Stories of Change

Changemakers from around the world offer advice, insights and inspiration

Stories of Change

Sí Se Puede - Yes We can

Dolores Huerta was once described as "one of the most important Americans you may have never heard of", but over time her role in the US labour movement and as a human rights activist has come to garner the international acclaim her work deserves.

She is best known as co-founder of the United Farm Workers union and her trademark slogan Sí Se Puede came to international attention again when Barack Obama campaigned for the US Presidency with the translation, 'Yes We can!'.

SCI, the Global Citizens Circle and Southern New Hampshire University co-hosted an event honouring Dolores, whose work continues through the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

At the event, Dolores said: "All of us have to become activists...we have so many critical issues facing our world."

South Africa's journey of change

Zelda Holtzman has devoted her life to making South Africa a fairer place.  She was an ANC activist during the Apartheid era and went on to play a prominent role in the efforts to transform policing.  Today she is active in the movement to tackle corruption and runs the Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education.

In a public event hosted by SCI Zelda shared insights from the struggle to topple the  apartheid regime and the impact of corruption on the continuing effort to secure change for economically deprived communities.  

You can watch the full event here, but in the clip below Zelda discusses the challenges faced in post-conflict South Africa.

Peacebuilding in Kosovo

As a society emerging from conflict, Kosovo faces the challenge of building bridges between divided communities.

One of the tools it is using is Shared Education, which provides opportunities for children and young people from different community backgrounds to learn together.

SCI discussed this work with Edona Maloku of the Rochester Institute of Technology and Donjeta Demolli of the Office of the Mayor of Kamenica.

The Northern Ireland peace process

Avila Kilmurray is the Migration and Peacebuilding Executive at Social Change Initiative.

As a founder member of the Women’s Coalition, she was centrally involved in the efforts to secure the 1998 Good Friday/Belfast agreement which helped to end the large scale violence of Northern Ireland’s 'Troubles'.

When SCI's global activist network met in Belfast, Avila delivered a potted history of the conflict, the peace process and the progress made so far.

Securing immigrant rights in the US

Cristina Jiménez is co-founder of United We Dream, the renowned youth-led organisation using storytelling to push for a fairer immigration system in the United States.

Listen to Cristina’s account of how its storytelling has helped fuel social change.

Cristina was speaking at the launch of a storytelling project for young people in post-conflict societies, created by a participant in the SCI Fellowship Programme.

Making change with government

SCI Deputy Director Padraic Quirk features in this film discussing an innovative partnership between philanthropy and government which was aimed at transforming the delivery of public services.

Atlantic Philanthropies invested in the joint initiative with the Northern Ireland government to embed a more collaborative and outcome-focused way of working.

You can learn more about the novel partnership between philanthropy and government here, which has produced lessons for changemakers everywhere.