25 episodes

Our Social Impact is long-form, in-depth conversation exploring the positive impacts today’s social entrepreneurs, policy makers, and scholars are making on our world.

Our Social Impact Dirk Van Velzen - Prison Scholar Fund

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

Our Social Impact is long-form, in-depth conversation exploring the positive impacts today’s social entrepreneurs, policy makers, and scholars are making on our world.

    Ep#025 – Restorative Justice is Changing the Conversation about Conflict

    Ep#025 – Restorative Justice is Changing the Conversation about Conflict

    Nicholas Bradford, Founder and Executive Director at the National Center for Restorative Justice (NC4RJ), sits down with Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund, and unpacks how Restorative Justice is a "relational approach to conflict." Primarily working in schools the NC4RJ has created a language that speaks to our human nature to connect and be in community. Conflict makes that difficult and we need strategies and systems that will address those difficulties, besides our traditional way of exclusion and isolation. King County, Washington, has initiated a Zero Youth Detention Initiative, this goal will need both deep community support and political commitments. Restorative Justice when implemented well can be a game changer for communities, victims, authors of harm, and police. We have to question our assumptions about how we respond to harm in school and in our community.

    https://youtu.be/QZttt24mUYM

    • 43 min
    Ep#024 – From Cannabis Prisoner to Stanford Scholar

    Ep#024 – From Cannabis Prisoner to Stanford Scholar

    Stanford undergrad Jason Spyres talks with Dirk van Velzen, CEO of the Prison Scholar Fund, about his journey from being a poor youth and making mistakes based upon improper notions of what success is, and how he came to a clear understanding of what he wanted for himself, and the impact he wanted to make upon society. After being released from a 30-year prison sentence for nonviolent cannabis offenses, he went back to school and eventually transferred to Stanford University, where he currently studies computer science. Jason reveals his understanding of the barriers others face, including institutional and systemic barriers that are not equal across all demographics, and works daily to help equalize the playing field.

    https://youtu.be/FiAb5SO3sDg

    • 53 min
    Ep#023 – Why are people afraid of being themselves?

    Ep#023 – Why are people afraid of being themselves?

    Marquis Elliott, AKA Preacher, answers this question when he sits down with Dirk van Velzen, CEO at the Prison Scholar Fund. Preacher believes many people are afraid of not being themselves because of criticism. He explores how some people need to understand that life is subjected to nothing but all types of criticism. Once you grab onto the fact that change is inevitable and not everyone will understand the person you are and/or became, then you will be able to accept who you are and find out what you're supposed to be doing in life. Preacher digs deep into dreams, goals, and passions that are meant for you and you only, and if others do not understand them then maybe they are not meant to be around you or with you as you grow.



    https://youtu.be/RHKlA533Zxc

    • 34 min
    Ep#022 – New Profit’s Case for Applying Venture Capital Principles to Social Impact Investing

    Ep#022 – New Profit’s Case for Applying Venture Capital Principles to Social Impact Investing

    Ep#022 - New Profit's Case for Applying Venture Capital Principles to Social Impact Investing







    Brian Screnar, Partner at New Profit Foundation, sat down with Dirk van Velzen at the Prison Scholar Fund to talk about how his nonprofit uses venture capital evaluations and metrics to investin in social entrepreneurs that have proven their models.





    https://youtu.be/3r2BmWP2rhg

    • 38 min
    Ep#021 – Using Tech to Connect Families and Advocacy Groups to Incarcerated Populations

    Ep#021 – Using Tech to Connect Families and Advocacy Groups to Incarcerated Populations

    Marcus Bullock sat down with Dirk Van Velzen of the Prison Scholar Fund to discuss his journey to build Flikshop, a mobile app that helps families and organizations send notifications to incarcerated residents via postcards. We discuss the entrepreneurial path, his failures along way, and how he is helping to create success stories for other returning citizens. Bullock believes that we can prevent recidivism if we help keep love, positive affirmations, and notifications about resources that most people do not have access to while they’re in prison. How are we going to create successful reentry plans after release? “Scalable tech”, Bullock says.



    https://youtu.be/uZjwpZ2HY-E



     

    • 58 min
    Ep#020 – Why some nonprofits succeed but most are still struggling

    Ep#020 – Why some nonprofits succeed but most are still struggling

    Donald Summers, founder of Altruist Partners, is known globally for his work dramatically accelerating nonprofit growth, revenue, and social impact. He spoke with Dirk van Velzen at the Prison Scholar Fund about what it takes to transform your organization from struggling to true success. There are hard truths and brutal realities, along with clear, practical and actionable directions about how to become a more effective leader for making the world a better place.



    https://youtu.be/IwZrd3JTk_c

    • 46 min

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