NY

Area of Focus:

Financial capability/wealth building

Fellowship Project: 

Research individual and family finances, financial capability and financial inclusion among immigrants in the Bronx.

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