For Immediate Release July 11, 2018
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Center for Community Change Announces Dorian Warren as Next President
The grassroots activist, political scientist and media personality will continue to advance racial, gender and economic justice in the organization’s 50th anniversary year.
Washington, D.C. – Community Change for Community Change’s (CCC) Board of Directors unanimously selected Dorian Warren as President at its June Board meeting. Warren was the clear choice to lead CCC’s work as shown through his diversity of experiences and life-long commitment to the values that drive the organization’s work. Warren will take the helm immediately following the 2018 elections.
The board of the Center for Community Change Action (CCCA) will also begin an open search for a new President of CCCA and Vice President of CCC, keeping the current shared leadership structure in place. Dorian will remain as president of CCCA until a successor is named.
“Everything I’ve done in the last 20 years has prepared me for this role,” says Warren. “It is an incredible honor and distinct privilege to lead one of the country’s most storied and valuable social justice organizations at this rare inflection point in our nation’s history.”
As President, he will build on the 16-year legacy of outgoing President Deepak Bhargava, who has been a major force in the social justice landscape – from defending the social safety net to nurturing the immigrant rights movement and winning proactive policies that redefine what is possible on jobs, housing and child care. Community Change and CCCA are on a powerful and sustainable path for our future with a strong and diverse staff and executive leadership team and strong financial positioning.
“I have never been more proud of the work of Community Change and CCCA and our extended family of allies and grassroots partners, who have risen to meet the historic challenges we face,” says Quinn Delaney, President of the Community Change Board of Directors. “I have total confidence that Community Change will thrive under the extraordinary leadership of Dorian Warren.”
For the past two years, Warren has served as the Center for Community Change Action’s President and as Vice President for the Center for Community Change. Prior to that, he was
CCC’s Board Chair. During his tenure at both organizations, Warren has led teams and moved initiatives seeking to advance racial, gender and economic justice – developing game-changing big ideas, innovating across sectors and empowering the voices of people of color and low-income communities.
“There are no shortcuts to advancing racial, gender and economic justice in this country,” Warren says. “This demands we adopt a multi-faceted agenda and set of strategies that are rooted in communities of color, fusing the power of organizing, ideas and politics to fuel bold and enduring movements for change.”
Warren has been an integral force in Community Change and CCCA’s adoption of a new business model plan. CCC/A: Path to Power outlines our role in creating a just, equitable and inclusive democracy and economy; to build power and leadership in Black and immigrant communities; reinvent the methodology of community organizing to achieve scale and sustainability; to create an electoral powerhouse in communities of color and make the electorate look like the country – all in service to winning a governing agenda that can reduce poverty and race and gender disparities in the U.S. With his mix of media and technology smarts, political acumen and social justice experience, he is the right person to lead Community Change in implementing this new plan.
Our Champions event on September 27th to mark CCC’s 50th anniversary will be an opportunity to honor our visionary leaders, and to celebrate our accomplishments. Even more important, though, it will be an opportunity to honor the work and legacy of Deepak Bhargava and to focus on the future as Warren steps into his new role.
Warren has deep roots in labor and grassroots organizing. At age 7, he was walking picket lines with his mother as she and thousands of Chicago teachers went on strike. At 16, he was already on the frontlines, protesting an incident of police brutality with fellow high school classmates. He went on to become a student organizer in college, where he helped build a broad, multi-racial alliance to campaign against his university’s racist Native American mascot. During that time in the mid- to late-90s, he worked on the successful election of Jesse Jackson Jr. to Congress and interned at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. As a graduate student at Yale University, Warren never strayed far from the organizing world: he served as lead organizer of the political science department, where he led a successful campaign to build union membership.
After three years in New Haven, Warren moved back to his hometown of Chicago and joined the hotel workers union, where he helped organize 7,000 hotel workers in preparation for a strike of 30 hotels downtown. By investing in the leadership of Black, immigrant and women workers, Warren learned how to build a strong and powerful multi-racial alliance that transformed the hotel industry and service sector in the city.
“The experience was life-changing,” Warren says. “I learned what it takes to create strong movement organizations as well as an innovative model of intersectional organizing long before the concept became a buzzword of progressive politics.”
Over his nine-year career at Columbia University, his research and writing focused on transforming the lives of marginalized groups through organizing, politics and policy. He also joined the Roosevelt Institute as a fellow, where he organized one of the earliest “Future of Work” initiatives to develop and advance ideas to build worker voice and power.
His work caught the attention of Melissa Harris-Perry, Chris Hayes and Alex Wagner at MSNBC, where he was a contributor and hosted an innovative digital show weekly called “Nerding Out.” He is now a sought after speaker and commentator on television and radio, including MSNBC, NBC News, and CNN. Dorian co-hosts Freedom on Tap, a live event series with Melissa Harris-Perry, which draws on his decades of experience in politics, activism and academia. He has also written articles that have been published in the The Nation and Salon, and has been quoted in several publications including The New York Times and the Washington Post.
As Community Change commemorates the 50th anniversary of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy and the organization itself, Warren will build on CCC’s successes and fight for their shared democratic values.
“The weight of our current political moment is never lost on me,” says Warren. “I will aim to keep the torch of freedom and justice alive and burning even brighter in the years to come.”