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Karilyn Crockett

Director of Economic Policy and Research, Small Business Development

Dr. Karilyn Crockett’s research focuses on large-scale land use changes in twentieth century American cities and examines the social and geographic implications of structural poverty. Karilyn’s dissertation entitled, “ 'People Before Highways:' Reconsidering Routes to and from the Boston Anti-Highway Movement” investigates a 1960s era grassroots movement to halt urban extension of the interstate highway system. Prior to graduate school, Karilyn co-founded Multicultural Youth Tour Of What's Now (MYTOWN), an award winning, educational non-profit organization. A Boston organization, MYTOWN hired public high school students to research their local and family histories to produce youth-led walking tours for sale to public audiences. During its nearly 15 years of operation, MYTOWN created jobs for more than 300 low and moderate-income teenagers, who in turn led public walking tours for more than 14,000 visitors and residents. In a White House ceremony, the National Endowment for the Humanities cited MYTOWN as “One of ten best Youth Humanities Programs in America.”

Karilyn holds a PhD from the American Studies program at Yale University, a Master of Science in Geography from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts and Religion from Yale Divinity School. She is a research affiliate in the Department of Urban Studies & Planning at MIT. Her career mission is to work at the nexus of education, economic development and urban revitalization.