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Getting Out of Poverty Takes More Than Grit

Jesse is a recent graduate of Brown University and a 2014 Fulbright recipient. Earlier this month, Aisha Sultan wrote an article for the Atlantic titled “The Limitations of Teaching ‘Grit’ in the Classroom.” In it, Sultan critiqued the idea that if low-income children just transform their mindsets...more

The Difference Between Feedback and Power

Recently, the nonprofit sector has been buzzing about the idea of feedback loops. Nonprofits are adapting customer feedback models from the private sector in their desire to listen to constituents and beneficiaries. There are initiatives by foundations looking to listen and learn from grantees. But while some claim that we...more

BMP Hits The Road: Alliance for Nonprofit Management Conference

Earlier this month, Frances and I went to the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s annual conference, held at Portland State University. We’re partnering with the Alliance on the Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement project, which focuses on helping organizational development consultants work with nonprofits – especially...more

Are We All Intersectional Now?

Frances wrote earlier this year about our struggles to tease out “intersectionality” the buzzword from intersectionality as an analytic approach that moves beyond single-issue organizing and advocacy. The release of our latest report The New Now  is based on interviews with organizers and activists in New Mexico...more

Organizations and Leadership

Recently, we have been getting a lot of requests to talk about two of our reports that came out a few years ago, Structuring Leadership: Alternative Models for Distributing Power and Decision  and What Works: Developing Successful Multigenerational Leadership. Both reports focus on the way organizations operate and the...more

Collaborating for Social Change: 5 Lessons from a Collective Effort to End Homelessness in CT

According to its most recent study in 2013, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness estimates that more than 600,000 individuals experience homelessness across the country. In Connecticut, advocacy organizations, government agencies, and community providers are coming together in a campaign to end homelessness in their state. In our latest report, Coordinating...more

Black Love in Cleveland

This past weekend, I had the honor to attend the Movement for Black Lives convening in Cleveland. It was a historic gathering of more than a thousand black organizers, activists and families from around the country. Given the justified outrage over people being pepper sprayed by cops after the conference...more

Winning: Rights and Respect

In reproductive justice circles, the victory of the Respect ABQ Women campaign received a flurry of attention in the fall of 2013  when Albuquerque voters defeated a ban on late-term abortions. The Building Movement Project  went back to talk to five leaders in that Campaign to understand why they...more

Beyond the Wedding Cake: The Fight Continues

In its monumental decision this past Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a 5-4 decision that same-sex marriage is a legal right protected by the Constitution. The Obergefell v. Hodges ruling effectively reverses bans on same-sex marriages in states where these laws have been enacted while...more

Detroit: The Inequality Landscape

I experience inequality when my 40 year plus near perfect driving record causes my insurance rates to be 3x that of my suburban peers. I experience inequality when the police respond to an accidentally tripped house alarm in less than 5 minutes at my daughter’s midtown condo. I experience inequality...more

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