4. UpFront_smj_0902.inddThe inaugural Wesleyan Social Impact Summit, an opportunity for Wesleyan change-makers to come together and amplify their potential for impact, will be held on campus November 13–14.

The Summit, sponsored by the Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns, “has a roll-up-your-sleeves format with ample time for working and connecting,” says Makaela Kingsley ’98, director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. “This will not be a conference filled with ‘talking heads’.”

Participants will include Kirk Adams ’73 P’13, international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union; Irma Gonzàlez ’78 P’09, principal, Zoen Resources, which specializes in change and transition management in support of social justice advocacy; Kennedy Odede ’12 and Jessica Posner Odede ’09, co-founders of Shining Hope for Communities; George Suttles ’03, senior relationship manager in the Philanthropic Solutions division of U.S. Trust; Sharon Greenberger ’88, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York; Lara Galinsky ’96, senior vice president of Echoing Green; Sarah Williams ’88, co-founder of Propel Capital; and others (see for a full list). President Michael S. Roth ’78 will offer concluding remarks.

Peer-to-peer mentorship will be a key part of the Summit. “Change agents working at all levels—from grassroots organizers and activists to executive directors and CEOs—will convene in small groups and tackle issues that they are facing in their jobs right now,” explains Professor Rob Rosenthal, director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, which is co-organizing the Summit. A number of attendees will be alumni with expertise in the social sector who can advise those who are newer in the field.

Kingsley says, “Alumni often joke about Wesleyan’s ‘Social Impact Mafia.’ They are struck by how frequently they hear about or cross paths with fellow Wes grads doing impact work, but they wish they had more chances to connect and partner with each other. The Wesleyan Social Impact Summit will be a great step in that direction.”

The Shasha Seminar for Human Concerns, endowed by James J. Shasha ’50, P’82, GP’14, supports lifelong learning and encourages participants to expand their knowledge and perspectives on significant issues.

For more information and to register, visit