Community Democracy Workshop | Senior Fellow & Managing Director
For over 30 years, Garland Yates has been a champion of equal rights and justice for all people. He has dedicated most of his professional career to helping poor and working people build the capacity and power to make positive change in their communities and for the betterment of all people.
He is well known for his work in local communities to improve the well-being of residents and the communities by helping poor and working people build the power and capacity to combat poverty, racial bigotry, economic inequality and political indifference. Throughout his career he has worked to strengthen relationships between residents, key institutions and Government to work together to solve community problems.
This work has been in several communities primarily across Canada and the U.S., but South Africa as well, to help make them safe and prosperous places for all people, but especially for children to grow up. These efforts have included many years of work done through career stints with the likes of the Center for Community Change and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Rebuilding Communities and Making Connections Comprehensive Community Change Initiatives; all along the way becoming increasingly committed to building the capacity of local communities to bring about sustainable long-term change.
Following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he designed a grassroots funding strategy for the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation. This Fund was designed to facilitate direct action by residents to engage in the Post Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans. Garland completed a two-year stint as interim executive director of the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG). The group’s membership is comprised of over 200 foundations dedicated to supporting “Just Causes” across the U.S.
More recently, as a senior fellow and managing director of Community Democracy Workshop he continues to work with foundations and communities on strengthening their approaches to meaningfully engage residents in diverse ways on comprehensive community revitalization strategies.