Dec 6, 2021
How would you build an American workforce for the 21st century? This question was relevant before a global pandemic exposed and exacerbated deep fissures of inequity in our nation and is urgent now. Sequane Lawrence, a Chicago-based community development innovator and a cohort of social entrepreneurs are tackling this challenge head on, and their approach is generating measurable results. They founded Revolution Works, a nonprofit that provides training and career development that leads to well-paying jobs in industries that open their doors to formerly incarcerated people. And it promotes a public policy agenda that advances its primary goal, to close our pervasive racial wealth gap. Revolution Works brings its diverse stakeholders to a common table. It engages industry leaders, academics, workers and trainers in identifying the skills employers need and a strategy for developing them. And it is creating social enterprises and worker-owned cooperatives rooted in workplace democracy, shared values and shared profits. Most importantly, Sequane does not view Revolution Work’s successes as proprietary. He is sharing what he has learned with a national network of nonprofits that are building a more equitable future.