Robert L. Woodson, Sr., is founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise in Washington, D.C. Often referred to as the “godfather” of the neighborhood-empowerment movement, Woodson is a leading advocate for community- and faith-based strategies to reduce crime and violence, restore families, and create economic enterprise and employment.
A former civil-rights activist, Woodson has provided counsel, training, and technical assistance to more than 2,000 civic leaders in low-income, distressed communities in 39 states. His particular commitment to reducing youth crime and gang activity led to the establishment ofViolence-Free Zones in 28 public middle and high schools throughout the nation.
Woodson is a frequent social commentator in print and on-air media. He serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Fulbright Scholarship Commission, and the board of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He was also a member of the U.S. delegation to The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Conference on Tolerance and the Fight Against Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination.
Woodson is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Martin Luther King, Jr., Family Life Institute “Real Dream” Award, the David R. Jones Leadership in Philanthropy Award, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, and the Presidential Citizens Medal. He is the author of The Triumphs of Joseph: How Today’s Community Healers Are Reviving Our Street and Neighborhoods and several other books.
He received a B.S. from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and an M.S.W. from theUniversity of Pennsylvania.
“If conservative principles of faith, family, and country are to prevail, it must be demonstrated that they produce better people,” Woodson said during his acceptance remarks. “An example will always prevail against an argument. Our grassroots leaders exemplify in their actions the practical consequences of applying these values.”