Catlin Fullwood is a sage veteran of social justice movement building with decades of experience in the non-profit sector and philanthropic sectors. For more than four decades she has devoted herself to supporting organizations committed to reinvesting in communities and building new leadership in the struggle for equity and justice.
Catlin’s organizational and social change work has ranged over the years from community and constituency organizing, to program development and coalition building, to policy and administration, to founding and directing a multi-racial statewide HIV prevention based organization, to working in a University based center designed to bridge the gap between academia and the knowledge-keepers of the community.
For the past 21 years she has acted as a consultant to a wide range of grassroots groups, philanthropic institutions and non- profit organizations. The groups she has consulted with have been engaged in mobilizing for change within communities and systems; in youth development and youth organizing; in building safe spaces within communities; in defining and redefining approaches to ending community violence; and in education reform. Her role with these groups has been to help build organizational structures and sustainability, to articulate models, to build systems for evaluation and documentation, to provide coaching and mentoring for leadership development and transition, and to find ways for groups to tell the stories of these efforts.
Organizational strengthening is the lens through which Catlin approaches capacity building, organizational change and individual leadership development. Her work is grounded in the belief that in order to create changes in our society, we must constantly be strengthening our infrastructure. This includes growing our organizations, programs, communities and constituencies from the inside, using a variety of methods to make them strong, flexible, and able to meet new challenges. This is true whether the goal is to develop strategic priorities and trajectories for growth, building a strong board of directors, aiding in the creation of new programs, coaching organizational leaders, or preparing organizations for effective leadership transitions.
The only way to make our great ideas and the organizations that we create as vessels to hold and grow them sustainable, is to ensure that we are always building the core, developing the assets, building new leadership and new knowledge – at the same time learning from the past. There will always be new challenges and new constituencies to engage in our efforts to change local and global communities, and our organizations must be stable and flexible enough to respond to this evolution.