Bio & Resume

Featured in: How to Become Famous in Your Hometown by Dorie Clark

Bio for publication
Robbie Samuels has extensive community organizing, event logistics and fundraising experience, but is best known for his relationship building skills. Since 2005 he has worked in the development department at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and was promoted in 2012 to Senior Manager of Events and Donor Engagement. In 2006, he co-founded Socializing for Justice (SoJust.org) to build a cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community and network in Boston based on the philosophy of abundance. He offers trainings and consultation to non-profit boards, venture capitalists and grassroots organizers on a range of topics including fundraising, social networking, diversity and inclusion, and movement building. In recognition of his social justice work, Boston City Council named his birthday "Robbie Samuels Day" in 2011. Robbie identifies as a white, queer, feminist, trans man and lives with his wife Jess in Boston, MA. He likes burritos.

Bio for introduction
Robbie Samuels has extensive community organizing, event logistics and fundraising experience, but is best known for his relationship building skills. Since 2005 he has worked at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and is now the Senior Manager of Events and Donor Engagement. In 2006, he co-founded Socializing for Justice (SoJust) a cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community and network in Boston. Since 2009, he has  coached hundreds to feel more confident about networking and fundraising.

Resume
www.linkedin.com/in/robbiesamuels


My Life Through T-Shirts http://pinterest.com/robbiesamuels/my-life-through-t-shirts/

Extended Short Bio

Robbie Samuels has extensive community organizing, event logistics and fundraising experience, but is best known for his relationship building skills. Since 2005 he has worked in the development department at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and was promoted in 2012 to Senior Manager of Events and Donor Engagement.

In 2006, he co-founded Socializing for Justice (SoJust), a grassroots, volunteer-run member-supported group, to build a cross-issue progressive community, network and movement in Boston based on the philosophy of abundance. Since then, as SoJust's co-organizer, Robbie has been the visionary behind their success - growing the group to over 2200 members, hosting over 140 events and creating a hub of progressive events and resources at www.sojust.org. [If publishing, please check website for current member and events stats.]

In recognition of his social justice work, his birthday was declared "Robbie Samuels Day" by the Boston City Council in 2011. That same year, he was selected as a Connector for the Boston World Partnership, a high-caliber, heterogeneous network of innovators, entrepreneurs, business influencers and thought leaders. In 2011, he was also selected to be a Fellow at the New Leaders Council Institute, the premier political entrepreneurship training program for young professional, progressive leaders, and is currently on the NLC Boston Advisory Board. In 2010, he won ServiceNation's Boston Service Hero Contest. In 2009, he was the recipient of the inaugural Lavender Rhino Award presented by the LGBT History Project [his acceptance speech] and the Gender Hero award presented by The Theater Offensive. 

He received his MSW and a BA in Sociology and Political Science from SUNY Stony Brook on Long Island, where he was raised. Robbie identifies as a white, queer, feminist, trans man and lives with his wife Jess in Boston. He likes burritos.


 
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Long Bio
Born and raised on Long Island, NY, Robbie Samuels identifies as a white, queer, feminist, trans community organizer, activist, and movement builder.

His activism began at 15 years old when he spoke out against cuts to youth funding and education. At 16 he initiated a polystyrene recycling program at his high school that was adopted by the school district.

Robbie's involvement in the LGBT community began in 1994. Then, identifying as a woman, Robbie got involved with LGBTA (then LGBA), the undergraduate LGBT (then LGB) group at SUNY Stony Brook, and came out as a dyke. In 1997 he co-chaired LGBTA and was director of the 3rd annual LGBT Northeast College Campus Conference.

The following year, while pursuing his Master’s in Social Work, at SUNY Stony Brook, he founded OUT IN LI, a 20-something plus social and issues group for LGBTs and friends.

His second-year internship placement was at Empire State Pride Agenda where he was the New York State Coordinator of Equality Begins at Home, a national campaign in March 1999 to raise LGBT visibility in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico.

Prior to moving to Boston in Sept. 2002, Robbie spent a great deal of time visiting and making connections in the city. He worked as an outreach worker for Fenway Community Health and volunteered for AIDS Walk Boston.

After moving he focused on his career goal, to organize multiple annual fundraisers for a progressive non-profit. He took a much needed break from organizing his own group for a few years and enjoyed connecting with the LGBT community that existed in Boston.

