Director of Social Media and Business Networking
Behind the Door:
Cyndi Flanagan is the Director of Social Media and Business Networking at Open Door America. Like other difference-makers in the organization, Cyndi serves in an unpaid, volunteer capacity. Born and raised in Maryland, Cyndi is a Business and Art graduate of Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. She has nearly three decades of experience in career services at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida. She has been a volunteer with Open Door America since 2014 and a resident of Sarasota since 1986. Much to her delight, both of her grown "boys" also call Sarasota home and all three enjoy the Baltimore Orioles during Spring Training with the added tie to family in Maryland.
"I am a big believer in the power of constructive engagement and positive change. I view every day as a new beginning full of hope and promise. I see no reason why impoverished parents shouldn't be able to dream of better days for their children. One of the things I love the most about Open Door America is its stubborn commitment to ending intergenerational poverty through better employment, stronger families, and healthier communities. My goal is to help Open Door America do a better job of telling its remarkable story in the years to come."
From Our Blog
2018 Poverty and the Urgency of Prisoner Reentry and Life Restoration
Since 2005 Open Door America has worked to unlock the secret codes of intergenerational poverty in America’s inner cities. Now in year thirteen, our story has greater meaning and urgency than ever before. Having come on line just nine years after metamorphic welfare reform in 1996, we were an immediate beneficiary of the raised social awareness generated by the faith-based initiative movement of the early 2000's. By the end of our first decade, however, a sharp decline in nationwide community development investment, especially in the key area of federal housing, shifted our thinking away from traditional block-by-block redevelopment strategies to individualized programming targeting heads of households, young fathers, and in particular, ex-offenders and current offenders who hold sway in the poorest neighborhoods. Today, 22 years into the nation’s endless rancorous debate over poverty and government spending, we operate in a political and cultural environment where the very existence of entrenched poverty is now openly and counter-factually questioned in Washington. We believe the lessons learned from our improbable survivor's journey and the promising potential of our current efforts to retrieve first-time offenders and restore vetted recidivists are essential to this discussion and critical to America's social and economic future.