The Len Ragozin Foundation is primarily dedicated to supporting progressive social ideas through distributing Grants to worthy applicants. We have provided a number of these grants and are pleased with the results. This model, however, presents limitations when working with individuals and small groups not organized into traditional structures such as nonprofits. A great deal of important work is being done at a truly grassroots level; a family organizing local social events for youth in their neighborhood to build a strong, united community; a mother campaigning for justice in the death of her child while in police custody. The list goes on.
The traditional nonprofit model under serves these community builders. Our Foundation, therefore, has launched its own program, the Community Builders Initiative, to seek out such organizers of social change and facilitate their work. We facilitate by bringing them together to share their experiences, to network as they proceed with their activities, and to gain confidence that they are not alone.
We launched a modest local version of this Initiative in the New York area where we are based in November 2014. We have followed up with two subsequent local gatherings. The response has been overwhelming. Strangers who felt they were struggling on their own have grown into supporters of each other’s work. Publicity has been generated through their networking that has benefited all participants. The gatherings have grown through word of mouth and are becoming a regular part of the Foundation’s schedule.
Our August 2016 COMMUNITY BUILDERS CONFERENCE
In August 2016 we launched a larger conference, looking to reach out through the participants we have met over this past year to a broader audience. Our Initiative participants are now our conference organizers! Linking this Initiative with our Justice For Michael Brown work, we are reached out well beyond the New York region. We are very excited by this development.
This event was held in New York City on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 14-16, 2016.
HOOPS FOR JUSTICE - 4th Annual Event, 2016
advancing progressive ideas and actions