Western Center for Social Impact and Innovation: Changemaking and Repair

The exciting work of the Western Center is in full swing this year as we explore multiple dimensions of what it means to be in “right relationship” with one another. Author and activist Adrienne Maree Brown explains that right relationships are adaptive, rely on interdependency, and bend toward resiliency. But how do we get there?

We are working with our fall visiting scholar, Tracy Mack Parker, to explore the ways in which we can engage in the work of changemaking and some of the challenges and solutions posed by the nonprofit/philanthropy ecosystem. We are also working with Dr. Rodney D. Coates, Miami Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, to explore the role of reparations in restorative justice movements.

Making The Nonprofit Ecosystem More Responsive & Sustainable

Tracy Mack Parker is an MU alum, who has more than 15 years of experience in philanthropy and nonprofit initiatives. After serving in senior advising roles for the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Philanthropy Workshop, she founded Citizen Philanthropy. She is based in New York and designs community-based immersion experiences that help philanthropists better understand community assets and needs. This involves partnering philanthropists with traditional nonprofits and grassroots organizations to learn about systemic challenges and strategies for redress.

Her Western Center programming supports students preparing for careers in changemaking. Offerings include virtual public programs in which practitioners and academic experts discuss everything from B Corps and other nontraditional paths toward careers in social change... to a talk by Rob Reich, author of Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better.

Reparations as Restorative Justice

Dr. Rodney Coates is partnering on the center’s new biennial theme: Reparations as Restorative Justice. Dr. Coates will serve as the Western Center’s Collaborating Scholar and brings decades of scholarly and practical expertise in the area of racial injustice, with particular attention to redress.

Dr. Coates’ thirty-year career at Miami University has been dedicated to intersectional scholarship, critical race studies, and transformative action for racial justice. He will co-teach this spring’s WST 301 course on the topic, and co-plan programming that will consider issues at the local, national, and international levels. The Western Center hopes to help further this critical conversation by examining past and present impact of violence toward diverse racialized groups and to explore effective reparative efforts.