Sally Kohn

Still willing to give civility a chance.

Previously, Sally was the senior campaign strategist with the Center for Community Change, a 45-year-old hub of grassroots organizations nationwide. Sally served as co-director of ideas and innovation for the center, helping lead the pioneering Campaign for Community Values, producing a nationally-televised, presidential-candidate forum in 2008, developing a new media organizing project on health care reform in rural communities, and spearheading several other initiatives.

Before that, Sally held a program fellowship at the Ford Foundation, helping to manage more than $15 million in annual grants to social justice organizations nationwide. She was also strategic advisor to the Social Justice Infrastructure Funders, a private network of 25 top program staff from some of the nation’s most prominent foundations, working to identify a shared strategy and coordinate grantmaking.  Before that, Sally served as executive director of the Third Wave Foundation, the leading young women’s organization in the country.  She was also a distinguished Vaid Fellow at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, where she published a groundbreaking guidebook for organizing campaigns to win domestic partnership benefits.  Sally also worked as a consultant with the Urban Justice Center, publishing a report on the experiences of gay youth in the New York juvenile justice system.

Sally received a joint degree in law and public administration from New York University and was a Root Tilden public service scholar at the New York University School of Law.  She received her undergraduate degree from George Washington University in D.C.  Originally from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Sally now resides in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner Sarah Hansen and their daughter Willa.

Popular Topics

How To Address Hate in Your Institution and Yourself

Based on her book The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity, Sally shares stories from her own life and around the world plus insights on how institutions and organizations can either harbor hate or combat it, as well as what each of us can do to be part of the solution.  This is a provocative yet ultimately uplifting talk, filled with proactive takeaways for every employer and every employee.

Agitating and Organizing 101

It’s a new day in American politics and culture.  The cultural advances we’d assumed were set in stone are being challenged again and advances toward equity are being rolled back.  Suddenly, in the some of the most unlikely places and ways, people and brands are standing up: from breath mints making political statements, to groups of ordinary citizens writing to their local legislators every single week, and to millions of Americans marching for justice in the mass largest mobilizations in history.  How can you be part of the resistance?  How can your brand find a bold voice in this moment in history?  How can you help push for inclusion and fairness in your own workplace?  How can you be a strong ally to communities that are under attack?  In this customized talk, Sally shows the way.

Insert Your Issue Here

Get a customized breakdown of the playing field for your industry or area of concern.  Sally is uniquely able to give your organization or business an overview of the landscape with respect to your area of focus.  Delivered with a good dose of humor, she’ll also give you the brass tacks on how your issue is playing in Washington and among the American people, forecasting where the political debate is heading and how you can get ahead of it.

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