Why America Can’t Wait, An Open Letter from Business and Philanthropic Leaders of the All Stars Project

Published by Dan Kelly

Dear Friends of the All Stars,

Millions of Americans and global citizens are calling for racial equity and social justice and we join in this call. It is time. As leaders and innovators in the business and healthcare sectors, we also applaud those individuals—in the corporate world, philanthropic hubs and social science networks—who believe, as we do, that innovative and new bold action is needed to assure that our country will be made equitable for everyone.

It is in this spirit that we invite you to work with us on profoundly expanding the reach of the All Stars Project (ASP)—which we have supported for decades and on whose national board we sit—to help deliver its practices and innovations, from decades of frontline work, to new environments.

Although the six of us come from diverse backgrounds, and have different life experiences and political beliefs, we share a deep desire to help America heal. Like many Americans, we hoped, with the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in the 1960s, that an enduring racial equality would evolve. Tragically, it has not. Rather, we have seen it replaced by polarization and division. This must be overcome.

How do we re-ignite a genuine healing process? This is the question that the All Stars Project has been asking itself, and successfully responding to through its programs, publications and collaborations for 40 years. The ASP and its pioneering work in youth and community development offers a set of models for engaging the upstream root causes of poverty and social injustice. Division and inequality are manmade, and we believe ASP has discovered and developed a set of approaches that can contribute significantly to remaking them.

Over the last four decades, the All Stars Project, a privately funded national nonprofit, has emerged as a grassroots innovator; its award-winning, bottom-up, social development programs are transforming the impact of poverty on young people and communities across America. The ASP’s Afterschool Development approach gives sectors (such as corporate, philanthropic, education, criminal justice, non-profit and community) powerful new tools for addressing issues that are currently taking center stage in America. Some of these issues include lack of opportunity, exclusion from society’s mainstream, social isolation, a lack of trust between police and community, hopelessness and violence.

We have invested millions of dollars and volunteer hours in this organization and, like you, can personally attest to the impact the All Stars Project has had in our own lives and in the communities that it serves across the nation. In addition to transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, we have pioneered “two-way development” where the caring adults and corporate volunteers who are involved also grow in powerful and often unexpected ways. From its afterschool development programs to its volunteer base, the ASP turns no one away, as it believes everyone deserves development and opportunity as well as a life that is free from fear and hate.

Is there more to be done? YES.

Will we continue to invest millions of dollars and volunteer hours to help grow ASP’s impact across America during these troubling times? YES. And we want you to join us.

With over 25 years of on-the-ground program leadership and experimentation in New York, Newark, Jersey City, Chicago, Dallas and the San Francisco Bay Area, we believe that the All Stars Project is ready to spread this impact through scaling up programs and training environments in cities across America. Together, we can profoundly expand the reach of this life-changing organization and help it to deliver its practices and discoveries from decades of frontline work to new environments.

We hope you will become part of this effort.

Please contact us if you are interested in working with the All Stars Project on broadening its influence and impact. You can direct your thoughts and questions to Chris Street, President, at cstreet@allstars.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

Signed by,

Maria Morris, Retired Executive Vice President, MetLife, Inc.; Chair, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Nathaniel H. Christian, III, Managing Director, General Counsel and Co-Founder, CastleOak Securities L.P.; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Jessie Fields, M.D., Attending Physician Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Faculty Practice; Vice-Chair, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Hunter L. Hunt, CEO, Hunt Consolidated Energy, LLC; Vice Chair, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Peter Langerman, President and CEO, Franklin Mutual Advisors, Inc.; Vice-Chair, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Robert T. Ross, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Private Bank; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

 

ENDORSED BY

Omar Ali, Dean and Professor, Lloyd International Honors College, The University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Sean Armstead, Founder and Co-Owner, Phenomenal Fitness Inc.; Member, All Stars Project of Chicago Board

Michael Armstrong, Member, All Stars Project Advisors

Greg Arnold, Chairman and CEO, Truman Arnold Companies (TAC); Vice-Chair, All Stars Project of Dallas Board

David Barnett, Chairman, Corsis; Member, All Stars Project of New Jersey Board

Kate J. Barton, Global Vice Chair-Tax, EY; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Denise Bernard, Privacy Compliance Program Manager, Google Inc.; Member, All Stars Project of New York Board

Mark Bley, Chairman of the Board, Dome Construction Corporation; Member, All Stars Project of San Francisco Bay Area Board

Joseph Boren, Insurance Consultant; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

David J. Chard, Ph.D., Dean ad Interim and Professor of Special Education, Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Mark Cicirelli, Member, All Stars Project of New York Board

Margo L. Cook, Former President, Nuveen Advisory Services; Chair, All Stars Project of Chicago Board

Derek DiRisio, President, PSEG Services Corporation; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

David Grusky, Edward Ames Edmonds Professor, Department of Sociology, Stanford University; Member, All Stars Project of San Francisco Bay Area Board

Julia Hammond, President, MDC Partners; Member, All Stars Project of Chicago Board

Michael Heningburg Jr., Esq., Business Manager and General Counsel, Image Dermatology P.C.; Member, All Stars Project of New Jersey Board

Frank Hernandez, Professor & Dean, College of Education, Texas Christian University; Member, All Stars Project of Dallas Board

Stratton Horres, Attorney, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP; Vice-Chair, All Stars Project of Dallas Board

Sonia Menon, Chief Operating Officer, Neal Gerber Eisenberg; Member, All Stars Project of Chicago Board

Ken Meyerson, Vice Chairman, CBRE; Member, All Stars Project of New York Board

Greg Mutz, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, AMLI Residential

Suzu Neithercut, Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

David Neithercut, Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Equity Residential

John Opdycke, President, Open Primaries; Member, All Stars Project of Chicago Board

Joseph Peiser, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Broking, Willis Towers Watson

Melanie Peña, Retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Michelle Peralta, Co-Founder, Hypothetico, Inc.; Member, All Stars Project of San Francisco Bay Area Board

Mark L. Perry, Retired Biotechnology Executive

Dominick Rizzo, Partner, PwC; Member, All Stars Project of New Jersey Board

Kenneth Rosen, Partner & Chair, Bankruptcy, Financial Reorganization & Creditors’ Rights, Lowenstein Sandler LLP; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

John Saraceno, Co-Founder, Managing Principal, Onyx Equities, LLC; Member, All Stars Project of New Jersey Board

Bart M. Schwartz, Chairman, Guidepost Solutions LLC; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Kevin D. Shanklin, Retired Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Executive; Member, All Stars Project of Chicago Board

Robert Skea, CEO, Discovery Data; Member, All Stars Project of New Jersey Board

Richard Sokolow, Director of Research and Managing Director, Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Blakely Stinebaugh, Member, All Stars Project of New York Board

John Stinebaugh, Managing Partner, Brookfield Renewable Energy Group

Gillian Teichert, Philanthropist; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

John Thurlow, Managing Director and U.S. Chief Operating Officer, RBC Capital Markets LLC

Gregory Tosko, Vice Chairman, CBRE, Tri-State Region; Treasurer, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Ave Tucker, CEO, TM Financial Forensics and Stanford Adjunct Professor; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors

Glenroy Wason, Senior Accountant, RBC Capital Markets LLC; Member, All Stars Project of New Jersey Board

Allison Williams, Director of NVP Labs, Newark Venture Partners; Member, All Stars Project of New Jersey Board

Drew Williamson, Partner, Cooley LLP; Member, All Stars Project Board of Directors