2023 Changemaker Awardees
Each year, the Institute for Nonprofit Practice honors a group of Changemakers within the social impact sector who have embodied remarkable service and dedication to uplifting our communities. Our aim is to celebrate individuals who didn’t necessarily make headlines but have contributed to cultures of care, well-being, and belonging for others when needed most. Learn more about our 2023 Changemakers below – from across the INP community and beyond – who serve as models of inspiration for advancing the common good.
Shawn Brown Executive Director, Youth Guidance Boston (BAM & WOW); INP Alumnus
Shawn Brown joined Youth Guidance as Executive Director of the Becoming A Man (BAM) program in Boston in 2017, having previously served in the same capacity with Diamond Educators Mentoring – an organization he founded and is dedicated to improving academic performance of low-income and at-risk youth. Shawn has a passion for mentoring and more than 20 years of experience in the field of youth development and nonprofit leadership in Boston. As Executive Director of BAM, Shawn oversees the Boston program which provides school-based counseling services and mentorship to over 550 young men – predominantly young men of color – in 11 public schools across Greater Boston. His expertise and contributions to the field of youth development have landed him on national panels – hosted by My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, the Hunt Institute, and NAACP Boston – to discuss issues such as race, education, and equity as they relate to youth. Shawn received a BA in Sociology from Merrimack College and holds a Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certificate from Boston University’s School of Management.
Orion Kriegman Executive Director, Boston Food Forest Coalition
Orion is the founding Executive Director of the Boston Food Forest Coalition and played a major role in the conception of Egleston Community Orchard in Jamaica Plain, which was the first food forest site to be adopted into the BFFC land trust. Since then, Orion has collaborated with the city of Boston, colleagues, and local neighbors to expand the number of healthy food forests included in the land trust and the number of Bostonians included in the movement. Orion has a background directing community-organizing work at Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition (JPNET), a group that works to catalyze community leadership toward the launch of new initiatives such as farmers markets, land trusts, and spaces for community dialogue and action across race and class divisions. BFFC emerged from this work, and became Orion’s full-time focus. Prior to the creation of BFFC, Orion received his Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He spent nine years at the Tellus Institute coordinating the Great Transition Initiative, an international network of scholars and activists examining the requirements for a transition to a sustainable planetary civilization. In 2015, Orion completed his Permaculture Design Certificate studying with the Resilience Hub in Portland, ME.
Evan Milligan executive director, Alabama Forward
After spending over 20 years serving Black communities and pro-democracy efforts throughout Alabama and the Deep South, Evan Milligan now serves as executive director of Alabama Forward. Officially launched in 2020, Alabama Forward is a 501-C-3 statewide civic engagement table advancing efforts of nonpartisan organizations throughout Alabama to greatly expand the voter base, protect voting rights, and make election systems as accessible as possible. Additionally, Evan is the named plaintiff in Milligan v. Merrill, a federal lawsuit challenging congressional district maps recently adopted by the State of Alabama as being in violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for the case in October 2022 and is expected to publish the opinion in Spring 2023. Evan and his wife Jennifer have two children: Elijah “Eli” (2.5 years old) and Ruby (5 years old).
Julie Segovia Vice President, Research, Policy & Learning, HopeWell, Inc.
Julie Segovia is a PhD Candidate in Child Study & Human Development at Tufts University and Vice President of Research, Policy & Learning at HopeWell, Inc., the largest nonprofit provider of foster care in Massachusetts. Her professional interests include the social, emotional, and academic development of children and youth experiencing foster care and issues of social justice in the child welfare system. Upon aging out of the foster care system at 18-years-old, Julie experienced many barriers on the path to self-sufficient young adulthood, and cares deeply about removing those barriers for future generations of impacted youth through innovative and equitable policy and practice changes. She strongly believes that people with lived foster care experience should be meaningfully and equitably involved in all child welfare decision-making processes at the organizational, county, state, and federal levels. Julie holds a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts – Boston, with a double major in English and Psychology and a MS in Speech & Language Pathology from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. Julie serves on the Board of Directors for multiple foster care-related organizations and was named a 2021 Re-Envisioning Foster Care in America Champion by the Treehouse Foundation.
Marc Skvirsky Management Seminar Faculty, Core Certificate Program – Cape Cod & the Islands, Institute for Nonprofit Practice
Marc Skvirsky recently retired as Vice President and Chief Program Officer at Facing History and Ourselves. For almost four decades Marc was a member of the senior management team, overseeing all aspects of organizational management, growth, and strategy. When Marc joined Facing History and Ourselves he helped to develop it from a small educational nonprofit with a handful of staff to an international organization with 10 offices and partnerships around the globe. During his long tenure as CPO, he directed all aspects of Facing History’s program implementation in schools, districts, and educational networks, both in the U.S. and internationally. He was responsible for strategic planning, the ongoing professional development of Facing History’s program staff focused on new scholarship, pedagogy, instructional technology, and educational trends, and the development and implementation of online learning. Marc developed content and outreach partnerships with filmmakers, authors, educational leaders, and scholars. He helped to edit Facing History publications and digital content, and designed Facing History-themed international study trips for stakeholders, including to South Africa, Eastern Europe, Northern Ireland, and the American South. He speaks at conferences and think tanks on topics ranging from school reform and civic education to nonprofit management. Before joining Facing History, Marc was a classroom teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, participating in the design team for an urban middle school magnet program, and teaching social studies and English. He received a BA and MEd from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Marc is presently an advisor to several nonprofits and foundations and is on the board of directors of the nonprofit based in Boston, Grub Street. Marc currently serves as Management Seminar Faculty for INP’s Core Certificate Program on Cape Cod and the Islands.
Malene Welch Director, Community Engagement, Boston Children’s Museum (BCM); Co-Founder, Boston Harbor Women of Color Coalition (BHWOCC); INP Alumna
Malene Welch is the Director of Community Engagement at Boston Children’s Museum where she works across multiple teams to create a welcoming and inclusive environment with a specific focus on historically marginalized communities. Malene collaborates with community members to increase their engagement with, and ownership of, projects and programs affecting them directly. As the former interim director of Hawthorne Youth and Community Center and co-coordinator of 95&9 Community Gardens, both in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, she spearheaded a garden restructure that tripled use by residents representing the diverse demographics of the community, including youth, elders, and families of color, and partnered with local institutions to implement a program employing local youth in helping to increase food access for area senior citizens. Malene co-chaired the Peace Garden Community Engagement Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, served on the board of the Permaculture Association of the Northeast, currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, and is a co-founder of the Boston Harbor Women of Color Coalition.
Karen Young Cultural Organizer, Teaching & Performing Artist
Karen is a cultural artist, educator, and organizer living in Boston, MA. In her decades-long work as a community builder and performer, artist Karen Young inspires real connection. Her personal story of disenfranchisement compelled her to find her own voice and use it to help others find theirs. Her passion for taiko drumming was ignited the first time she heard it thirty years ago. It is now the center of her work. Turning aspiration into realization, Karen’s approach to taiko inspires marginalized populations to reclaim voice, culture, power, and a sense of belonging.
Influenced by Japanese-American taiko activists of the 70s, Karen is most interested in using taiko as well as organizing strategies to empower, engage, and inspire people into action. In 2018, she was selected as one of seven Boston AIRs (Artists in Residence) charged with addressing issues of resilience and racial equity by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. She is the founder and artistic director of The Genki Spark, co-founder/co-producer of the Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival, and one of the key organizers behind www.womenandtaiko.org.
Karen got her taiko start as an original member of Odaiko New England founded by Elaine Fong and has many taiko mentors including Tiffany Tamaribuchi and Roy and PJ Hirabayashi. Karen leads taiko workshops and discussions throughout North America and Europe, is a TCA (Taiko Community Alliance) charter member, and has been part of the North American Taiko Community since 1997.
In addition to her role as a social practice artist, Karen founded the leading youth advocacy organization, Youth on Board. She is a principal author of Youth on Board’s 15 Points to Successfully Involving Youth in Decision Making and Your Guide to Youth Involvement and the Law, and a contributing author of Money Talks So Can We and Asian Voices from Beantown. She has served on numerous boards and commissions, and was most notably appointed by Presidents Bush and Clinton to the 1990 Commission on National and Community Service which launched the well known federal program AMERICORPS, and has been part of the United to End Racism delegation at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage honoring Japanese and Japanese American incarcerees since 2009. Karen has her BA in Human Ecology from Humboldt State University.