Facebook - Susan Naimark

Experience & Results


Academy of Notre Dame

Annenberg Institute for School Reform

Boston Alliance for Community Health

Boston Public Schools

Cincinnati Neighborhood Summit

Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation

Leadership for Educational Equity

Mass Mentoring Partnership

Nashua (NH) School District

Neighborhood Housing Services of Silicon Valley

NeighborWorks America

Urban Edge Housing Corporation


Susan created a national program of grants, technical assistance, training, and peer sharing that continues to support resident leadership, community building and organizing programs of 97 nonprofit community-based development organizations in 37 states and Puerto Rico.

The community building and organizing efforts supported by this program have…

  • Engaged over 1.2 million volunteer hours in local community improvement activities from 2006 through 2010
  • Secured new cash investments of over $380 million in local communities from 2007 through 2010
  • Completed more than 1,300 community improvement projects from 2006 through 2010, including upgrades to parks and playgrounds, streetscapes, residential and commercial properties, and community facilities

“Susan led the [NeighborWorks Community Building & Organizing] advisory group through the development of a statement defining CB&O and adopting core principles.  The advisory committee consisted of Executive Directors and Community Organizers….which meant the room was always full of more opinions than people.  Susan always kept the issue of residents and their empowerment in front of the group and helped us develop statements and principles that are still operative and relevant today.”
– Ron Dwyer-Voss, former co-chair of NeighborWorks Community Building & Organizing Advisory Committee; former Deputy Director of Sacramento Mutual Housing Association

Susan developed a system for peer sharing that enabled teams from 20+ organizations each year to visit and learn firsthand about successful practices of their peers across the country.


  • Each year more than 60 staff, volunteers, resident leaders and organizational partners receive a firsthand experience of exemplary practices relevant to their own community goals and priorities, enabling individual and organizational growth
  • Onsite experience integrated with action planning have supported adoption of new practices in resident and youth leadership development, post-foreclosure community stabilization, neighborhood safety organizing, community partnerships, and measuring impact


“All that we take away…will help sharpen our focus and increase the efficacy of our own work to promote safety partnerships and resident leadership…”

“The most important part of the site visit was meeting with a successful organization that is doing outstanding community building and revitalization. It was great to observe their professionalism, capabilities and commitment to the work they are doing.”

“Links us with proven results and speeds up the professionalism of our department/efforts.”

– Feedback from participants in Peer Learning Site Visits

Susan launched and co-facilitated regional and national dialogues on the continuing impact of racism in community development


  • Hundreds of individuals better understand institutional nature of racism and are better equipped to address it in their communities and lives

“Thank you, Susan, for doing the work you do. We need more people to raise awareness in ways that help open people’s minds and hearts to change.”
– Janet Marcous, UMass/Boston graduate student, Cross Cultural Conflict class

Susan convened local grassroots organizers and allies concerned about the need for a strong, coordinated parent voice to advocate for improvement of the Boston Public Schools, leading to the founding of a new citywide parent organizing group


  • 12 years later, the Boston Parent Organizing Network has trained and engaged thousands of parents to support quality education in the Boston Public Schools
  • Successful campaigns have placed paid family community outreach coordinators in schools, improved delivery of special needs services, revised the system-wide Code of Discipline to be more responsive and accountable, and influenced school department budget priorities

 “[The training] opened up the opportunity for us to have conversations that otherwise would be difficult or would not have occurred had it not been the workshop forum.”

– Participant in school-based parent training on increasing diversity of parents involved in their children’s school