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Robert L. Woodson Sr.

Community activist Robert L. “Bob” Woodson has devoted his career to helping low-income people transcend their impoverished conditions. Woodson has used his own rise from poverty to assist him as the founder and president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (NCNE).

After working for the National Urban League, Woodson became a research fellow with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he learned effective techniques for self-empowerment. Woodson left AEI in 1981 to create NCNE, a grassroots research and demonstration program emphasizing the importance of empowerment and self-management as effective approaches for ending poverty.

Woodson received a prestigious “Genius Grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 1990. He sits on the boards of the American Association of Enterprise Zones, the Commission on National and Community Service, and the Commonwealth Foundation. Woodson has also written extensively on issues of poverty and empowerment including his books, Lessons From the Least of These and The Triumphs of Joseph: How Today's Community Healers are Reviving Our Streets and Neighborhoods. Woodson and his wife, Ellen, live in Silver Spring, Maryland. They have three children.

Books by Robert L. Woodson Sr.