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Invited Speaker

Edward DeJesus

Founder of Social Capital Builders

Certificate of attendance available

A growing body of research now points to the pivotal role social capital plays in long-term labor market success and economic mobility. Unfortunately, social capital building is a skill that’s not taught in schools nor in America’s workforce programs. Nearly 47 percent of Americans find jobs through their social capital connections and 65% of jobs are hidden – meaning they are never posted or posted improperly. At the same time, according to the Aspen Institute, 40 percent of young people between the ages of 16 and 24 are weakly attached or unattached to school and work. The pandemic has just exacerbated this situation. Millions of young Americans don’t receive the support to build the social capital connections necessary to build a career and buffer the harmful effects of racism, discrimination, and bias – something that too many young Americans face throughout their life.

While nonprofits and schools spend more than 600 million each year to teach financial literacy, not one dollar has been spent to teach students social capital literacy – the ability to audit, access, build, maintain, and manage social networks effectively to improve financial and social well-being. Edward DeJesus is changing that.

Edward DeJesus is the Founder of Social Capital Builders, a minority owned social enterprise dedicated to changing the face of equity and access for youth and adults living in America’s low-income communities through the power of social capital literacy, development and analysis. Join Ed and his team at Social Capital Builders as they share their story with our network.


About the presenter:

Edward DeJesus is a top speaker, administrator, and youth advocate. For more than 35 years, he has mixed his love for policy and practice by conducting research on effective programs that help youth acquire and maintain jobs. DeJesus served as a youth policy expert for the Sar Levitan Center for Youth Policy at John Hopkins University and on the Task Force on Employment Opportunities for young offenders for the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. He has served as a consultant to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the Office of Job Corps, YouthBuild USA, the National Guard Challenge Program, and the National Education Association. DeJesus has large-scale, $3-million-plus youth initiatives in the South Bronx, Washington Heights section of New York City, and in Washington D.C., supervising more than 30 staff and serving up to 300 young adults. DeJesus is a W.K. Kellogg Foundation National Fellow. He holds an M.S. degree in management and urban policy analysis from the New School for Social Research and a B.S. from Fordham University in the Bronx. He is a fellow of the Center for Strategic Urban Community Leadership at Rutgers University, he is the author of Making Connections Work and the best-selling youth book, MAKiN’ iT. His work has been featured on NPR, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and The Miami Herald.

About Our Webinar Series

This event is part of our regular webinar sessions for social capital researchers including PhD/master students. These sessions include invited presentations from prominent scholars as well as presentations by PhD students and experts in professional practice.

For social capital researchers, these sessions are an opportunity to hear about the latest social capital research and insights from scholars working on the concept. They can be a great way to connect with people, to get advice, discuss ideas or issues, get suggestions for literature to read, or you can just listen.

Are you researching social capital and want to present your research? Click here for more information and to submit a proposal.

Generally, presentations can be 20 to 30 mins. The content of your presentation will depend on your research stage.

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