On Purpose, a new book by David Dickson, profiles thirty-four Oregon nonprofit leaders, and features Swati Adarkar, CI’s president and CEO, in the chapter titled, “The Pragmatic Idealist.”
Dickson writes of Adarkar’s childhood trips to India, which shaped her understanding of justice, equity, and opportunity. “I became increasingly concerned with addressing poverty and social mobility, the balance between individual responsibility and what we owe to the community,” Adarkar is quoted as saying. Dickson shares that Adarkar’s worldview is at the “intersection of idealism, values, and what can be accomplished.”
The chapter discusses key strategies and victories in Children’s Institute’s history. Among these are the launch of Early Works, in which demonstration sites in Portland and Yoncalla address the achievement gap by focusing on strategies to affect school readiness, as well as key legislative victories such as securing $39 million to expand Oregon’s Head Start program and a first-time state grant of $1 million for Early Head Start.
Other leaders featured in On Purpose include Duncan Campbell, CI founding board member and founder of the mentoring program Friends of the Children; Alberto Moreno, who began the Oregon Latino Health Coalition with the goal of serving undocumented women who were ineligible for prenatal health care; and Kelly Poe, who laid the groundwork for the creation of the Treasure Valley Children’s Relief Nursery, which has had great success serving the families of remote Malheur County.