Allentza Michel is an urban planner, policy researcher, artist and community organizer with 20 years of diverse experience across community & economic development, education, food security, public health and transportation. Her background informs her work in civic design, community and organizational development, and social equity.
Growing up in Boston with limited transit options and transportation infrastructure led Allentza to coalition building and community planning, with a particular focus on transportation planning and community development. She has consulted with and for several organizations and research labs on transit planning and design topics and technology, from the MBTA to MIT. As Director of the Fairmount/Indigo Network, she worked with 36 organizations and coalitions that seek to bring equitable transit and community development resources to the Fairmount Line neighborhoods of Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Hyde Park, which are overlap with some of Boston’s most historically low income populations of color.
Previously, Ms. Michel performed research on national sharing economy models that could be applied to bike share systems when she worked at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency which managed Hubway's expansion into other municipalities. She also had pitched the "Prescribe-A-Bike" initiative for Hubway, which was later adopted. She served on MAPC’s internal Equity Committee, supporting shifts in operations to build more inclusion and foster diversity and cultural competency in the workplace.
In 2013, Allentza served as co-chair to the City of Boston's Participatory Budgeting Project’s inaugural year. She was the inaugural fellow for Association for Community Design in 2015 and a 2016 Creative Community Fellows with National Arts Strategies. Her leadership and collaborative work have been recognized by the Cambridge City Council and the Princeton Prize in Race Relations. In February 2020, Ms. Michel received a commendation from the Boston City Council for her transportation and racial justice work in the city. She founded and co-founded nonprofit-organizations and has served on many boards of community-based organizations, civic groups and coalitions. Allentza received a Master's in Public Policy from Tufts University, as a 2013 Neighborhood Fellow, with a concentration in Transportation Policy and Community Development. She has BAs in English and Social and Political Systems from Pine Manor College and a graduate certificate in Non-profit Management from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business.
Allentza is the founder and director of Powerful Pathways.