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A Different Approach to School Readiness

Using a strengths-based approach, Smart From the Start works to promote school readiness and eliminate the educational achievement gap among children in Boston’s lowest 10% income families. They provide an array of wrap-around services to give families the tools and resources they need to create stability in their lives and enable parents and caregivers...
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New Conversations in Social Equity: Kelly McGowan on Participatory Leadership and Occupy Wall Street

In September, I attended an Art of Hosting gathering called the Art of Participatory Leadership and Social Change in New York City. The hosting team for this event called the gathering around the question, “What is the new conversation in social justice and equity that you are longing to have?” A few weeks later,...
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Working with Boston Youth to Improve Math Skills and Develop Personal Resiliency

MathPOWER takes a comprehensive approach to developing both proficiency in advanced mathematics and personal resiliency as vehicles to bring about transformational change in the lives of urban youth.
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VIDEO: Aerin Dunford on upcycling, creativity, and systems change

In this video, Aerin explains what upcycling is all about and shares her thoughts on how upcycling connects to social change and large-scale systems change.
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Modeling Sustainable Living in Johannesburg, South Africa

Founded in 1998, the GreenHouse Project is a walk-in green living demonstration center in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the dual purpose of connecting community-based green enterprises in the area.
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Recognizing Workers’ Rights as Human Rights

In partnership with community groups, workers' rights groups, and concerned citizens, Sugar Law Center provides legal advocacy and technical support to empower individuals and communities seeking systemic change with regard to economic and social justice. Sugar Law has been instrumental in many fair-employment, mass-layoff, and environmental justice cases.
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VIDEO: Jackie Cahi Tells the Story of Kufunda Learning Village in Zimbabwe

Founded in 2002, Kufunda is a working village in Zimbabwe exploring how we can all become more self-sufficient in community. Kufundees live what they speak; they keep their land alive, use local solutions, grow healthy food, offer workshops and run local schools.
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VIDEO: Young Detroit Builders Connects Young Adults With Ways to Give Back

Young Detroit Builders (YDB) is an 8-10 month training program that seeks to unleash the positive energy of unemployed young adults in order to rebuild their communities and their own lives. YDB offers comprehensive support services in the form of counseling, leadership development, life skills, and on-the-job construction training.
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Locally Sourced Bistro Daily Grub Thrives Using “Good Food” Business Model

An all-organic, vegan restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska offers alternative cuisine, serves as a model for other small businesses
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Creating Useful Things From Waste, Connecting Upcyclers Across the Globe

Upcycling is a term that refers to the practice of making things that are more beautiful, durable, or useful from what was previously considered waste.
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Training Women To Become Angel Investors in Women-Led For-Profit Social Ventures

Pipeline Fund is a social venture fund that invests in women-led for-profit ventures and trains women philanthropists to become angel investors.
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VIDEO: Joe Finn Explains MHSA’s Home & Healthy for Good Program

In this video, Executive Director Joe Finn explains MHSA's Home & Healthy for Good program, a Housing First initiative in partnership with Dr. Jessie Gaeta. In 2010, Home & Healthy for Good was selected as a Social Innovator by Root Cause and its Social Innovation Forum.
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Cultivating Leadership for a New Era

Leadership Learning Community (LLC) is a nonprofit organization focused on leveraging leadership as a means to create a more just and equitable society. Through publications, public speaking, and consulting, LLC has pioneered innovative ideas for strengthening the field of leadership development. In 2009, LLC launched Leadership for a New Era (LNE)--a collaborative research initiative...
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VIDEO: Joe Finn on the Housing First Movement

In this video, Executive Director Joe Finn explains the Housing First Movement and this relatively new approach to ending homelessness is so effective. Housing First brings focuses on bringing housing to the front of the continuum of care rather than making housing the prize.
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VIDEO: Neel Shah of Costs of Care – Giving Doctors & Patients the Information They Need to Deflate Medical Bills

In this short video, we speak with Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Neel Shah, about the purpose of Costs of Care, why he started the organization, and how people can get involved.
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The Heidelberg Project – Historic Art Environment and Cultural Village, Potential Economic Engine for the City of Detroit

The Heidelberg Project is an open-air art environment in Detroit’s East Side. I first encountered it when I was maybe 10 years old. My father's company maintained several properties in Detroit. Each weekend we would drive from site to site to check the progress of the previous week's work. With its famous polka dot...
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What Greater Boston Interfaith Organization Gets Right: Listening to Members, Cultivating Leaders from Within

