July 2, 2024

UPCOMING EVENTS

Live from NYC

YANA Town Halls provide an ideal opportunity for mission-driven alums to meet each other and exchange ideas and information to help achieve social impact. These events occur live at the Yale Club in New York City AND are accessible via Zoom. Join us from anywhere! 

If attending in person, join us after the program in the Main Lounge to convene and connect over cocktails. You don’t need to be a member of the Yale Club to join us! 

Register now for these upcoming events:

Town Hall – YANA Board Matching Night

July 31 | 6:30pm ET – In-Person (Yale Club of NYC) & via Zoom

Speed dating for nonprofit organizations and prospective Board members! YANA will host its first-ever Board Matching Night, in which organizations seeking to fill board vacancies can “pitch” to our global audience. 

If you are interested in serving on a board or would just like to know more about Yale-led nonprofits, join us! 

The Climate Crisis: Local and Urban Solutions to a Global Challenge

Aug 28 | 6:30pm ET – In-Person (Yale Club of NYC) & via Zoom

Cities currently hold over 50% of the global population, a number projected to rise to 70% by 2050. Two environmental experts discuss the importance of local and urban solutions to climate change.

Peter Boyd is a lecturer at Yale SOM and School of the Environment, as well as a member of the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, the world’s largest coalition of non-state actors taking immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030. 

Sarah Charlop-Powers ’09 MEM is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Natural Areas Conservancy, a nonprofit dedicated to managing New York City’s 20,000 acres of forests and wetlands. 

Save the Date! YANA’s Social Impact Conference – Friday, October 25 at the Yale Club in NYC!

Join us to Magnify Your Mission in 2024. YANA creates this annual Social Impact Conference to help you build momentum and boost the impact of your nonprofit’s mission. You’ll learn emerging trends and best practices for Yale alumni leaders in social impact and connect with fellow Yale alumni from various schools to share interests and network.

Save the date!

Check out the videos from last year’s conference:

YANA INSIGHTS & CONNECTIONS

How Unlikely Friendships Can Unify A Divided America: David McCullough III ‘17 Discusses American Exchange Project’s Mission To Burst Social Bubbles [Part I]

As a substitute teacher in an affluent Boston public school, CEO and Founder of the American Exchange Project David McCullough III ‘17 asked students the same question he’d posed to their counterparts in distressed schools from Kilgore, Texas to Lake Charles, Louisiana on a 7100-mile, grant-funded road trip the summer after graduation: “What’s your least favorite part of the place you’re growing up?” The answer was identical: “I feel like I’m growing up in a bubble and never see life outside that bubble.”

That teens with seemingly no common ground would not only feel the same way, but articulate that feeling in precisely the same language, convinced McCullough that as a society, “We are simply not spending enough time together.” What if, the summer after high school graduation, teens could go live in another bubble for a week? And what if that weeklong trip became a rite of passage in America, like the prom? “The vast majority of Americans are good people, and in the right circumstances, they’d get along: [at American Exchange Project], it’s our job to create the right circumstances,” McCullough told those who attended the monthly Town Hall meeting at the Yale Club of New York on June 26th.

The summer after high school graduation represents a unique opportunity to facilitate true dialogue between people who would otherwise never interact. Whether students are headed to college, the workforce, or the military, a brief developmental window exists before young adults cluster in the same homogenous groups in which they were raised. This is as true of those in small, working-class towns as it is of teens from wealthy, big city suburbs. Most of McCullough’s Boston high school friends, for example, attended the same type of college before going on to work for one of a handful of similar corporations, living in Southie so they could afford to return to their upscale suburb and reproduce their childhood lifestyles. “They’re not just in bubbles; they’re on railroad cars,” he observed.

AEP, the first free domestic exchange program, grew out of McCullough’s belief (rooted in life-altering personal experience) that creating connections between radically different people results in a “level of kinship and humanity” lacking in a country so divided that 35% of Americans believe we (or at least their tribe) would be better off if the “other side” (however defined) were dead. Forty percent of Americans have never met a farmer. Seventy-five percent of white Americans do not have a non-white friend. Half of high school seniors believe America will have a civil war within a decade. And just 4% of Americans marry people of a different political party. That figure was 40% in the 1960s.

