Service providers have more reach into low-income communities than any other institutions except the government. Yet service organizations barely tap the enormous potential of their clients as a force for social change. The Building Movement Project has released a series of reports on the small shifts providers can make to move towards integrating social change into their everyday work. This highly interactive session will draw from participants' experiences as well as our own research to explore 1) different models of social change activities adopted by service organizations; 2) supports groups need to pivot towards social change including common obstacles; and 3) case examples of implementing these changes as well as tools and exercises. We will also engage in a conversation about increasing the visibility and viability of this work.
Frances Kunreuther co-directs the Building Movement Project which works to strengthen U.S. nonprofits as sites of civic engagement and social change. She is co-author of From the Ground Up: Grassroots Organizations Making Social Change (Cornell, 2006) and Working Across Generations: Defining the Future of Nonprofit Leadership (Jossey Bass, 2009). Frances is also a senior fellow at the Research Center for Leadership and Action at NYU and spent five years at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. She headed the Hetrick-Martin Institute for LBGT youth, and was awarded a year-long Annie E. Casey Foundation fellowship in 1997 for this and her previous work. Kunreuther has been the recipient of numerous awards such as the Ms. Foundation’s Gloria Steinem Award (1996), and 1992 Mayoral Award for Leadership honoring Women’s History Month. Over the years, Frances has worked with homeless youth and families, undocumented immigrants, crime victims, battered women, and substance users.
Sean Thomas-Breitfeld co-directs the Building Movement Project, with a special focus on BMP’s work on service and social change. Prior to joining the BMP staff, Sean spent a decade working in various roles at the Center for Community Change. At CCC, he developed training programs for grassroots leaders, worked in CCC’s communications and policy departments where he coordinated online and grassroots advocacy efforts, and lobbied on a range of issues, including immigration reform, transportation equity and anti-poverty programs. Before joining the Center, Sean worked as a Policy Analyst at the National Council of La Raza, where he focused on employment and income security issues. Sean holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.