Elevating Impact Stories: Ed Blackburn
Leading up to the Elevating Impact Summit on June 21, we’ve invited event speakers and panelists to engage in a storytelling project. We believe that storytelling is an essential part of effective social innovation. How can we tell stories in a way that generates interest and creates connections? How can we listen to the stories of others with the empathy needed to achieve true understanding? We hope that by sharing stories of failure, transformation and success, you’ll learn more about our speakers and the promise and challenges of social innovation.
Ed Blackburn answers the question, “What lessons has your work taught you?” with a story of the importance of compassion:
“Compassion wasn’t just about feeling sorry for people; it was developing the skills to be able to actually do something about a situation.”
Ed Blackburn is the Executive Director of Central City Concern (CCC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency in Portland, Oregon. CCC’s mission is providing comprehensive solutions to ending homelessness and achieving self-sufficiency. Ed began at CCC in 1992 as Director of the Hooper Detoxification Center. In 1997 he became the Director of Health and Addiction Services, and in 2007 moved into a Deputy Director position. Ed assumed his role as Executive Director of the agency in 2008. He has been a leader in developing a comprehensive approach to ending homelessness at CCC, which includes several nationally and internationally recognized program models. In 2009, Ed was honored by the Dalai Lama as an Unsung Hero of Compassion.