honors | January 23, 2011

Social Entrepreneur Speaker Bill Strickland Joins White House Council for Community Solutions

For the past three decades, speaker Bill Strickland has been transforming the lives of thousands of adults and teenagers through his innovative jobs training and education centers. Last seen in the public education documentary Waiting for Superman, Bill has just been chosen as one of the 25 members of the White House Council for Community Solutions. The Council, according to a White House statement, “will provide advice to the President on the best ways to mobilize citizens, nonprofits, businesses and government to work more effectively together to solve specific community needs.” President Obama added, “These impressive men and women have dedicated their lives and careers to civic engagement and social innovation.”

Strickland’s work perfectly aligns with the Council’s mission: from extreme poverty, he converted a ramshackle building in a poor Pittsburgh neighborhood into an award-winning job and arts center that works closely with corporations to help provide adults and youth with the skills — and the hope — they need to become successful workers, and people. As Bill tells audiences in his typically understated but enthralling talks, “Give people the tools they need, treat them with respect, and they will perform miraculous deeds.” Bill has been a Lavin speaker for over ten years now, and it’s always great to see his work continue to register with increasingly bigger audiences.

Photo of Bill Strickland via ArchitectsofPeace.org

Read more about keynote speaker Bill Strickland