On June 30th, the 29th graduating class from the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization’s Moving from Debt to Assets (MFDTA) program wore colorful scarves instead of caps and gowns. With hennaed fingertips, palms and soles, 25 Somali-American women celebrated their first step on the road to financial freedom.
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Envisioning a Million Points of Light

Prosperity Candle invests in women entrepreneurs in distressed areas of the world—places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, and Rwanda—who are excited to start their own businesses producing candles for local and international markets. The company was founded to empower women entrepreneurs in places of conflict so that they may not only survive, but thrive.
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VIDEO: Herb Gleason on leadership and community health

In this video, Herb Gleason shares lessons on leadership and community organizing, discusses his time working with community activist Mel King while at United South End Settlements, and tells the story of the founding of one of Boston's first community health centers (one of the most energizing decisions he says he's ever been involved...
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The JP Greenhouse: Looking Ahead from the Inside Out

It’s been a long time coming, but the transformation of the abandoned Jack’s Store into a super-insulated, energy efficient home on the corner of Bourne and Catherine Streets in Jamaica Plain is complete... But what really sets this home apart is that the family welcomes others to come by and learn about the ongoing...
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David Crowley Discusses His Work With Social Capital Inc.

On May 7th, 2009 David Crowley, President and Founder of Social Capital Inc., participated in NPi’s community dialogue at the Boston Public Library. NPi community dialogues bring together local leaders to discuss lessons learned, current projects, and potential collaborations. Here are some excerpts from the conversation.
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Using the Arts to Revitalize Civic Life

The mission of Cultural Agents is simple: to promote the arts and humanities as social resources. Through arts education, Cultural Agents expands citizens’ imagination and resourcefulness so that together, people are more capable of solving community problems. The initiative identifies creative agents of change, reflects on best practices, and inspires their replication.
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Hilary Allen Discusses Her Work with the Boston Center For Community and Justice

BCCJ is a leadership development organization. We run two programs: one is called “LeadBoston” for adult professionals, and the youth program that we run for high schoolers is called “InIt” or the “Leadership Initiative.” So you might be thinking what’s leadership development? For BCCJ, we are trying to advance a community of socially responsible...
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NPi Podcast: Racism and Inequity in 21st Century America

This is the fifth in a series of podcasts from NPi’s community dialogue featuring three Boston-based social justice organizations. In this edition, Hilary Allen (Community Engagement Manager at the Boston Center for Community and Justice), David Crowley (President and Founder of Social Capital Inc.), and Kaia Stern (Director of the Prison Studies Project/Pathways Home)...
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Dave McLaughlin Discusses His Work With Boston World Partnerships

On August 6th, 2009, Dave McLaughlin, Executive Director of Boston World Partnerships, participated in NPi’s community dialogue, "Building Community Online and Offline" at City Year.
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Street Talk, Suite Talk: A Rap Opera About Conflict, Community, and Personal Transformation

Street Talk, Suite Talk has been developed through a collaborative process involving Anna, seven young poet-rappers, seven dancers, composer Jakov Jakoulov, and violinist Mark Berger. Advisors to the project include Anthony Toombs of Project Joy and Robert Macy from the On-Track Initiative, part of the Center for Trauma Psychology.
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Detroit Nonprofit Uses Industrial Scraps for Art Education

Industrial remnants and artistic creation—two things you may not associate with each other that when paired, create a social phenomenon called Arts and Scraps. Arts and Scraps is a nonprofit organization in Detroit’s eastside, a location conducive to acquiring plenty of industrial scrap materials. Arts and Scraps reclaims and reuses materials that would otherwise...
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NPi Podcast: David Crowley and Kaia Stern share early inspiration for their work

NPi Podcast: David Crowley and Kaia Stern share early inspiration for their work

This is the second in a series of podcasts from NPi's May 2009 community dialogue featuring three Boston-based social justice organizations.
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NPi Podcast: In an Economic Recession, An Illusion of Scarcity and Abundance of Resources

This is the fourth in a series of podcasts from NPi’s community dialogue featuring three Boston-based social justice organizations. In this edition, Hilary Allen (Community Engagement Manager at the Boston Center for Community and Justice, David Crowley (President and Founder of Social Capital Inc.), and Kaia Stern (Director of the Prison Studies Project/Pathways Home)...
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NPi Podcast: Pros and Cons of Online Tools in Community Organizing

