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The “Secret Sauce” to Greater Impact

“Community organizations like Alliance are available to not just receive resources but to lend our expertise. It’s a two-way street. Within those spaces there is a secret sauce.”

-Dr. Monette Ferguson, Alliance for Community Empowerment Executive Director

Dr. Monette Ferguson is a powerhouse leader and a vital member of the SVP’s Board of Directors. She works tirelessly to close the opportunity gap in CT as she fights against generational poverty and racial inequity.

Dr. Ferguson has worked in the nonprofit sector for almost 20 years and currently serves as Executive Director for Alliance for Community Empowerment, an urban community action agency. She was born and raised in Bridgeport CT and says that it is her origin story that drives her passion to serve and commitment to use her voice to drive community-level and systemic change.

“My own story has created a fire in me to inspire others and show them that it can be done…It’s important to me that I uplift and am an example to other black women everywhere. Being able to give back to the community that raised me is extremely important,” said Dr. Ferguson. “It’s also about being an example to my children so that they understand what community in action looks like and what partnership, true partnership, looks like.”

The work Dr. Ferguson leads has helped more than 45,000 individuals, and growing, with wraparound services that care holistically for the people Alliance serves. Work, she remarks, that is largely possible because professional, innovative partners are at the table with them.

Dr. Ferguson knows firsthand the power of partnerships and it reflects in her willingness to share her wisdom, knowledge and experience with SVP through her role on the Board. Her perspective on the power of coming together to solve the biggest problems facing our communities is a force for collective change that helps to fuel our work at SVP.

“I see SVP as a movement,” said Dr. Ferguson. A movement, she reminds us, that needs us all to build trusting relationships, listen to one another, pay attention to the small things, share resources, and learn from one another because it is “within these places that there is magic…the secret sauce.”

At the end of the day, our ability to create lasting change comes from symbiotic partnerships that recognize that it is in our collective learning and growth that we find the solutions for greater social impact. Thank you Dr. Ferguson for being a bright light in this endeavor!

Photo below: Dr. Monette Ferguson, Alliance for Community Empowerment Executive Director, pictured at Norwalk ACTS Grad2Careers event with Jesse Buccolo, Norwalk ACTS Deputy Director, and Mark Argosh, SVP Executive Director.