March 28th, 2017

“We train young people to recognize their power and advocate for themselves.”

Adam Levner’s mission is to do nothing short of creating a new generation of social advocates and leaders! Growing up feeling excluded from his community Adam has created a movement to inspire, empower and train young people to advocate for themselves and their communities through photography.

In this dynamic, insightful interview Adam shares incredible stories of how even the youngest leaders have helped transform their communities and strategies for how all of us can become even more effective in creating social, systemic and institutional change!

What you’ll learn

  • How Adam transformed a childhood experience of exclusion – and a bit of a Napoleon complex – into a career centered on helping and empowering others
  • What he learned about self-advocacy from forgoing an AmeriCorps opportunity
  • What compelled Adam and his co-founder to launch Critical Exposure
  • How Adam’s students’ very first campaign generated additional $100 million in school funding
  • Strategies for cultivating change agents and civic leaders at any age
  • How stories can be told and shared in a way that helps transform communities and movements
  • Short and long-term, locally and nationally focused strategies for advocacy efforts
  • Why it’s important for individuals and organizations to collaborate and pool strengths for the greatest social impact
  • How we can sometimes empower others by saying “I don’t know the answers”
  • And so much more! 

Links & Resources

  • Critical Exposure – amazing nonprofit Adam co-founded to cultivate a new generation of civic leaders through photography.
  • Lisa LaFontaine episode referenced in this interview.
  • Article about the Critical Exposure student Adam references whose incredible photojournalistic efforts have been recognized by national media.

About Adam Levner

Adam co-founded Critical Exposure in 2004. Previously, Adam worked as a fifth grade teacher in Virginia, a community organizer in Prince George’s County, MD, an education consultant for the Center for Community Change, and a freelance photographer. Adam attended Tufts University and received a Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from Georgetown University. He is member of Leadership Greater Washington and a founding board member of Morganizing for Change. Adam is a frequent presenter on topics related to nonprofit management and gave a TED talk titled, “Stories Aren’t Enough: Connecting Youth Voices to Action” at TEDxFoggyBottom.


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