Webinar Recap- Community Voices Heard: Engaging Constituents for Social, Economic and Racial Justice

Community Voices Heard: Engaging Constituents for Social, Economic and Racial Justice

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure social, economic and racial justice for all.  They accomplish this through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy.

Learn how CVH builds leadership development and collective power towards broader goals of government transparency and social justice. We explored case studies around three impact issues: welfare policy reform, public housing reform, and participatory budgeting. We also learned what it looks like to fund this work. Attendees learned how funding community engagement can fit into a broader social change grantmaking strategy. 



Sondra has been at CVH since 2000 and was named the organization’s Executive Director in March 2007; she was previously CVH’s Director of Public Policy and Research. Sondra has worked both in the United States and abroad to achieve social and economic justice through organizing. She has over 15 years experience as an organizer and activist with grassroots groups including farm workers, Native Americans, public housing residents, and low-income workers in the United States, and abroad for various populations throughout Latin America and in several African countries. She obtained a Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School in order to gain policy analysis tools to bring back to the grassroots. She also has a BA in American Studies focusing on Oppression and Revolution from Wesleyan University.


Kevin came to the New York Foundation in 2002. He manages a portfolio of active grants for start up organizations that focus on community organizing and advocacy and also oversees the Foundation’s Capacity Building Program that includes workshops, small grants, and individual technical assistance requests. Kevin is also an adjunct instructor at Hunter College Graduate School of Urban Affairs and Planning and the Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies. He also serves on the board of directors of the North Star Fund, Neighborhood Funders Group, La Lutta New Media Collective, and Green Worker Cooperatives. Prior to his work at the New York Foundation, Kevin was the Executive Director of Community Training and Resource Center, a housing preservation organization. He provided leadership to a staff of tenant organizers working to improve housing conditions for low-income New York City renters. Kevin holds a bachelors degree in sociology and urban studies from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and received a Masters of Urban Planning degree from the New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. 

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