Community Change/Action Managing Director to Step Down

February 5, 2020 9:54 am


For Immediate Release     

Feb. 5, 2020

 Contact: Marisol Bello,

 Community Change/Action Managing Director to Step Down

Her leadership over 12 years has shaped the vision and direction of the 52-year-old organization.

Washington, D.C. – Mary Lassen, the managing director of Community Change and Community Change Action, will be stepping down April 30 after a dozen years leading the organization and shaping its mission. During her stewardship, Community Change trained and supported hundreds of grassroots groups and thousands of leaders, defended and expanded the safety net, helped grow the immigrant rights movement, and changed the way community organizing is done in the U.S. to embrace national campaigns, communications and electoral politics.  Our 501c(4), Community Change Action is a major player in elections, running its largest ever programs to engage voters of color in 2020.

“I can’t say enough how we will miss Mary’s spirit and steadfast daily presence at Community Change,” said Community Change President Dorian Warren. “It goes without saying that Mary has been the soul and glue of Community Change, especially during this time of many transitions.”

“Mary’s work helped create a path for a sustainable future for the organization that includes hiring and training a talented and diverse staff and positioning the organization’s finances to meet current and future funding needs,” said Community Change Action President Lorella Praeli.

Mary was integral in the organization adopting a Path to Power plan that outlines our role in creating a just, equitable and inclusive democracy and economy: To build power and leadership in Black, Brown and immigrant communities, reinvent the methodology of community organizing to achieve scale soul 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 racial and gender disparities in the U.S.

Of particular note is leadership in the organization’s work to protect the social safety net and the celebration of Community Change’s 50th anniversary.

“During her tenure, Mary’s North Star has always been to position the organization to survive and thrive in a complex threat environment,” said Arlene Holt Baker, chair of the Community Change Board of Directors. “She modeled impeccability and attention to detail that has developed a deep culture of accountability. And she has walked the talk on race and gender justice and did it all with her unmatched spirit of love.”

From her early days at ACORN, to her work organizing public housing residents and addressing women’s economic security in Boston to CC/A, Mary is leaving us with a powerful legacy that speaks to a shared vision and love, but also a spirit of mutual accountability in which we join together, roll up our sleeves and do the tough and difficult work it takes to win.


 Community Change/Action are national organizations that build the power of low-income people, especially people of color, to fight for a society where everyone can thrive.




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