The Woodson Center is a national evidenced-based training and technical assistance nonprofit that utilizes functional management techniques and strategies to manage its programs and services. Consistent with our guiding principles, the WC incorporates input from those we help to program decisions and solutions to complex problems.
I’m not even going to say it’s a program, it’s really a cultural shift, an emphasis on bringing the community into our schools and embracing our children. We saw instant improvement in suspensions, instant improvement in class disruptions, in fact, talking with the principals, they have told me they don’t know how they could be a principal without the program in the schools.
Countless lives have been saved in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Indianapolis, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Richmond, Baltimore, Hartford and Chicago because of the transformational strategies used by VFZ sites. Using a collection of effective mentoring skills, VFZ has served thousands of youth since its inception 20 years ago and built resiliency in youth to navigate the present day risk of their maturation.
Equipped public housing residents to participate in “first right of refusal” deals with local real estate developers who wanted to sell their public housing on the open market. TWC was instrumental in getting housing legislation passed to empower public housing residents to collectively purchase and manage properties and determine their own destinies.
Reaching over 26,000 residents in 23 states over an eight year period of time, the Woodson Center’s Adult Financial Literacy program empowered local residents with financial management tools such as setting financial goals, budgeting, understanding and managing credit, preventing identity theft and planning for a home purchase and retention.
Equipped 240 community based leaders from 29 states on the merit of administrative, management, organizational and community development. Testimonials include expressions of how TWC helped to start nonprofit businesses and provided insight for compliance of local, state and federal regulations.
A year-long training and technical assistance program designed to help six Kansas communities learn the power of working collaboratively to address community problems. Approximately 240 leaders learned comprehensive community collaborative strategies to include collective decision making, developing logic models, work plans and checklist to guide community driven development.
More than 300 youth from 14 states learned the basic Department of Justice’s Weed and Seed principles of prevention, intervention, treatment, community policing, law enforcement and neighborhood revitalization to provide peer leadership to local youth. Youth innovatively created peace rallies, served as peace ambassadors on high school campuses and interfaced with local, state and federal representatives as advocates for weed and seed principles. Youth also participated in legislative weekends in Washington DC during the Martin Luther King Service week and visited their federal congressional and senatorial representatives to share information on the need to reduce problem behaviors and risk factors in represented communities.
more than 50 organizations in the Washington, DC area were empowered to be social entrepreneurs through a collection of training and technical assistance to build social enterprises, business basics and fund and resource development. Organizations learned to how apply for and receive 501(c) 3 status.
Many initiatives put in place by the Woodson Center have had a national impact. Here are some examples:
Violence Free Zone project substantially cut youth violence in Washington, DC neighborhood, savings estimated at $13 million in public money.
Pioneered concept of resident management of public housing; laid groundwork for successful legislation and formation of national organization of resident managers.
"The Bob Woodson factor will one day be nationally celebrated as the private sector key to effectively battling poverty"
“Once the VFZ Visions program came in, it gave us another outlet to deal with whatever problems that were happening in the community because there was someone there to mentor the children. There was someone that the children could go to outside of the police because quite often, children, they don’t want to talk to the police about personal problems, things going on at home. And it brought a lot of our problems down. It decreased them. It has made my job easier—a whole lot easier!”