Robert L. Woodson, Sr.: The Independent Institute

The Power of Independent Thinking

Robert L. Woodson, Sr.
Robert L. Woodson, Sr.

Robert L. Woodson, Sr., a veteran of the civil-rights movement, is the Founder and President of the Woodson Center and author, most recently, of Lessons From the Least of These: The Woodson Principles.

A former civil rights activist, he has headed the National Urban League Department of Criminal Justice, and has been a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Foundation for Public Policy Research. Referred to by many as “godfather” of the neighborhood empowerment movement, for more than four decades, Woodson has had a special concern for the problems of youth. In response to an epidemic of youth violence that has afflicted urban, rural and suburban neighborhoods alike, Woodson has focused much of the Woodson Center’s activities on an initiative to establish Violence-Free Zones in troubled schools and neighborhoods throughout the nation.

His other books include Youth Crime and Urban Policy, A View From the Inner City; A Summons to Life, Mediating Structures and the Prevention of Youth Crime; The Triumphs of Joseph: How Today’s Community Healers are Reviving Our Streets and Neighborhoods; and Black Perspectives on Crime and the Criminal Justice System: A Symposium (editor).

He is an early MacArthur Fellow “genius” awardee and the recipient of the 2008 Bradley Prize, the Presidential Citizens Award, and a 2008 Social Entrepreneurship Award from the Manhattan Institute. And, he has received the honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Cincinnati and Doctorate of Humanities from Colorado Christian University.