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Empowering People

Building the confidence and problem-solving ability of communities. Working closely with the demographics they serve, changemakers identify communities’ assets and build programs that are controlled by locals. In so doing, they encourage resilience and turn “victims” into problem-solvers. Some of these featured solutions work by teaching a community to expect more of itself, its leaders, and its government.

Empowering people

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Stories

RECENT STORIES

After a 27-Year Sentence, This Man Is Giving Prisoners Hope and Knowledge

Global Citizen

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After receiving parole following a 27-year sentence, Lawrence Bartley started News Inside – a print publication that is distributed in jails and prisons across the United States. As part of the Marshall Project, News Inside provides incarcerated individuals with stories and information about crim...

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Cañada Cove COPEs with disaster planning

Half Moon Bay Review

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San Mateo County’s coastside residents have created their own, volunteer-based disaster response system. Considering that they make up just 5% of the county’s population, and are just as much at risk for natural disasters like wildfires, flooding, and landslides, they recognized that they had to ...

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Luring Refugees: N.Y. Cities Desperate for People Try a New Strategy

The New York Times

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Places like Utica, New York are working to convince refugees and new immigrants to move to their cities to stimulate the local economy and counteract population decline over the decades. Through more comprehensive services, a welcoming atmosphere, and word-of-mouth, refugees are arriving and maki...

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Tiny Branson has plenty of water. But like other small rural delivery systems in Colorado, it must find a way to meet new state standards.

The Colorado Sun

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Innovation is the key to resilience. In Branson, Colorado, the community of only 55 residents and with volunteer town council has taken on the massive task of bringing its water system up to compliance with the Colorado Department of Health. Because the state and federal government did not have t...

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Changing How You Think Helps The Transition From Prisoner Back To Citizen

NPR

Radio / Under 5 Minutes

For people reentering society after prison, the Reentry Initiative offers them the services and support they need. The program, housed at California State San Bernardino, provides former inmates the tools they need to avoid recidivism and rebuild their lives. Some of the classes offered are compu...

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The Burlesque Group Reclaiming Indigenous Sexuality

BBC

Video / Under 5 Minutes

Changing stereotypes surrounding sexuality for indigenous women requires addressing the underlying issues of culture, colonization, and identity. The Virago Nation burlesque collective, based in Vancouver, CA, blends indigenous art with sexually empowering performances. The group strives to help ...

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Help Wanted: The Immigrant Opportunity | A daunting maze of barriers

Pine Tree Watch

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Organizations and local governments in Maine put together the complex puzzle that is immigrant employment status. By connecting varying pieces, from providing English classes to establishing professional credentials, organizations help fill gaps in Maine's economy by recognizing and supporting qu...

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How California Is Making Up for 20 Years of English-Only Education

Pacific Standard

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In California, half of school-aged children are the children of immigrants. Among many other initiatives in the city, a community-wide training project in Fresno aims to improve how adults in the city work with students of immigrant families. One of the challenges of the renewed push for a biling...

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‘Returning from the twilight zone': Home to Stay offers one-stop shop for those leaving prisons

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

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Home To Stay, a new collaborative program in Milwaukee, WI, brings together community-based organizations, government agencies, and private employers to provide outreach and services for formerly incarcerated individuals. Once a month, services like job recruiting, educational centers, and legal ...

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When people die in the outdoors, help for their loved ones is scarce. The climbing community aims to change that.

The Colorado Sun

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After a string of fatal and near fatal accidents rocked the Colorado climbing community--a community already all too familiar with such accidents--climber Madaleine Sorkin established the Climbing Grief Fund. By connecting struggling climbers with discussion groups, platforms to share their own s...

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Fondriest Environmental, David De Wit / Community Eye Health, Linda Steil / Herald Post, John Amis / UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences – OCCS, Andy B, Peter Garnhum, Thomas Hawk, 7ty9, Isriya Paireepairit, David Berger, UnLtd The Foundation For Social Entrepreneurs, Michael Dunne, Burak Kebapci, and Forrest Berkshire / U.S. Army Cadet Command public affairs

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Ra'ed Qutena, 段 文慶, Fabio Campo, City Clock Magazine, Justin Norman, scarlatti2004, Gary Simmons, Kathryn McCallum, and Nearsoft Inc

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Photo Credit: Sonia Narang