More and more, we talk - and worry - about social inequality, climate change, authoritarian rule – and can we make meaningful change?
Yes, in many ways, the bad ‘system is rigged.’ But can we rig a good system, too? Yes, but it requires more than talk and worry - it requires action.
For over 38(!) years, we took our youthful energy, ideas and willingness to learn and applied them to Isles’ work. We found better ways to strengthen challenged communities and restore the environment at the local, “isles” level. The key is to honor family capacity for self-reliance, provide tools that they can use, create healthy places and then, to a large extent, get out of the way.
Our staff, board, and volunteers honor the wisdom of communities, gaining new ideas. We then share smart research and evidence-based data from across the country. Our broad base of supporters makes innovation possible in this messy collision. The results are highlighted in this Annual Report.
Can we teach others to do this? Of course. Increasingly, we share our lessons and train others. This year, Isles affected statewide policy around hazardous home lead threats, violence prevention and electric vehicle access for urban communities. I expanded my teaching of future leaders at the Keller Center at Princeton University, and we developed webinars, case studies for the classroom, op-eds, and we are compiling Isles’ history. All this occurred as we expanded Isles work on the ground.
This doing and thinking are possible because of organized people and organized money. That includes our volunteer board, adeptly led by Michele Minter over the past 3 years. In January, Linda Revelle stepped into the role of Chair of Isles board of trustees.
These are exciting, dynamic times at Isles. Beyond talk and worry, we act. But we need your help. Thanks for being there! Check out www.isles.org and let us know what you think.