How can we make progress on a problem as huge and seemingly intractable as poverty? How can we not? There is no silver bullet to eradicating poverty, but all across the country, a diverse array of social entrepreneurs are doing their part to take on this monumental challenge, building amazing organizations that are having a real impact in their communities. Catalysts, a Freethink original series presented by Stand Together, will take viewers to the frontlines of the fight against poverty to understand the challenges we face and meet the people behind some of the most innovative solutions to this complicated issue.
How can we make progress on a problem as huge and seemingly intractable as poverty? How can we not? There is no silver bullet to eradicating poverty, but all across the country, a diverse array of social entrepreneurs are doing their part to take on this monumental challenge, building amazing organizations that are having a real impact in their communities. Catalysts, a Freethink original series presented by Stand Together,...
In this unique job training program for those experiencing poverty, coaches focus on teaching the “harder skills” - love, forgiveness, and connection.
Acts Housing is empowering low-income families by offering resources for every step of the process, from financial counselors to home renovation support.
The FDA recently lifted restrictions against an online eye exam provider to help optometrists reach their patients during the pandemic. Will vision care go virtual for good?
By developing the skills of entrepreneurs in low-income communities, this nonprofit is empowering people to generate sustainable income and become a force for economic growth in their neighborhoods.
Isolation can be especially difficult for recovering addicts, so this sober active community is hosting virtual fitness classes for free.
This progressive organization is on a mission to break the cycle of recidivism, using coding. Incarcerated individuals can now spend their sentences acquiring marketable skills.
Many college students’ ability to realize their full potential is hampered by insurmountable expenses, so OpenStax is turning the tide by providing access to free textbooks.
This 51-acre neighborhood for the homeless will be the first of its kind in the U.S. to have 3D printed homes.
In the impoverished community of Bonton, it takes a three-hour bus ride just to reach the nearest grocery store. But the neighborhood is now home to one of the largest urban farms in the US - offering jobs, nutrition programs, and more.
unCommon Construction offers a unique alternative to your typical internship for high school students. Their program turns build sites into real-world classrooms where interns learn the soft skills they’ll need to succeed in the workforce.
In the midst of his prison sentence for murder, Sean Pica helped found Hudson Link - an organization dedicated to reducing recidivism and improving lives through higher education.
As drug overdose deaths climb higher, this gym is challenging the thinking behind traditional models for addiction recovery services with free memberships open to anyone sober for at least 48 hours.
A remarkable transformation is taking place in several inner-city Chicago schools, and it's resulting in fewer gangs, drugs, and homicides. Could this new model of group therapy be the cause, and is it scalable?
When domestic violence survivors share their stories, they feel empowered and find their voice. At Leap to Success, women have the opportunity to do both, forming a clear path to healing from the trauma of abuse.
The greatest investment of all may be in people’s strengths and initiative. This nonprofit is doing just that, and it’s working.
What do you get when former Bloods and Crips gang leaders come together? Original Gangsters United, a pathway to ending gang opposition, promoting peace, and saving younger generations from senseless violence. Antong Lucky is a former Bloods gang leader in Dallas, Texas. Like most children, Antong never aspired to be a part of a gang or to end up in prison. But sadly, many communities affected by peer pressure and gang violence leave kids with no choice. When Antong left prison, he began working to bring opposing Dallas gang leaders together to put an end to gang violence. And it worked.
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A once impoverished and isolated neighborhood in South Dallas is now flourishing thanks to Bonton Farms.
By achieving fitness goals together, The Phoenix community is peeling off the shame, regret, and stigma often associated with addiction.
These former Bloods and Crips are coming together to spread peace on the streets and end the cycle of gang violence by mentoring local youth.
This DC nonprofit is defying statistics by promoting diversity in the outdoors and connecting people from all walks of life with the wonders of nature.
A group of culinary professionals in Chicago is volunteering their talents to end child hunger in the US, and some are going all the way to Capitol Hill.
