What is Class ACT ?

A vehicle to bring classmates together doing good—to address important local, national and international problems and apply ourselves to making positive change, together—bridging gaps between existing nonprofit efforts and classmates' expertise on this website, sharing news of progress and ideas, learning about ways we can help others by collaborating with each other in larger Class Acts.

Creating a vehicle that will facilitate collaboration and align our strengths can create positive changes far greater than if we act separately. Go to Project Finder to check out the projects we have initially identified as worthy of attention and skills and see if you're inspired to tell us about classmate-sponsored not-for-profits you know about.


Share your talents!

You are a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Class of 1973, and Class ACT represents your class—we're classmates who would like to serve others in the ways and places that reflect us, Achieving Change. We live all over the US and the world. We have a range of skills and experiences and much to offer.

Your job first is to identify yourself when you register and, in the Talent Finder section, indicate some of your skills and experience, adding a biographical note and even a headshot if you wish. On the Projects pages you can browse Bridging projects we are supporting, and read about the Class Acts we are formulating. Call our attention to projects you support and want us to know about. Meantime you can contact any of the Board Members (see Who We Are) via email or the Bridging or Class Act project sponsors through their project info.

For some information about the history of Class ACT go to Resources

some highlights from

The ClassACT Chronicles March 14, 2016

We've had an exciting few months filled with activities around ClassACT and Bridge projects with terrific participation by classmates!

NEWS in BRIEF

CLASS ACTS:

Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program to establish a unique fellowship at the Kennedy School in honor of our classmate, first woman prime minister of a Muslim country.

Al Franken and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend have joined the Advisory Board. 
Bob Bowie, Ham Fish and Ann Fisher have joined the Steering Committee. 
Awesome launch efforts, in Boston and in New York City, nearly 200 people involved! Detail to follow for the Boston-area launch party at the home of Peter Galbraith in Cambridge, April 19. 
Through Terry Hunt, the Hunt Foundation became the first foundation to support the project. 


Climate Change Initiative

Three environmentally passionate classmates, Sara Greenberg, Jason Clay and John Kress, all who live in the DC area, met each other and Jonathan Sprague for the first time to talk about the ClassACT effort. "One of the great things about ClassACT is being able to connect classmates for a cup of coffee and friendly discussions about creating change," says Jonathan.

BRIDGE PROJECTS:

Bay Area: White Pony Express

All volunteer nonprofit with mission to eliminate poverty in Contra Costa County sponsored an event in November and has drawn engagement with two classmates on the issue-level.

New Orleans: Roots of Music

Great follow-up activities after our fall weekend around JusticeAID concert.

Ghana: Salih Self-Development Center

Donations of sewing machines and connections to a college fashion program should result in a big boost for the women's Salih Sewing collaborative.

Washington, D.C.: JusticeAID

Come one, come all! For "the year of the child," JusticeAID sponsored a concert with Ozomatli and Trouble Funk in Washington, D.C. on May 15th. 100% of the gate went to support two organizations dedicated to access to justice for juveniles.

Bhutto1Bhutto Project launches: BOSTON:

On February 16 the Harvard Club of the Northshore packed the ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem for Peter Galbraith's illuminating talk on the current situations in Iraq and Syria and the US involvement in those regions. As president of the club and as one of the people central to the HAA's efforts to create alumni vehicles for social action, Peter Mazareas has been a stalwart supporter of ClassACT from the beginning. Peter Galbraith was articulate, insightful, and a great educator both during his speech and in his gracious and generous responses to questions from the crowd. At the end of his talk he spoke about Benazir, her life experience, and her mission, connecting his speech to the goals for our initiative. He brought copies of two of his books and donated the proceeds to the Program. In addition, the club donated to ClassACT/Bhutto Program as a gesture of thanks for Peter's talk. Classmates attending in addition to the aforementioned were Rob Adams with his wife, Lynne, Holly Weeks, Ray and Ann Urban, and Joe and Kathy Bretagna. In addition, Peter Barzdines '74 (Eliot) was in the crowd and suggested we reach out to members of the classes around us.

