For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

How to Make a Collective Impact on Urban Education

April 23, 2015

Drexel’s School of Education will host an interactive event to explore the strategy of "collective impact" for change in urban education.
Drexel’s School of Education will host an interactive event to explore the strategy of "collective impact" for change in urban education.

Aristotle once said that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and we are learning this concept holds true in education.

An emerging strategy, known as “collective impact,” provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations that would otherwise work in isolation to come together to achieve common goals. This strategy is being used in multiple sectors and has shown great promise in education.

Drexel University’s School of Education will host an interactive event to explore this strategy for change in urban education on Thursday, May 7, from 5 – 7:30 p.m. The discussion is part of the Schools’ Critical Conversations in Urban Education Series.

Those attending the interactive event will learn about the principles and practices of collective impact, discover how collective impact is being successfully used in education and have the opportunity to network with individuals and organizations currently using the strategy to make real change in Philadelphia.

The discussion will be led by special guests Donna Cooper, executive director for Public Citizens for Children and Youth; and Stacy E. Holland, executive director for The Lenfest Foundation. Nancy E. Songer, PhD, dean of the School of Education, will introduce the guests.

The event, entitled “Collective Impact: Acting on a Shared Vision for Urban Education,” will take place in the Creese Student Center’s George D. Behrakis Grand Hall (3210 Market St). It is free and open to the public. To register, call 215-895-6770, email or visit The event also will be webcast live at

The School of Education’s Critical Conversations in Urban Education series, which began in April 2012, is a vehicle for discussion within the Drexel and Philadelphia communities. It seeks to create a space for dialogue related to a range of education topics in an urban context for a mixed audience. The series provides professional development that augments understanding of factors in preparing educators and that transforms learning outcomes for urban students.

Donna Cooper is executive director for Public Citizens for Children and Youth.

Donna Cooper is the executive director of Public Citizens for Children and Youth, the region’s leading child advocacy organization. Before taking the helm at PCCY, Cooper was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress where she focused on early childhood education, public infrastructure and poverty research. Cooper served as the Secretary of Policy and Planning for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from 2003-2010.

She also was the founding executive director of Good Schools PA, a grassroots organizing campaign that successfully pushed public education to be the top issue in the 2002 race for Governor. Prior to that, she served for three years as the City of Philadelphia’s Deputy Mayor for Policy and Planning where she designed and led Greater Philadelphia Works, one of the nation’s largest and most successful efforts to help single mothers on welfare achieve self-sufficiency.

Stacy E. Holland is the executive director for The Lenfest Foundation.

With over 22 years experience, Stacy E. Holland is a tireless advocate who has played a vital role in ensuring that youth in the Philadelphia region have access to the academic, career and support services necessary to build bright futures and prepare them to be leaders in the workforce. Most recently, Holland serves as the Chief of Strategic Partnerships for the School District of Philadelphia. She built an office of strategic partnerships, which was responsible for organizing the eco-system of partnerships, which served more than 200 schools as well as leading the district’s fundraising initiatives.

Prior to her assignment with the School District, Holland served as the President & CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), a non-profit she co-founded in 1999, Holland oversaw the growth of the organization since its inception.