A - 66 West 12th Street
Molly Rose Kaufman is a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the University of Orange, a free school of restoration urbanism in Orange, NJ. UofO builds collective capacity for friends, neighbors, and partners to cultivate a just and equitable city. UofO offers free courses, works in local coalitions to promote education across the lifecycle, and advocates for equity in urban planning. Molly co-founded the organization in 2008 alongside family members, local activists and community leaders. Molly earned a BA from Hampshire College and an MS from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. As a community planner, she has led community engagement in planning processes in Philadelphia and Detroit. Her writing has appeared in many places including YES Magazine and Shelterforce and was a Next City Urban Vanguard Fellow. She serves as a member of the board of the Jersey City Public Library and as Chair of the Board of the World Fellowship Center.
Molly teaches the third year Gural cohort. In 2021-22, the course focuses on investigations of spatial justice and creative interventions. Students explore questions including: How does inequality manifest in our built environment? How does understanding the many histories of our places support our community organizing? How are our neighborhoods and cities being reorganized as a result of the pandemic? Who is deciding the future? How are our demands for justice strengthened when we incorporate place-based organizing strategies? In the course, each student selects a site for research to explore the place’s history, current usage, meaning in peoples lives, role in communities and observations about how the pandemic is affecting public space. All students chose places accessible to their home or school so that they can visit easily to make observations given any Covid restrictions. Students are sharing their research in presentations and they will create pieces of writing and visual art for a collectively created ‘zine.