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Tracey Capers living her dream, helping others

Cyril Josh Barker | 10/10/2013, 4:53 p.m.
Tracey Capers has always been part of the public sector and wanted to help the community. In her current position ...
Tracey Capers

Tracey Capers has always been part of the public sector and wanted to help the community. In her current position of executive vice president, programs and organizational development at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration, she’s living her dream everyday.

Capers oversees program planning, external affairs and development operations at Restoration. Prior to joining Restoration full-time in September 2005, she served as a consultant to Restoration, leading efforts to renew funding relationships, increase board involvement and create strategic partnerships.

Originally from White Plains, N.Y. Capers said she grew up in public housing, which sparked her interest in community service. She graduated from Yale University with a degree in economics and studied policy at the Fels Center of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.

“My work in the public sector has a lot to do with my upbringing and educational background,” she said. “I’ve seen the difference between the haves and the have-nots living in places where wealthy communities are right next to poor communities.”

With intensions to go to law school, Capers perused work in the public sector. After working at UPenn, she took a position in former Mayor David Dinkins’ administration as chief of staff for the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

Throughout her career, Capers has worked with the Bowery Residents’ Committee, the Development Training Institute, the New York Community Trust and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She has held a number of leadership posts at nonprofits and in government, including serving as vice president of development at the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

While in college, she heard about Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration. The community organization was one of the first of its kind in the country and served as a model for other community improvement programs.

Hearing about it in various circles, Capers began her work with restoration in 2001 as a consultant and started working there full time in 2005. Since she’s been there, Capers has started and supported several programs for the community.

What I am proud of is there is an increased array of programs with new, diverse, younger audiences that are constantly coming through Restoration,” she said. “Programs that help families like workforce development and financial counseling.”

This weekend, Capers is putting on Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration’s seventh annual Restoration Rocks. The event will take place on Fulton Street between Marcy and Brooklyn avenues. Hip-hop icon Big Daddy Kane is headlining along with DJ QuestLove, Chrisette Michele and Maya Azucena.