NEW YORK launches a Class Act:

Most of the Bhutto Project Steering Committee - Bahman Mossavar-Rahmani, Kimball Chen, Peter Galbraith, Holly Weeks, Therese Steiner, Marion Dry, Sallie Gouverneur, Ann Fisher and Ham Fish - with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Ann Bailen Fisher's graceful home hosted a group of 40- plus classmates and others (check out some of us on our Facebook page). Marion Dry introduced ClassACT and the Bhutto Project, and Peter Galbraith shared his experiences with Benazir, transforming the presentation from formal to intimate. He introduced our (unexpected) special guest, Benazir's son Bilawal; his presence as Peter spoke eloquently of his mother's courage highlighted how personal this mission is to us as Pinkie's classmates. Therese Steiner continued the focus on Benazir as a young woman and our classmate and outlined what we need to make the Program a reality, Holly Weeks (Steering Committee member and Kennedy School professor) read the 35th reunion Redbook entry which Benazir wrote before she was killed. Dan Hart, Director of Major Gifts/Alumni Relations and Resource Development for the Kennedy School, spoke about next steps and Kimball Chen, who worked with Benazir's administration towards energy improvements, suggested that we apply chaos theory to the effort to bring young scholars to the Kennedy School for leadership education in her honor, reminding us that like the butterfly wings that can cause hurricanes on the other side of the world, Bhutto Scholars will bring the change we so hope to see.

Classmates who joined us included Yeou-cheng Ma, Thomas Schindler, Thomas Mahoney, Phyllis August, Meredith Palmer, Pamela Ransom, Seth Paprin, Lucy Stille, Linda Rock, Ken Sullivan, Henrietta Lodge, Deborah Neipris Hendler, Alexander Wiggin, as well as Steering Committee members Ham Fish, Sallie Gouverneur and Bahman Mossavar-Ramani.
This is our first Class Act, a major effort which will require networking both broad and deep, and we will be seeking advice and support on all sides. We have raised 40% of our initial financial goal to date, and welcome all suggestions for funding sources inside and outside of the class.


There will be more details about the Bhutto Program coming soon, but in the meantime, with questions, contact ClassACT Board member Therese Steiner or Co-founder and co-chair Marion Dry.

Climate Class Acts: Climate Change Initiative

Jonathan Sprague, Co-Founder and Co-chair, writes: "Our ClassACT Environmental work group is continuing to meet by phone. There is interest in a face-to-face session. Activities being considered include a miniature-class reunion day or weekend to focus on discussions of environmental concerns; crafting periodic mailings to classmates with classmate suggestions for resources such as readings,videos, etc. that can increase understanding of issues; and focused presentations and discussions as a feature of our next reunion. We're also open to finding suitable Bridge projects, i.e. nonprofits classmates are involved in with environmental goals. We are certainly interested in identifying classmates interested in what ClassACT might do to address environmental degradation."

In addition to Sara Greenberg, Jason Clay and John Kress, participants include Roger Meyerson, Jesse Ausubel, Kimball Chen, and Sharon Shurts Tisher.

ClassACT Contact: Jonathan Sprague

BayAreaA BAY AREA Bridge:

In 2015, White Pony Express joined ClassACT as a Bridge project. In a year of tremendous growth and change for the young non-profit, ClassACT helped in a number of important ways. "Eliminate poverty in Contra Costa County" is the appropriately ambitious mission of this 2-year-old all volunteer nonprofit, currently focusing on clothing and food to make positive changes in Contra Costa County. Using surplus food from grocery stores and supermarkets, for example, WPE has been able to serve over 2 million meals. WPE is also committed to helping other communities create similar programs to share the existing abundance with people in need and to that end, consulted with classmate Bob Bowie to see about a program for underserved neighborhoods in Baltimore.