Over the next few years he accepted contract work at AIDS Action Committee as the Logistics Manager of the Mass Red Ribbon Ride during its first 2 years; at The Task Force working with Sue Hyde on the annual Creating Change conference; and at The Theater Offensive coordinating climACTS, their annual fundraiser. In 2004, Robbie joined Fenway Community Health’s Consumer Advisory Board, a role he enjoyed until they ended the CAB a few years later.

Since June 2005, Robbie has worked in the development department at Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and was promoted to Senior Manager of Events and Donor Engagement in 2012. He oversees the production of almost 25 events a year that account for 25% of the budget, approximately $1million. His background as a grassroots organizer has helped him keep fundraising expenses less than 25% of revenue (better than average for fundraising events) - so more of the revenue going to GLAD's important mission.

His physical transition to being seen as a man, or as he’d say his “emergence”, began in early 2004. With it came the understanding that he’d be seen as a white man and possibly a straight white man because he primarily partners with women. This made him want to find new archetypes of “man” to live by, ones that were conscious of their white male privilege.

To fill this need Robbie sought out the Boston chapter of the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS-Boston), an all genders group dedicated to working with men on the issues of pro-feminism, LGBT equality, racial justice and enhancing men’s lives.  He became an active member, and was on their Steering Committee from 2006-2011. Their main activities are 4-week long pro-feminist men’s discussion groups, to bring together male-identified people who wish to learn how to better live out feminist values in the community and in their relationships. Each spring he helped NOMAS-Boston organize a Supply Drive to support domestic violence shelters.

As his understanding of his own identity became more complex, his understanding of social justice issues became more complex as well. In August 2006, wanting to meet like-minded progressives, he co-founded Socializing for Justice (SoJust), a group committed to building a stronger cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community, network and movement based on the philosophy of abundance. SoJust is putting the “social back in social justice”.  Community organizers are encouraged to attend skillshares and socials to cross-promote their issues and events.  As of January 2013, SoJust has grown to over 2200 members and has hosted over 140 socials, discussion groups and skillshares – with countless connections made.

To meet SoJust’s diversity goal of “you see someone like yourself and meet someone you otherwise wouldn't have”, Robbie became an active supporter in many other communities so that SoJust would feel like a welcome space. Those groups include: madfemmepride, Queer Women of Color and Friends, Boston (QWOC+ Boston), The Progressive Project (TPP), and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC).

All this led to the opportunity in the Spring 2010 semester to teach a class at Lesley College, "Activism and Change in Communities". The curriculum focused on teaching community organizing based on the work of Saul Alinksy, Lee Staples, Michael Jacoby Brown and the Midwest Academy. After 2 years of teaching he took a break in 2012 and hopes to return in the near future.


In the Fall 2010 he co-led the first RootsCamp MA, a progressive movement building unconference coordinated in 25 states by New Organizing Institute and worked with NOI at RootsCamp National in DC.

In 2009-2010, he was on "Careers in Social Change" and "Leveraging Social Media for Social Change" panels organized by Amnesty International's Boston Firefly Project and Women Action and the Media respectively. 


His consulting business, RobbieSamuels.com, has grown tremendously since 2009. His most requested trainings are “The Art of the Schmooze” and “Fundraising: Getting Past the Fear of Asking,” which helps even the shyest of people figure out how to network and ask for money. His trainings and consultation services have received great testimonials by a wide array of clients.

In recognition of his social justice work, his birthday was declared "Robbie Samuels Day" by the Boston City Council in 2011. That same year, he was selected as a Connector for the Boston World Partnership, a high-caliber, heterogeneous network of innovators, entrepreneurs, business influencers and thought leaders. In 2010 he was selected to be a Fellow at the New Leaders Council Institute, the premier political entrepreneurship training program for young professional, progressive leaders and won ServiceNation's Boston Service Hero Contest. In 2009 he was the recipient of the inaugural Lavender Rhino Award presented by the LGBT History Project [his acceptance speech] and the Gender Hero award presented by The Theater Offensive.

Robbie believes in the philosophy of abundance, as he says "Give away money or time and have less money or time. Give away knowledge and the possibilities are endless."  This philosophy led him to join the Time Trade Circle where he offers consulting to individuals and groups on topics like: fundraising, event planning, community building, diversity and inclusion, sustainable leadership, and attracting a diverse membership.

What’s most important to him is seeking a work/life balance so he can enjoy life with his wife Jess, close circle of friends and supportive Boston community.

He looks forward to a time when the idea of a cross-issue progressive movement based on the philosophy of abundance is no longer a novel idea, but one that is the daily lived experience of many.

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Copyright 2010-2011 by Robbie Samuels. Contact me Robbie @ RobbieSamuels.com. Creative Commons License
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