Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

Gamaliel Foundation

38 pageviews

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Mission: TO ASSIST COMMUNITIES THROUGH LEADERSHIP TRAINING AND CONSULTING AND IN DEVELOPING ORGANIZATIONS TO ADDRESS AND RESOLVE COMMON SOCIAL CAUSES. GAMALIEL FOUNDATION PROVIDES ONGOING CONSULTATIONS TO COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS INCLUDING VISITS, MEETINGS, AND PARTICIPATION IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS OF EACH CLIENT ORGANIZATION

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

January 1, 2019
Dear David Rockefeller Fund,

I have had the opportunity to be a part of the Gamaliel network of leaders and organizers since the fall of 2015, which was less than one year after my last interaction with the justice system. I was introduced to Ex-incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO), a group specifically formed of folks who have been directly impacted by the justice system, by a Gamaliel organizer who came to a local treatment court to tell us about this new group and to invite us to be a part of making a change in the system. This was the first time in my life I was made aware of the public sphere, and that I was also welcome to have my voice heard in it. Prior to this, I thought a person must be elected or “important” to speak at a public hearing. One of the first tasks I took on was speaking to county board supervisors about “Ban the Box”, asking them to sign on to a resolution banning the question “Have you been convicted of a felony?” from an initial employment application. This experience changed the trajectory of my life. Now that I found my voice, there was no turning back.

My experience with JONAH, our local Gamaliel affiliate, was one of acceptance and support from the very beginning. People I met in the organization became invested in my success. I finally found a positive community that could fill the void I had been trying to fill my whole life. I sought out and was given opportunities to attend local, statewide, and national leadership trainings. I recall attending Gamaliel’s Weeklong National Leadership Training where everything finally clicked. I had been a leader in my community for about a year at this time, but was not making significant progress. The National Training helped me understand the building blocks of organizing, and when I returned home I hit the ground running. In the following year, we established a solid local EXPO chapter, secured funding for a paid organizer, held several community forums, and our inaugural fundraiser raised over $4,000. Although we have had our challenges since, I feel supported by the network in overcoming them.

I was recently promoted to a full-time position, as the Associate Director of EXPO. This is significant because I am from a rural area and I am a woman. Within the Gamaliel Network, I am sought out for input in areas where I am known to have expertise, such as in regards to treatment courts or jails. I know that my voice is authentically valued by the leaders in the network. Not only do I provide training locally, but I am also on the train the trainer track nationally.

When it was just me, I felt powerless to change anything I saw wrong with the system. And believe me, I saw plenty that needed changing. And even with a few of us, it felt far too large to overcome something as large as criminal justice reform. But when I know there are others, across the state of Wisconsin, and across the country, who have similar values as I do, who share my vision for a future where people are treated fairly, it seems like just maybe we can make it happen. I am proud to be part of the Gamaliel Network.

Sincerely,

Sarah Ferber