Michael Brown, Public Purpose Strategies Principal and City Year Co-Founder, Is Appointed to Serve as Equalizer Institute Advisor

Michael Brown, Public Purpose Strategies Principal and City Year Co-Founder, Is Appointed to Serve as Equalizer Institute Advisor




BOSTON – The New England Legal Foundation (NELF –, is proud to welcome Michael Brown, one of the nation’s leading social entrepreneurs, to serve as an advisor for the Equalizer Institute, a social economic justice initiative of NELF. Once launched, the Equalizer Institute will provide free corporate legal services to help underserved entrepreneurs start their businesses.

Brown brings 30 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, social entrepreneurship, and policy development to his leadership of Public Purpose Strategies, which advises nonprofit CEOs on achieving breakthroughs in impact, scale and policy. In 1988, Brown co-founded City Year, a leading national service organization that served as an inspiration for AmeriCorps, the federal initiative through which more than one million Americans have served their country. Michael dedicated three decades to building City Year into one of the most successful nonprofits in the country, with programs in 29 U.S. cities, affiliates in South Africa and the United Kingdom and a budget of more than $175 million, including support from more than 40% of The Fortune 100 companies.

Named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S News & World Report and Executive of the Year by The Nonprofit Times, Brown is a recipient of the Reebok Human Rights Award and Independent Sector’s John W. Gardner Leadership Award, presented annually “to an individual whose leadership has been transformative and who has mobilized and unified people, institutions or causes that improve the quality of life on our planet.”  Brown is a recent past president of the Harvard Board of Overseers, co-chaired Harvard’s National Advisory Board on Public Service and served as a Hauser Leader at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Brown is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review.

“Once we establish Boston office of the Equalizer Institute as a proof of concept, we believe that the Equalizer Institute can be scaled and replicated in gateway cities nationally,” said NELF President Dan Winslow. “With Michael Brown joining our Advisors, we will be able to lay the foundation needed to act locally but think globally as we build this social economic justice initiative. We are beyond thrilled to have Michael Brown’s support for this cause.”

Brown shared, “The Equalizer Institute is a brilliant idea that will help level the playing field for startups in low-income and underserved communities. When we were starting City Year, we benefited greatly from pro bono legal and corporate advisors, so I know firsthand the kind of difference this kind of advice and support makes – it is literally game changing. I am honored to serve as an advisor to The Equalizer Institute and support its important mission and work.”




About the Equalizer Institute – The Equalizer Institute is a social economic justice initiative of the New England Legal Foundation that will provide corporate free legal assistance for underserved entrepreneurs to start their new businesses. The Equalizer Institute is generously funded by grants from the Cummings Foundation, Rappaport Foundation, M&T Bank, and other contributors.


About the New England Legal Foundation – Founded in 1977, the New England Legal Foundation is the leading non-partisan, non-profit public interest law firm in the region dedicated to economic liberty. NELF’s ongoing mission is to champion free enterprise, property rights, limited government based on rule of law, and inclusive economic growth. We believe that free enterprise is a foundational value of a democratic society and the best opportunity for people to lift themselves to prosperity.




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