How can we create sustainable and effective movements?

Community leaders are up against seemingly insurmountable obstacles without the tools needed to make community engagement impactful and sustainable. We know that systems of oppression are created by people; thus, systemic change requires personal and communal transformation. The Action and Support model that grounds ListeningWorks is time tested and nationally-recognized. In Boston alone, we have prepared hundreds of youth leaders and community organizers to change over two dozen policies and several state laws for education and racial justice. This work was largely done through supporting their social and emotional growth and fostering self-determination. Rooted in the skills of radical listening and vulnerability, restorative justice and social emotional learning, the Action and Support model ensures social transformation is both personal and systemic.

Our Goals

Sustain Movement Builders

Organizers and movement builders require strong relationships with one another and ongoing emotional support to lead effectively, especially in our current political climate. Our Action and Support model helps organizations become more resilient against internal burnout and strife. Youth on Board/ListeningWorks is providing participating sites training in Action & Support, remote support, and monthly in-person technical assistance in the form of support circles for organization staff.


Advance Cross-Community Dialogue

Through Community Healing Circles, Listening Projects, and Deep Canvassing, trained organizers and community leaders will bridge divisions in communities by focusing on contentious issues that engage people across a variety of identities. We are opening doors for robust, authentic engagement and collaborative action across differences to move people from antipathy to empathy and action.






Learn More about ListeningWorks!

Check out our webinar, ListeningWorks: Transforming & Connecting Communities Through Radical Listening & Vulnerability!


Read about the ListeningWorks Model of Action & Support and download helpful resources.

We also provide trainings and technical assistance through ListeningWorks!  To see what you may need assistance with, fill out this quick assessment of your organization. For more information, please contact us at 617-623-9900. or



ListeningWorks Trainees & Partners:

  • #LoveArmy

  • United We Dream

  • Student Immigrant Rights

  • Indivisible

  • Generation Citizen MA

  • Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center

  • Mothers Out Front

  • Bikes Not Bombs

  • Black Lives Matter Boston

  • Showing Up for Racial Justice

  • MIRA

  • 32BJ

  • Center for Collaborative Education



"Because the [Action & Support] model is rooted in human connection and relationships, the ability to listen, empathize, and think about each other as human beings, first and foremost, has yielded stronger relationships.


SIM is more resilient, better able to handle conflict, and have a better understanding of human beings and how to reach them with our message."

Cairo Mendes

Former Lead SIM Organizer

About ListeningWorks Staff












Esteniolla Maitre & Carlos Rojas Alvarez

ListeningWorks Project Managers

Collectively, Esteniolla and Carlos have 20 years of experience in community organizing in immigrant, racial and school equity justice. The core of their work has always been Action & Support, a model created by Youth on Board that places mutual listening, healing and self-awareness as key to mobilizing communities. They were first trained in the model as youth organizers in the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC), which is a group of young leaders who advocate for the rights of students, Youth on Board’s co-administers BSAC with the Boston Public Schools,

ListeningWorks is Youth on Board’s latest national project that was created in response to the current political climate of hate and division in this country. Grounded in Youth on Board’s Action and Support model of 25 years, ListeningWorks trains and supports movement builders and community leaders to harness proven listening, healing-based and human-centered strategies that deepen community activism.


We are building an intergenerational network of community leaders across the nation who are ready to confront systemic and societal challenges by centering listening and healing in their pursuit of social justice. Already, we have trained over 450 community leaders across the country. We have a unique opportunity to equip a critical number of organizers and leaders with the right skills and tools to counteract the polarization that is halting social progress and bring about long-lasting change.

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© 2017 by YOUTH ON BOARD