This is the third in a series of podcasts from NPi’s May 2009 community dialogue featuring three Boston-based social justice organizations.
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NPi Podcast: Meeting Hilary Allen, David Crowley, and Kaia Stern-Three Boston-Based Leaders

NPi Podcast: Meeting Hilary Allen, David Crowley, and Kaia Stern-Three Boston-Based Leaders

This podcast is features three speakers from NPi's May 2009 dialogue.
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Joe Finn on the Housing First Movement and Long-Term Solutions to Homelessness (Part 1 of the MHSA Story)

Throughout the 17 years he has worked on homelessness issues, Joe Finn has focused much of his energy on the expansion of permanent supportive housing opportunities for individuals, including the chronically homeless, the most difficult segment of the homeless population to serve.
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“ArtScience” Teaches Cross-Disciplinary Thinking & Innovation

Together with Cloud Foundation founder, David Edwards, Carrie has led the creation of the Boston 100K ArtScience Innovation Prize, an urban teen empowerment program that provides learning opportunities through the development of breakthrough ideas in arts and design at the frontier of scientific knowledge.
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Reflections on Advocacy and Leadership from the Mass Housing and Shelter Alliance Team (Part II of the MHSA Story)

After speaking with Joe Finn, President and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance, about MHSA’s history, current work, and the Housing First movement, I sat down with more MHSA staff to ask some of the bigger questions about what it is like working on such a cause as ending homelessness every...
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Community-Based, Comprehensive Adult Education in South Boston

Community-Based, Comprehensive Adult Education in South Boston

The Notre Dame Education Center (NDEC) has been a place of hope for South Boston residents since it opened its doors in 1860. Started by a group of nuns called the Sisters of Notre Dame, the center began as a free high school for girls. While the school closed in 1992, the sisters remained...
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VIDEO: Students Talk About Notre Dame Education Center

Today, NDEC serves over 350 students in South Boston, with its ESOL program serving over 200 students each year. Additional support services include employment and educational counseling, immigration case management, and citizenship preparation and tutoring. In this video, students discuss the people and programs of NDEC, the impact the school has had on their...
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Dollars and Sense: The Moving From Debt to Assets Program Proves Financial Stability is Attainable

Effectively combining financial classes, counseling, and peer support, Moving From Debt to Assets provides the tools for a debt-free life. And since classes are taught in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Cape Verdean Creole, language barriers shouldn’t deter community members from the Boston area from participating.
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VIDEO: NPi Speaks with The Cloud Foundation about the 100K ArtScience Innovation Prize

In this video we talk with Carrie Fitzsimmons of The Cloud Foundation about The ArtScience Prize, an award that provides opportunities for teens to develop breakthrough ideas in the arts and design at the frontier of scientific knowledge.
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Reflections, Photos, and Video from NPi’s Community Dialogue on Innovative Youth Programs and Initiatives

Speakers included Carrie Fitzsimmons of the Cloud Foundation and The Boston 100K ArtScience Innovation Prize; Imari Paris Jeffries, Executive Director of Friends of the Children--Boston; and Chad Milner, National Coordinator of Programs and Site Director for Greater Boston, The Young People's Project.
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A Conversation with Bill Walczak, Co-Founder and CEO of Codman Square Health Center

Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Mass. serves as a resource for improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of the Boston community. The Health Center was conceived by a group of neighborhood activists in the 1970s, including Bill Walczak, who joined together to improve the neighborhood and deliver badly needed health care services.
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VIDEO: Bill Walczak, CEO of Codman Square Health Center, on the value of partnerships and collaborations

Bill Walczak of Codman Square Health Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts discusses how the Codman Square Health Center serves as a resource for improving the physical, mental and social well-being of the Boston community.
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A Conversation with Tina Chéry of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute

The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute was founded in 1994 to assist and support families of homicide victims in the City of Boston. Today, the Peace Institute works with schools, families (both of victims and offenders), and communities to promote peace and unity.
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Doris Sommer Discusses Her Work With Cultural Agents

Cultural Agents looks outside, as well as inside, the university to people who perform and create arts, including interpretation, that make contributions to society. There are an incredible number of these cultural agents who can recognize one another as such, no matter how varied their practices are. What we do is think about what...
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Joseph Porcelli Discusses His Work With Neighbors for Neighbors

