Jocelyn Sargent is a political scientist and institutional change agent with over two decades of experience advancing democracy and social justice agendas. A co-founder of the Center for Social Inclusion, now a component of Race Forward, she has spent the bulk of her career devoted to social equity, civil society, and leadership development. She aligns her social science training and her extensive experience managing philanthropic programs to support clients and institutions committed to making long lasting impact for equity and justice. Currently, Ms. Sargent is the Director of Restorative Justice and Transformation in Medicine at the American Medical Association Center for Health Equity.
Ms. Sargent is dedicated to promoting social justice through the empowerment of marginalized communities. To this end, she has facilitated community change efforts with legislators, business leaders and grassroots advocates to improve local non-partisan voter information and outreach activities in low income communities. While at the Open Society Foundation and then later at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, she designed philanthropic and government programs to leverage and coordinate resources to increase the capacity of and encourage multi-sector, cross community collaboration for economic and social equity. Ms. Sargent, the former Executive Director of the Hyams Foundation, was recognized for her outstanding sectoral leadership on issues of racial equity and social justice in 2017 by the Boston Business Journal and in 2018 by the Boston Magazine. In 2020-2021, as the Executive Strategic Consultant, Ms. Sargent led and managed the organizational and programmatic development of the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund – a ground-breaking philanthropic initiative created to provide financial support, essential resources, and thought leadership.
As a researcher, Ms. Sargent has developed and directed large-scale impact evaluations of major philanthropic programs of the Ford Foundation, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation, as well as various local community foundations. She has designed research strategies, directed assessment activities and analyzed data to make recommendations that informed the philanthropic sector’s practices and resource allocations for strengthening community organizing and grassroots advocacy for social justice.
By virtue of her roots in the US South, Ms. Sargent possesses a deep personal passion for a fair and just society. She also brings a professional background in grant making, public policy, community development, and research and assessment. She has taught university courses, written reports, and presented conference papers pertaining to racial and economic justice; health inequities; social networks; and public policy targeting low-income populations and communities of color.