I believe in good content. And having spent the last five years in the nonprofit sector, I've discovered that some of the best content is being created by those whose vision for a more just, peaceful and equitable world is borne from their own experience: people of color, LGBTQ communities, Interfaith organizers, among others. In the Spring of 2015, I cofounded Center for Inclusivity (CFI), a Chicago-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to bring these voices together in constructive collaboration. Through the public conversations that we facilitate across the country, I’ve seen firsthand how some of the most innovative ideas, original voices, and worthwhile causes struggle to find a broader audience. The nonprofit world on the whole faces a problem inverse to that of the Evangelical Church: the content is good, but the marketing lacks.
Today, my attention and energy is focused on helping mission-minded organizations understand their market so they can communicate their values with coherence, efficacy and broad appeal. And with so many young tech companies and b-corps adopting social and environmental commitments, I believe there is a growing need for content marketing strategies that create and appeal to shared values.
Studying at Medill, I hope to augment my skills and interest in creating such strategies with formal training and opportunities for collaborative learning. In the last few years, and especially as a nonprofit founder, I have led teams of creative individuals from a variety of disciplines to build brands and movements from the ground up. At CFI alone, we have devoted a huge portion of our time to crafting and articulating our mission with every image and word we publish, and I attribute much of our success as an organization to this focus on maintaining a consistent and compelling brand identity. Through promotional videos, blog content, social media campaigns, podcast and webinar engagement, workshops and public speaking opportunities, we’ve been able to reach new audiences and grow a broader and more invested network of supporters. I’ve shared and expanded my expertise in these areas by reviewing proposals for two soon-to-be-launched nonprofits, and by creating promotional video content and membership development strategies for well-established organizations like Lake Shore Unitarian Society in Winnetka, IL.
I’m excited at the prospect of bringing these experiences to my studies at Medill, though I anticipate some potential challenges in what I imagine to be a curricular focus on marketing within a for-profit, corporate context. Given my interest and experience in marketing for nonprofits and social causes, I expect to need to translate the skills and principles I learn in order to best serve my professional aspirations in this sector. Also, I hope to find and/or create opportunities to engage with professors and peers around this focus of my studies.
Thank you for your consideration of my application. I would love the opportunity to interview with your admissions staff to find out whether my experiences, skills and career objectives might be a good fit for Medill’s IMC program
I studied at Fuller Theological Seminary, out in Pasadena, California and graduated in the Spring of 2013 with an M.A. in Theology.
I've been married since 2007 to my industrious wife, Courtney. We have a daughter, Norah. And Norah has a cat, Doodle. We live in Roger's Park, a beautiful and diverse neighborhood on Chicago's north side.
Formerly, I worked as the Director of Education and Community Relations at The Marin Foundation, a Chicago-based, non-profit organization helping to facilitate peaceful and constructive conversation between individuals, families and communities in crisis over faith and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) issues.
You can read more about my journey from these blog posts: