Boston Globe

Going corporate for a cause

By Malia LazuMay 31, 2019, 5:13 p.m.

WHEN I WAS an undergrad at Emerson College 22 years ago, I started a nonprofit called Mass VOTE, which I hoped would change the culture of voting in the state. I hadn’t planned on becoming a community organizer, but during that time I discovered that bringing folks together to help them find their power was a perfect fit for me.

Shortly thereafter, I was hired by Harry Belafonte to work in marginalized communities to reduce youth violence. And that led me to working with gang members. Our intention was to teach MLK-inspired nonviolence techniques to these young people. But while working in that space, I learned much more about the deeper roots of violence in disadvantaged communities.