Beyond our education and pathways interventions
... we recognize that building a national, community-rooted revitalization also requires working with and adapting existing systems. Lead For America’s systems change approach is threefold:
1) We collaborate with local leaders and organizations to launch place-based initiatives focused on channeling existing resources and talent to address the community’s toughest challenges.
2) We work on national policy to value and validate service as a form of success.
3) We identify and invest in seed-stage, mission-aligned entrepreneurs who either respond to a posted Lead For America challenge for entrepreneurs, or who are pursuing an idea of their own.
Shandiin Herrera, Hometown Fellow '19
Fellows at Catalyst Institute '19
Inspired by Baltimore Corps and Community Renewal International, we are working with several locations across the country to build models of deep, sustained involvement in a given location. Our place-based initiatives support cross-sector collaboration to saturate a town or city with a critical mass of local leaders all working to ensure that everyone in their community has food, shelter, safe streets, and a strong neighborhood.
We also know that local change-making is happening all across the country — and we want to hear about it! If your town has a powerful example of community revitalization, you can fill out this quick form to let us know. We can’t wait to read your stories!
To learn more about Baltimore Corps and Community Renewal International — and what their models demonstrate about the power and possibility of local change-making — take a look at their websites.
If we are to build an America with a strong community for everyone, we need a force of leaders working in every corner of this country in service of this vision. Given systemic barriers like rising costs of higher education, and the increasing difficulty for small businesses, startups, civil society, and public institutions to outcompete big companies, we need federal policy change to effectively scale this movement.
We are actively working with 2020 presidential campaigns, Service Year Alliance, and the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service to advocate for policies like increased funding for national service and a domestic GI Bill that would significantly reduce the cost of college tuition for students committing to serve their home communities and nation after graduation.
Fellows at Catalyst Institute '19
Trevaughn Latimer, Hometown Fellow '19
America is renowned internationally for its entrepreneurial spirit and cultivation of new, successful businesses. We believe that it is essential to direct that same energy to addressing our communities’ and country’s biggest challenges. Lead For America provides seed funding and support to seed-stage, mission-aligned entrepreneurs who either 1) respond to one of our validated challenges or 2) are working on their own venture.
We are particularly focused on supporting entrepreneurial initiatives that address our nation’s underlying crisis of connection and/or that are focused on directing dynamic and diverse talent toward institutions essential for our nation’s well being, but that currently lack the necessary leadership pipeline. Such proposals could include addressing shortages of police officers and first responders or public educators, just as two examples.
Renewing our American community will take everyone. We are drafting a pledge that will serve as a foundation of commitment for all those who are ready to dedicate their lives to a renewed way of being in the world. To write this pledge, we are learning from leaders who have lived a life grounded in community, service, and care. If you are excited to join us, we invite you to enter your email below to stay up to date on our progress and sign your commitment upon completion of the pledge!