Cy Richardson is Senior Vice President for Programs at the National Urban League, and a member of the League’s Executive Leadership Team. A certified urban planner, Cy is a recognized and respected expert in the fields of housing and community development, racial wealth equity and job creation; and is a sought-after commentator and thought leader on issues related to building a more inclusive economy. Central to his work is the promotion and assessment of asset building and intergenerational wealth creation opportunities for people of color in urban America. In his current role he oversees financial and economic education, fair lending, diversity, and inclusion – particularly in the areas of housing, transportation, and infrastructure. Cy also leads the League’s program design, implementation, and evaluation activities, supporting national efforts to create economic and social opportunities and ensure that prosperity is widely shared regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or geography. As a grants officer, he has supported efforts to increase economic security and mobility for low-income families, close the racial wealth gap, and advance financial inclusion.
Earlier in his career, Cy served as a Research Associate and Community Navigator at the Pratt Institute Center for Community Development, where he played a lead role in the actualization of several community development revitalization plans in diverse, low-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn. At the Center, he also managed training and technical assistance programs throughout New York State, served as a trainer on community development and organizational management issues, and provided policy analysis and public testimony on a variety of economic development subjects. Prior to joining NUL in 2002, Cy worked in various positions in state and local government including as a Legislative Director with the New York City Council, with the New York State Legislature as Lead Economic Policy Analyst, and as a Land Use Planner for the Brooklyn Borough President.
Cy has published numerous program evaluation reports and opinion articles on a range of economic topics, including housing and urban development policy. He also conducts basic and applied research around the guiding principles and practices of equitable development and is a frequent commentator and blogger on the boosts and blocks to building sustainable wealth in communities of color. His scholarly interests include economic inequality and intergenerational economic mobility. His research and commentary have been featured in the nation’s top publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes and many others, and he speaks frequently at a broad spectrum of events. He participates as an advisory board member for several of the nation’s largest financial institutions, nonprofits, and research organizations, and previously served terms on the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council and the Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Council. Cy currently volunteers on several local and national boards and is also serving a three-year term as an appointed Director on the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development.
Cy earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds graduate degrees from Pratt Institute and the City University of New York’s (CUNY) Graduate Center. Cy received an Advanced Certificate in Urban Policy Analysis from Humboldt University (Berlin) and was awarded an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University. Cy lives in Brooklyn and is a proud husband and father of two girls.
Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice
My mission as a nonprofit leader is to improve the world and to serve those less fortunate and those in marginalized communities. To best serve these constituents, I must be able to understand and relate to people of diverse backgrounds including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other characteristics.