A year-long, experiential learning program for undergraduate students designed to help alleviate poverty and inequality in Greater Houston.


The Community Bridges program pairs academic study with active fieldwork to address urban inequality and poverty issues.

Strategic Goals

The Community Bridges program at Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research addresses urban inequality and poverty issues by pairing academic study with active fieldwork. Rice undergraduate students who are selected to be Community Bridges fellows simultaneously study the theories of urban sociology in the classroom and undertake internships with nonprofit organizations in various neighborhoods to carry out research-driven projects. Aimed at reducing poverty and inequality in the Greater Houston community, these projects sustainably build capacity in the partner organizations and assist them in making evidence-based decisions in pursuit of their missions. Students earn a total of five upper-level credits while participating in Community Bridges. The program entails different components in the fall and spring as well as the opportunity for fellows to apply for two summer fellowship slots and extend their placement through the summer.


Community Bridges works with a variety of community partners including Air Alliance Houston, BakerRipley, Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation, LINK Houston and more.


Reflections from 2019-2020 Community Bridges Fellow Susanna Yau:

“My Community Bridges fellowship was one of the highlights of my time at Rice. In addition to learning about urban sociology in the classroom, my internship with Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation allowed me to better understand what urban inequality looks like in Houston and the work being done to alleviate it. I am so thankful for the ways I have been able to get to know and learn from the Fifth Ward community through Community Bridges, from authoring a white paper on the need for affordable artist housing in developing communities to helping 220 households receive grants through the Harris County COVID Relief Program. My Community Bridges fellowship led to a funded summer fellowship and eventually a full-time AmeriCorps position with Fifth Ward CRC, and I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today without the support of Community Bridges.”

—  Susanna Yau, 2019-2020 Community Bridges Fellow

Click here for a list of Community Bridges alumni.

Learn More

See here for other past student projects:

2020-2021 Community Bridges Virtual Project Gallery

2019-2020 Community Bridges Summer Fellow Presentation

2018-2019 Community Bridges story map

2017-2018 Community Bridges story map

2016-2017 Community Bridges story map

Featured Urban Edge Stories


Head shot of Katie Wang

Katie Wang

  • Program Manager, Kinder Institute for Urban Research