For over a century, alumni associations have enabled graduates across America to maintain connections with their schools and each other, and helped colleges raise billions of dollars. What if this powerful networking tool were adapted to rebuild cities? What if successful, creative people who grew up in places like Fall River, but left, were reconnected with their hometowns and began investing their energy and resources in promising programs back home?
The Fall River Alumni Network is a pilot program testing whether this concept can make a difference. Working closely with local leaders, we'll use social media (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) to reach thousands of people originally from Fall River and encourage them to:
invest their time & money in local business ventures, civic projects, nonprofits and education
recruit companies leaving their high-cost cities to relocate to our much less expensive hometown
contribute to our local community foundation as a way of giving back
move back home and get involved as their engagement with their hometown grows
A theme in this work will be the substantial assets of Fall River: an architecturally significant, walkable downtown with adjacent residential neighborhoods, historic mills, a river and bay, colleges and universities, a thriving arts community, beaches, ski resorts, and major transit corridors, all at a fraction of the cost of doing business (or living) in Boston, New York, or D.C.
The Fall River Alumni Network includes:
a national advisory committee to coordinate it
local community partners to learn from and work with
a grassroots social networking component that reaches out to thousands of former Fall River residents across the country
The advisory committee with engage city leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to learn about exciting new projects with the potential to make a difference, particularly if they had more resources. Then, alumni and local leaders will match local resource needs with interested alumni, through one-on-one conversations and this interactive alumni website.
We invite you to join us and get involved in this bipartisan, inter-generational effort that will be the pilot program for city alumni networks. It will allow other cities, from Worcheste to Oakland, to benefit from the lessons learned from our efforts.
National Advisory Committee
The national advisory committee will work with local leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors to learn about effective programs in Fall River with the potential to make a difference, particularly if they had more resources. Then, the committee will match Fall River projects needs to interested alumni across the country through one-on-one conversations and an interactive website.
We’ll also use social media (Facebook, LinkedIn) and local databases (high school alumni lists) to reach thousands of people nationwide who are from Fall River to tell them how to get involved with projects/programs revitalizing their hometown.
Brad is an alumnus of:
Harvard/Loeb Fellow, 1988
Williams College, 1972
Joseph Case High School, 1968
Fall River, MA, hometown
This project was inspired, in part, by Malcolm Gladwell's 1999 New Yorker article "Six Degress of Lois Weisberg."
For more information, contact: