Kurt Hildebrand

Kurt Hildebrand grew up in Medford. After graduating with a Bachelor’s in English from Seattle Pacific University, he worked in copywriting, editing, and media relations. He then did research for the University of Washington on the foster care system. In 2006 he moved to Haiti to do research and grant writing for the National Human Rights Defense Network. In 2009, he became the Haiti director for MCC, a relief and development organization. He oversaw projects in education, reforestation and disaster response, including the 2010 earthquake. He returned to Oregon in 2016 and joined the College Dreams team. In January 2018 he succeeded Tom and Judie Drummond, who retired after 20 years of visionary leadership. Kurt loves the spirit of collaboration and innovation in the Rogue Valley. He lives in Medford with his wife and daughter. They miss Haiti’s beaches, but enjoy the trees and tide pools of the Pacific Northwest.

Kurt Hildebrand’s Tuesday Session:

The Critical Role Nonprofits Play in Embodying and Strengthening Civil Society

This in-depth three-hour session will offer participants a chance to think critically about how you approach both external advocacy and internal decision-making, and how those approaches can either degrade or strengthen the foundations of our civil society based on democratic principles. We will discuss a continuum of engagement from the perspective of the nonprofit organization, including:
  • Engaging in advocacy to influence policies that effect your target populations/causes.
  • Encouraging your target populations to participate in civil society, including not only voting and participating in the census, but also in other ways big and small throughout the year.
  • Examining your own internal processes for making decisions that impact the programs and services you offer, and specifically evaluating if the right people are included.
The session will feature panel discussions interspersed with interactive exercises and dialogue among participants.  Jim White, executive director of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon, will facilitate discussion among our panelists, who bring a wealth of expertise and personal experiences that inform their own approaches to strengthening civil society through their work:
  • Jesse Beason, President & CEO of the Northwest Health Foundation
  • Michelle Carrillo, Initiative Director, Wild Rivers Community Foundation/Building Healthy Communities
  • Kurt Hildebrand, Executive Director of College Dreams
  • Lindsey B. Jones, Communications Coordinator for Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCanDO)
  • Robin Teater, Executive Director of Healthy Democracy
Participants will leave the session inspired and better prepared to consider their own organization’s opportunities to operate in democratically-principled ways that further empower the people they aim to serve and further strengthen the impact of the community’s voice.