If McCullough’s faith in the power of friendship to lessen toxic polarization sounds like pie in the sky or cockeyed optimism, the results say otherwise. Five years after its founding (shortly before the COVID-19 shutdown, when travel was impossible), AEP has been featured on 100 media outlets, including Sunday Morning on CBS. “A funder told me we’re the only organization, to his knowledge,  ever to appear on Fox and Friends and Good Morning America in the same week,” proof that AEPs mission resonates with what former Davenport College Dean Ryan Brasseaux, McCullough’s Yale mentor, former American Studies professor, and current colleague, calls “the silent middle.” “It’s working!” joked McCullough.

Stay tuned for the July 16th newsletter to learn more about the truly transformational work of the American Exchange Project. Part II of our series about the June 26th Town Hall will cover AEP’s plans to scale and grow without compromising quality (in 10 years, McCullough hopes to have one million students in the program), along with stories about past exchanges as well as McCullough’s travels and AEPs research partnerships with Harvard and Berkeley. 

Such stories suggest that AEP’s approach to reducing division in America may be workable on a macroscopic level. McCullough and Brasseaux (who will be splitting time between AEP and teaching, having departed the Yale College Dean’s office this week) are not naive. Following Jonathan Haidt, who references AEP in The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness, McCullough and Brasseaux recognize the threat smartphones pose to unity. The experience AEP provides–travel–may not be an antidote, but it’s the essential first step.

photos by Patrice D. Bowman ’15

Check out the recording of the June 26 Town Hall:

Are you using AI?

Nonprofit organizations are increasingly leveraging generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) to enhance their impact and efficiency. It is transforming the landscape of nonprofit digital communications to generate valuable insights and improve engagement with audiences.

Early responses to the survey show surprising results! We’d like to know if and how you are using AI.

CALL FOR YANA VOLUNTEERS

Exciting Volunteer Opportunities at YANA!

YANA is seeking volunteers to help us expand services offered to our network. Sitting at the hub of so many people and organizations it has become increasingly clear that we can do more to help alumni connect and collaborate.

We need volunteers to help with three important initiatives.

Board Matching

Many alumni in our network are looking for meaningful engagement and have immense talent, skills, and passion that could be brought to bear on smaller and growing nonprofits who need them. Volunteers are needed to assist in identifying nonprofit board opportunities (in coordination with YANA’s Board Chair and NYC Chapter leader, Ken Inadomi).

Job Search

We would also like to offer reliably sourced job opportunities beyond what might appear in more public job boards to those in our network who might be looking for rewarding opportunities. Volunteers are needed to assist with collecting and curating postings of social sector job openings.

YANAconsults Mentoring Progam

We are building our nonprofit Roundtables into a more robust Nonprofit Mentoring/Consulting Program and need volunteers for internal project management: These volunteers will

    • Respond to and interview Roundtable organizations who have submitted projects
    • Respond to and interview individuals who have indicated they have expert skills to offer
    • Help Nonprofits selected for Roundtables prepare Needs Assessment Form, distribute to Volunteer Experts
    • Collect and distribute Volunteer Expert headshots, bios prior to each Roundtable
    • Manage Roundtable logistics, share recording with participants, provide written summary with curated list of references and resources to org
    • Follow up collecting Impact Assessment from nonprofits and help with 1:1 calls with nonprofit and volunteers at scheduled times after each Roundtable

If you are interested in being part of these dynamic and exciting opportunities to scale YANA’s work and engage even more alumni and related nonprofits, please contact Rachel Littman ‘91.

YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Meet the YANA-Dwight Hall Fellows

Thanks to your generosity, we are funding eight YANA-Dwight Hall Fellows this summer! These Yale students will gain valuable career experiences while assisting eight nonprofit organizations in the U.S.

Meet two of our fellows, and stay tuned for the rest in future issues!
Taylor Carroll ’24

Taylor Carroll ’24

New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church & Breakthrough Charities (Chicago, IL)

Renee Deminne ’24

Renee Deminne ’24

New Haven Peoples Center (New Haven, CT)

Taylor Carroll ‘24 (she/her) recently graduated from Yale with degrees in political science and education studies. A community organizer focused on youth outreach and educational justice for students of color, Taylor collaborates with the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church and Breakthrough Charities in Chicago, where she hopes to address barriers to quality education in that city’s marginalized communities. She’s grateful to be part of YANA’s mission-driven community and its support for the work she began in college and plans to continue in her career in public interest.

A recent Yale graduate, Renee Deminee ‘24 (she/her) will be working at the New Haven Peoples Center, where she volunteered during her undergraduate years, working on the Solidarity Film Series.  During her internship, she will continue to organize and plan community events, including a youth mural project. She will also be working on establishing a communal office space and library.