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Seva Gandhi

Profile

Seva Gandhi has been in the field of community development as an organizer and facilitator, locally and abroad, for the past 10 years. She received her Master’s in Social Work (MSW) with a focus on community organizing and nonprofit management from the University of Michigan. She is a Certified ToP Facilitator (CTF) and a ToP Mentor Trainer. Much of Seva’s organizational development, facilitation, and training work takes place at the intersection of environmental justice and anti-racism work. Currently, she serves as the Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA),  is a fellow at the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, and is on the leadership team of Chicago Regional Organizing for Anti-Racism (CROAR), a local chapter of CrossRoads, and on the Boards of ICA-International, and the One Earth Film Fest.

Employment History

  • Adjunct Faculty, Roosevelt University (2018–Present)
  • Director of Programs and Partnerships, Institute of Cultural Affairs (2010–Present, Previously Senior Program Coordinator, and Program Coordinator)
  • Support for the Executive Director, Washtenaw Community Health Organization (2008–2009)
  • Research Assistant, Center for Research on Health and Aging (2003–2007)
  • Evaluation Consultant, War Child Canada (2007)

Competency Areas (examples given below)

  • Leadership Development

Built curriculum for and led three separate leadership development programs for young professionals and graduate students, provided leadership for nonprofit Board Development and Recruitment, and supported organizations through creating and implementing 360 assessments.

  • Meeting Design and Facilitation

Out-of-the-box engaging approaches to both large and small group facilitation design and focuses on creating ways to include external stakeholder information in planning processes. Has worked on design, coordination, and implementation of several large group events including:

  • Building Community Energy Strategies (200+, Chicago)
  • Chicago Community Climate Forum (1500+, Chicago)
  • Faith and Sustainability Forum (150+, Chicago)
  • Sharing Approaches that Work Conference (500+, Chicago)
  • Facilitator & Host for the One Earth Film Fest Gala/Earth Day Event (300+, Chicago)

Training Development & Delivery

  • Community Development
  • Community Organizing
  • Community Engagement Strategies
  • ToP Methods (ToP Facilitation Methods, ToP Strategic Planning, Approaches to Environmental Scanning, Design for Change)
  • Curriculum Development & Design
  • Anti-Racism, Anti-Bias
  • Trains anti-racism workshops and brings a racial and equity lens to facilitation and training work

Coalition Building/Collective Impact

Supported organizational transition from membership models to collective impact, extensive background in network cultivation and management, and community/stakeholder engagement and outreach.

Education

  • Master’s Degree in Social Work, 2009 – University of Michigan
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, 2007 – University of Illinois at Chicago

Professional Associations

  • ToP Network
  • Asset Based Community Development Institute
  • Institute of Cultural Affairs International

Professional Certification and Awards

  • Certified ToP Facilitator
  • ToP Mentor Trainer

Publications and Presentations

  • Oklahoma City University – Peace Poverty and Planet Earth Conference
  • Northwestern University – Global Engagement Summit
  • American Planning Association – “Beyond the Meeting: Creative Community Engagement”
  • The Change Handbook, Second Edition, “Technology of Participation”
  • National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation – “Connecting Leaders Across a Divided City”

Project List

Local, State, and Federal Government

  • City of Chicago Streets and Sanitation Department
  • City of Chicago Office of the Mayor
  • Chicago Park District
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Illinois Women, Infants, Children Program (Prevention First)
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Non-Profit Organizations

  • Wise Women Gathering Place
  • One Earth Film Fest
  • All Chicago
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Chicago Area Peace Action
  • Asset-Based Community Development Institute
  • CrossRoads
  • Chicago Regional Organizing for Anti-Racism
  • Rotary International
  • Chicago Time Exchange
  • Friends of the Parks
  • The Recyclery
  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council
  • Austin Coming Together
  • Logan Square Neighborhood Association
  • Green Community Connections

Education Related Institutions

  • Kamehameha Schools
  • Chicago Literacy Alliance
  • Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab
  • Northwestern University
  • Roosevelt University
  • DePaul University
  • Nebraska Wesleyan University
  • INSEEC Grand Ecole
  • Lindsey Wilson College
  • Oklahoma City University

Professional Associations 

  • National Network of Public Health Institutes
  • American Planning Association

International Organizations

  • War Child Canada
  • Project Focus
  • ICA Zimbabwe
  • Rotary International
  • INSEEC Grand Ecole
  • ICA International

Other Organizations

  • Freemont Area Community Foundation
  • Chicago Community Climate Partnership
  • Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
  • Trinity United Methodist Church
  • Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network
  • Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin – Fox Valley