CEO Column

2017 End of Year Update

These are crazy times. I could start by detailing the threats to our communities and the impact of proposed federal funding cuts on our work, but that’s not my message today.  Isles’ mission of fostering self-reliant families and healthy communities matters deeply, in good and challenging times. The way we achieve that mission – by …

A Message for our Supporters

Dear Friends, Greetings! I’m pleased to share some good news about an upcoming residency at the Bellagio Center in Italy. As you know, I currently split my time between Trenton and Princeton, where I teach social entrepreneurship in the Keller Center of the Engineering School.   As I work to bridge the divide between sustainable …

May 2017

Dear Friend,  A few days ago, I sat down with an old friend who had just read Isles’ 2016 Annual Report.  “This is very impressive work,” he said, “but as a donor, I’m inundated by political fundraisers, organizations being threatened by political crises, and, oh yeah, big institutions like my college. “   In effect, …

March 2017

Dear Friends, The news from Washington, D.C. is unsettling for us too. Since we created Isles 36 years ago in the early days of the Reagan administration, we’ve weathered lots of changing political and economic winds. Still, some of you have asked, “how do today’s changes affect Isles and the places where we work?” First, we’ve …

February 2017

This month, the NJ Climate Adaptation Alliance Advisory Committee—of which I am a member—released a Climate and Health Profile Report as a draft. It outlines how climate change is expected to impact the health of New Jersey residents and recommends actions in order to minimize those effects. Contributors to the draft include the New Jersey …

January 2017

Back in 1994, Isles was rehabilitating old, vacant single family homes scattered across Trenton. Families that wanted to own their first home purchased these efficient, low-cost houses that helped stabilize families and communities.   But while we redeveloped homes, another challenge and opportunity arose: young people kept knocking on the door of our job sites, …

Fall 2016

As we head into the fall and into the depths of the election season (yikes!), I’m pleased to share this IslesWorks newsletter with you.   We’re honored to be one of 77 organizations nationwide to recently receive a US Dept of Labor YouthBuild grant. Isles Youth Institute’s 21st class of students started this fall, giving us …

Building a Culture of Health is a Life or Death Matter in Trenton

It’s a quick drive up the Route 1 corridor from Trenton to Princeton, but when it comes to life-expectancy rates, the two communities are worlds apart. People born and residing around the Princeton Junction train station can expect to see their 87th birthday, while children about 10 miles away, just south of the Trenton Train …

Summer 2016

Dear Friends, Should your zip code dictate your life expectancy? A recent study and map, created by Virginia Commonwealth University and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, exposes dramatic disparities even within the same county, like in NJ’s Mercer County. Life expectancy in Trenton’s 08619 area code is 73 years whereas 8 miles up the road in …

Spring 2016

Dear Friends, This past week, Isles turned 35. For me, it’s been a labor of love, allowing us to continually ask – and answer – one basic question, “What are the most powerful, low cost ways to develop self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities?” As you can see, we’ve settled on four key ways to …