The medium that we’re playing with in our space is really the neighborhood. One of our core values is that we believe that the solutions to problems, the innovative things people can do with and for each other, lay in our communities themselves, where we live.
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August 6th, 2009 NPi Community Dialogue Reflections, Photos, & Video

Thanks to everyone who made it out to our event earlier this month, “Building Community Online and Offline” at City Year’s headquarters in Boston. Speakers at this event were Dave McLaughlin, Executive Director of Boston World Partnerships; Joseph Porcelli, Founder and Chief Neighbor at Neighbors for Neighbors; and Doris Sommer, Faculty Director at Cultural...
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Kaia Stern Discusses Her Work at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice

We have a variety of initiatives that really could all be framed under the inclusion project. What are policies and practices that include people and what are those that exclude people, whether that’s from human community or from civic membership and participation?
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The Young People’s Project: A Math Literacy Organization Rooted in the Civil Rights Movement

With its roots firmly set in both the American Civil Rights Movement and Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Young People’s Project (YPP) promotes social justice using math literacy. Its programs have spread nationwide, teaching high school students to teach themselves and instilling in college students the value of giving back.
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VIDEO: NPi speaks with The Young People’s Project

In this video, learn about The Young People's Project, a nationwide organization teaching high school students to teach themselves and instilling in college students the value of giving back.
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A Conversation with Doreen Treacy, Director of the CivicHealth Institute at DotWell, Dorchester, Mass

Doreen Treacy is the Director of the DotWell CivicHealth Institute, where she works with other community activists to build social capital in the community... What we are still seeing in Codman Square are the residual effects of financial redlining from the 70s through early 90s. Those residual effects take a really, really long time...
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Empowering Individuals in Shelters and Transitional Living Through Mentoring

F.A.M.I.L.Y Movement currently provides educational opportunities to over 150 women in the Boston area. F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement workshops focus on a wide range of topics including self-esteem, professionalism, parenting, and financial education.
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VIDEO: NPi speaks with Lakenya Johnson of FAMILY Movement

In this video we speak with Lakenya Johnson of FAMILY Movement in Dorchester Massachusetts about its vision to empower young moms, women, and men in homeless shelters and transitional living by providing self-worth and family values.
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Joel Schwartz Discusses His Work with Moving From Debt to Assets

I’m the director of the Moving from Debt to Assets program that is run by the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO). GBIO is an organization of 66 different institutions, mostly churches and synagogues, but also a Muslim organization, nonprofit organizations, particularly community development corporations and two union locals, all united for one purpose—to build...
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Eve Sullivan discusses her work with Parents Forum, a grassroots organization concerned with family life issues

On February 4th, 2009 Eve Sullivan, Founder of Parents Forum, a grassroots organization concerned with family life issues participated in NPi’s community dialogue at the Boston Public Library. NPi community dialogues bring together local leaders to discuss lessons learned, current projects, and potential collaborations. Here are some excerpts from the conversation. About Parents Forum...
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May 7th, 2009 NPi community dialogue reflections, podcast, and photos

Our speakers Hilary Allen of the Boston Center for Community & Justice; David Crowley of Social Capital Inc.; and Kaia Stern of the Pathways Home Project at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School shared stories on how rebuilding lives after incarceration, creating community within diverse neighborhoods, and...
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Lakenya Johnson Discusses Her Work With F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement

I started F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement because about nine years ago I was in a homeless shelter for about 10 months with my daughter... I started out by just mentoring. That was my main purpose. I did not expect it to turn into what it is right now, but I’m going for it. I allowed my...
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VIDEO: Bill Walczak on busing in Boston in the 70s and the city’s unique history

Watch Bill Walczak, CEO of Codman Square Health Center and Co-Founder of Codman Academy Charter Public School in Dorchester, Massachusetts speak about Busing in Boston in the 1970s and it's lasting impact today.
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December 11th, 2008 NPi community dialogue reflections, video, and photos

Thanks to everyone who turned out (in spite of the rain) for last night’s event at the Boston Public Library. Video by Nishima Chudasama. We enjoyed hearing our three speakers Herbert Gleason, lawyer and former corporation counsel for the City of Boston, 1968-1979; Melvin B. Miller, Editor and Publisher of the Bay State Banner; and...
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