On October 11, 2012, The Rockefeller Foundation President, Judith Rodin announced: Ron Shiffman, the founder of the Pratt Center for Community Development, is the recipient of the 2012 Jane Jacobs Medal for Lifetime Leadership. The medal recognizes his lifetime of achievement and leadership in promoting community-based activism.
As a student in the early 1960s, Mr. Shiffman, along with Professor George Raymond and others, worked on a study of Bedford-Stuyvesant, anticipating an urban renewal program planned for the neighborhood by the city's planning agencies. In partnership with the community, Shiffman and the Pratt planning school team developed a comprehensive plan to rebuild Bedford-Stuyvesant through economic development programs that became a model for the creation of community development corporations today. Mr. Shiffman’s work in Bedford-Stuyvesant inspired him and Prof. Raymond to found the Pratt Center in 1964. The Center is proud to carry on his legacy through its efforts to create a more equitable New York City.
This announcement comes parallel to the recent publication of Beyond Zuccotti Park: Freedom of Assembly and the Occupation for Public Space and the launch of the Democracy, Equity and Public Space initiative on which Mr. Shiffman is a lead editor and organizer. Democracy, Equity and Public Space is a collaborative initiative to promote discourse on public spaces as hubs for civic and political engagement through the publication of Beyond Zuccotti Park and through a national program of public forums, exhibits, and public policy advocacy. For more information on the book and the collaborative initiative, click here.