Ceasar McDowell

President 2012 – 2016

When asked what his work is about Ceasar always says, “Voice.” He has a deep and abiding passion for figuring out how people who are systematically marginalized by society have the opportunity to voice their lived experiences to the world. Ceasar believes that until people are able to lift up those experiences, they will be unable to participate as full members of society. Over the past few decades, Ceasar has been involved in many activities to bring this belief to life. As founder of MIT’s Co-Lab (previously named Center for Reflective Community Practice), Ceasar works to develop the critical moments reflection method to help communities build knowledge from their practice or, as he likes to say, “to know what they know.” Through his work at the global civic engagement organization, Engage The Power, he developed The Question Campaign as a method for building democratic communities from the ground up. At MIT, Ceasar teaches on civic and community engagement and the use of social media to enhance both. In addition, he is working to create a model of equitable partnership between universities and communities and to support communities to build their own knowledge base. Ceasar brings his deep commitment to the work of building beloved, just and equitable communities that are able to – as his friend Carl Moore says – ”struggle with the traditions that bind them and the interests that separate them so they can build a future that is an improvement on the past.”

As IISC’s president, Ceasar is focused on how best to move the organization toward the social change it has been helping others do in the world. Over the next year, he expects you will begin to see IISC using its tools and methods and deep collaborative and network design and building skills to move equity and social change efforts in a few select sectors.

ceasar@interactioninstitute.org

FieldNotes from Ceasar McDowell