The “Boston Miracle” and Social Movement Building with Rev. Jeffrey Brown – “Agitate. Innovate. Orchestrate.” Series

Date & Time

Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2018

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM


David T. Ellwood Democracy Lab, Rubenstein 414AB (HKS)


The Social Innovation and Change Initiative will welcome Reverend Jeffrey Brown, Pastor and President of RECAP (Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace), to host an interactive roundtable conversation as part of SICI’s “Agitate. Innovate. Orchestrate” series. Rev. Brown will engage students in discussion on the role of community-based work in building social movements. Best known for his work as a key organizer in the “Boston Miracle,” which saw the violent crime rate among youth plummet by 79% in the 1990’s, Rev. Brown will share his experience working with faith groups, cities, government, and police to stop gang violence and reflect on the multiple roles he has taken on through the “Agitate. Innovate. Orchestrate.” lens. 2017 Cheng Fellow, Hasani Hayden, will moderate this event, drawing upon his personal and professional experience analyzing issues surrounding residential segregation, gentrification, and urban development. This event is open to all students at Harvard University, and students with interest or experience in collaborative, community building work are encouraged to attend and share their perspectives.

Recommended pre-read: Should you Agitate, Innovate, or Orchestrate?

Additional optional case reading will be provided to registered attendees 1-2 days in advance of the event.

About Rev. Jeffrey Brown
Rev. Jeffrey Brown was one of the key architects behind the “Boston Miracle,” which saw the violent crime rate among youth plummet by 79% over a decade. Today, he works with faith groups, cities, government, and police to stop gang violence as the president of RECAP and co-founder of My City at Peace. He speaks on “collaborative leadership,” community building, and what it takes to institute real change in organizations of all stripes. At TED 2015, Rev. Jeffrey Brown’s keynote garnered a standing ovation—and has since been viewed over 1 million times. Rev. Brown is currently the president of RECAP, which stands for Rebuilding Every Community Around Peace. He is also a co-founder of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, a faith-based group that was an integral part of the famous “Boston Miracle,” during which the city experienced a 79% decline in violent crime among youth from 1990 to 1999. That includes 29 consecutive months of zero juvenile homicides. The efforts also spawned countless urban collaborative efforts in subsequent years, and was widely covered in the press.

About the “Agitate. Innovate. Orchestrate.” Series
Inspired by SICI Academic Co-Director Prof. Julie Battilana’ s research, SICI will host the “Agitate. Innovate. Orchestrate.” series over the 2018-19 academic year to explore the different roles individuals, organizations, and communities play in social movements. Each month, SICI will bring in speakers that illuminate the diverse pathways to creating positive social change, from nonprofit organizations, activist movements, social enterprises, and within government entities. Speakers will reflect on how they have leveraged their own positions and power to bring systems-level change, discuss how their roles may have shifted over time, and consider how they played one (or many) roles at any given moment.