Carlos felt addicted to the thrill of crime at a young age. Today, he yields a different, positive influence on the streets with UTEC.
After suffering a violent gang beating, Desiree Maldonado experienced major medical and emotional issues. She turned from a shy and nerdy 14-year-old kid to a hard and angry rebel. This is how one restaurant job changed her trajectory.
As a former prison guard, Teresa Goines watched kids drift in and out of the justice system. Now she runs a jazz-themed eatery that hires at-risk youth and gives them a place to learn and grow.
Working Bikes has spent nearly two decades rescuing bicycles from the waste cycle to give people purpose, access to jobs, and independence.
Hordes of bright orange lifejackets are strewn across the rocky beaches of the Greek island of Lesbos. Discarded after a perilous journey at sea, they exemplify the risk that refugees are willing to take in search of a better life. A Minnesota fashion start-up creates jewelry from discarded refugee life jackets. There are currently 26 million refugees worldwide....
It's a muggy Wednesday morning in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, the temperature and humidity rising before the sun. Lena, decked out in her eye-catching slate shirt and chartreuse vest, leans slightly out into the busy rush-hour traffic, sweeping litter (wrappers, cups, lots of cigarette butts) from the gutter into her dustpan. On the sidewalk, she empties her collection into a cart. As she moves down the street,...
Chef Chad Houser was a rising star in the Dallas restaurant scene, but after volunteering with kids in the criminal justice system, he felt a calling to do more. He gave up his job to start Cafe Momentum, a restaurant staffed by kids from the criminal justice system. They’re given year-long paid internships where they are taught the skills to succeed in restaurants and society. It’s his way of trying to fix the problems...
Meet The Phoenix, the free sober active community that’s using fitness to change how we treat addiction. Scott Strode, the founder, got sober with the help of a gym and wanted to help others with their recovery. Now thousands of people are transforming their lives and unlocking their potential. In doing so they are challenging the stigma around drug rehabilitation by publicly embracing their sobriety and talking about it...
Nearly 50% of people released from prison return within three years. But less than 1% of graduates from Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison ever return. By offering college degree programs, their mission is to give people the tools to turn their lives around and give back to their communities when released. Freethink is proud to present this story in partnership with Stand Together. For more information on other...
Growing Home’s organic urban farms use agriculture as a vehicle for providing job training for people with employment barriers, whether due to prior convictions, medical concerns, poverty, homelessness, or any other issues which make gainful employment difficult.
Every night, young adults pass through the basement door of the Lakeview Lutheran Church, close to the heart of Boystown, the gay neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. Like many institutions in Lakeview, the church offers a place specifically welcoming to the LGBTQ community. These young adults are taking refuge at The Crib, an overnight emergency shelter for people aged 18 to 24 who find themselves temporarily homeless. Founded by The Night Ministry in 2011, The Crib is one of the few places in the city where young LGBTQ adults, especially those of color, can find housing and community with others their age in similar situations.
In the middle of New York City sits an unexpected sight: a boathouse; and inside is an unexpected group of rowers: middle and high schoolers from across the city’s fragile communities. Every year, in this place, thousands of kids show up to find something in themselves — whether strength, confidence, discipline, or community — that can make a difference in their lives. Row New York is one of the most successful after-school...
Coalfield Development is a nonprofit on a mission to unlock the resources and potential of coal country. Partnering with local entrepreneurs, they've helped launch six new businesses and trained hundreds of workers across Appalachia. They provide education and training for unemployed workers, from college courses to trade skills, and partner with businesses to help them succeed on the job. The coal jobs might not be coming...
Veterans returning home with PTSD often face many of the same stigmas around getting help that civilians face and aren’t always able to access the care they need to recover. But Headstrong, a nonprofit founded by veterans to help other veterans, believes that trauma is treatable. They provide veterans with free access to quality therapists who offer them the tailored support they really need to get better and adjust to life...