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Dorothy Stoneman

Founder, Advisor, YouthBuild USA

Skoll Awardee


Dorothy Stoneman was the Founder and CEO of YouthBuild USA, Inc., from 1990 through 2016. This organization is the national support center for over 260 YouthBuild programs in the USA and the sponsor of YouthBuild International which has brought YouthBuild to 21 other countries. Stoneman is a leader in advocating for youth engagement in civil society and for ending poverty.

After joining the Civil Rights movement in 1964, Stoneman lived and worked for 24 years in Harlem, where in collaboration with local teenagers she created the first YouthBuild program in 1978 and subsequently orchestrated its expansion throughout NYC, then USA, and then internationally.

To work toward the elimination of poverty, Stoneman also serves with the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Network, Voices for National Service, America’s Promise, National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard University, Emerald Cities Collaborative, the Markle Initiative for America’s Economic Future in a Networked World, and Citizen University’s Collaboratory.

In 2012 she spearheaded the creation of the National Council of Young Leaders – Opportunity Youth United and continues to work with them closely as they build out Opportunity Youth United as a grassroots membership organization focused on civic engagement for low-income young adults toward increasing opportunity and decreasing poverty in America, building both racial equity and racial unity.

Stoneman received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2007 and the MacArthur “genius” award in 1996.