Rob Lawrence came on board as an informal advisor to the Board of Directors, helping their Executive Director and VP of Development think about how to make the board more effective as the organization grows. Given ClassACT's focus on networking it's not surprising that Rob's advice to White Pony emphasized the organization's attention to keeping track of staff, board, volunteers, and friends of the organization. Rob writes: "Although networking is not necessarily a high or exciting priority, steady attention to such a process will yield significant results over time. Networking can be an important step in making that process successful. I was very excited to learn about this organization. It reminded me how much of a difference a dedicated group of people can make in bettering the lives of others."

In November, Marion Dry came out to visit the program and help organize a Class of 1973 volunteer day at both the food rescue program and the Free General Store. Seven other classmates -- Donna Brorby, Madeleine Fang, Vito Palmieri, Rob Lawrence, Jan Deming, Susan Coons, Emily Karakashian -- had a great morning being educated about White Pony and working on both the food and clothing distribution sides. Marion reported at the time, "This is an absolutely extraordinary nonprofit. In two years they have grown from 4 volunteers to 400. They deliver food daily and have 52 shelters, nonprofits etc to whom they provide fresh food. They have monthly clothing boutiques. The rule is that they do not give anything away that they would not eat or wear themselves."

As a special thank you to Class ACT, the White Pony Express Not for Prime Time Singers serenaded our classmates with a rendition of "How sweet it is to be helped by you!" Four regular WPE volunteers from other classes, Craig Boyan, Peter Brooks, Winifred Kershaw and Marta Kentfield were there to help, as well. In other good news, classmates' generous cash donations have helped cover operating costs.

Contacts: Bridge Sponsor Emily Karakashian, ClassACT liaison Marion Dry

NewOrleansBridges in NEW ORLEANS:

An open-handed response from HR73 classmates, including Ruth Goldston, Craig Coit, Lynn Howell, Holly Weeks, Marion Dry, Rick Weil, Therese Steiner, Sara Greenberg, Eric Rayman, Tom Uhlmann, and Sallie Gouverneur, resulted in 47 winter coats being donated to the coat drive sponsored by the Ole and Nu Fellas Social Aid and Pleasure Club of Treme, a mentoring effort conducted by Sue Press, whom we met through Rick Weil during our fun JusticeAID/Roots of Music weekend last fall. Sue wrote sending "Appreciation, on the behalf of myself, family and friends. Words can never describe the joy you all have brought to the hearts of many kids -- knowing you have shared in the warmth of a child's heart, you will always be in their life. We sincerely thank you all for all of your thoughtfulness in the many beautiful jackets and coats."

Sue also invited any of us who might be in New Orleans in April to consider attending the social club's ball, April 8, or dancing in their Second Line parade April 17th. Meanwhile, Roots of Music were able to add a brand-new Sousaphone to their collection of instruments, after John Riley learned from leader Derrick Tabb of the need; John gave the Sousaphone to mark his wife Sallie Gouverneur's birthday.

Contacts: Roots of Music sponsor Rick Weil, ClassACT liaison Sallie Gouverneur

GhanaA Bridge Project in GHANA:

The Salih Self-Development Center in Ghana, our Bridge Project with David Weeks, seeks to distribute resources to meet community needs and provide disadvantaged and orphaned youth in Aboabo, Kumasi with health education and vocational training. Posting the needs of the Salih Self-Development Center on the ClassACT website, one of the ways we network, and through additional efforts from Marion Dry, we came up with 13 sewing machines to be shipped, helped establish a relationship with classmate Michael Alexander, President of Lasell College in Newton Massachusetts and Professor Lynn Blake, Chair of Lasell College's Fashion Department, with two colleagues will engage their students in a "sketching project": to collaborate with the young women and their mentors on designs to be transformed into clothing for local boutiques in Ghana, hopefully providing an income stream in the long term and certainly strengthening the sewing skills of the young women in the Salih vocational program to give them more value in their community.

Contacts: Bridge sponsor David Weeks, ClassACT liaison Marion Dry