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Dred Scott

Dred Scott

President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City

Navigating unchartered change is not new to Dred Scott. He partnered with a collaboration of youth and family organizations during the pandemic to design new ways to best serve the community. Those partnerships and lessons are providing a valuable resource as he looks to making permanent changes to the inequitable systems now exposed.

Q: Why is now the time, and what do we “double-down” on to leverage this moment to take strides for long-lasting change?

As a community, we have all learned significant lessons forced upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. This global crisis has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to innovate with regard to existing gaps and needs. Due to this experience, community leaders and organizations now understand the importance of meaningful partnerships formed to strategically leverage resources to meet those needs.

I cannot imagine a more opportune time for rallying around efforts for effective and permanent change.

I cannot imagine a more opportune time for rallying around efforts for effective and permanent change. This has shown up in my work as growth in strategic partnerships, strengthening community engagement, and demonstrating nimbleness in responding to gaps and needs across the community.

Q: For real systems change to happen, how must perspectives, and how we approach the economy and education, shift to meet the needs of an inclusive, equitable economy?

In order for true and real change to occur, the system must be influenced by those who are impacted the most, but often have the least amount of power. Corporate and community organizations need to engage with members of the community in an equitable manner. This means committing to sustained efforts aimed at thoughtful engagement. In addition, the relationship between economics and education must be further explored and supported through policy development using an equity lens.

Q: Where do you find hope in the work, conversations, and shifts you see happening, and how does that shape your thinking?

I am encouraged by the resiliency demonstrated consistently by individuals and groups across the community. I do sense a common understanding of the need for equity and inclusion. I see a shift in the non-profit sector toward intentional and meaningful collaboration and partnerships. My thinking has been influenced positively by these changes leading me to purposefully seek out organizations that have mission alignment in order to explore ways to leverage collective resources.

Inspiration curation: Share who or what you look to for inspiration.

I am inspired daily by the following individuals in our community: Dr. Mark Bedell, Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent; Qiana Thomason, CEO, Health Forward Foundation; Christopher Goode, owner and founder, Ruby Jean’s Juicery; Dr. Nicole Price, CEO, Lively Paradox; and Toriano Porter, author, journalist, and speaker.

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