Youth on Board/Boston Student Advisory Council

A Broader View of Community Transformation

To the benefit of the communities they serve, many nonprofits take a broader view of their work than their funders.

When people struggle, when their communities are not environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, or economically prosperous, the challenges they face are often not only about the environment, or education, or health, or any other single issue. They are all of the above issues. As a member of the climate team at Barr, my charge is to help communities grow in smarter, less car-dependent ways, with better, cheaper, faster ways of getting where they need to go. Yet, I know this work is only one piece of a complex puzzle. Thankfully, some of our partners take a broader view. And communities are being transformed because of it.

One terrific example is the subject of a new report on the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, which is led by Marvin Martin, who became a Barr Fellow in 2009.

In recent years, Barr’s climate program has supported the Greater Four Corners Action Coalition to educate and organize residents around improving transportation options. One of the recent successes this contributed to is the opening of a new train station with direct service to downtown Boston - after decades during which residents watched commuter trains cut right through their neighborhood, but needed to depend on personal vehicles or busses themselves.

Geneva Ave

This was a great win for climate and for equity. Yet it is a success that stands on the shoulders of over two decades of faithful work building capacity from the grassroots helping residents reclaim their neighborhood and define the future they wanted to create together.

Download the Report

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Mary Skelton Roberts

Mary Skelton Roberts

Co-Director of Climate