Gerald Taylor, Executive Director
Gerald Taylor is one of the most creative experienced organizers and strategic campaign planners and trainers in the country. For nearly 35 years, he was a national senior organizer of the IAF and for 26 of those years the IAF’s Southeast Regional Director. He retired from the IAF in 2014.
His organizing began in the Civil Rights Movement as a youth leader, eventually being elected as New York State President of the NAACP Youth and College Division at 17 years old. He organized with the National Democratic Party of Alabama, an interracial third political party, in their historic election victories of 1970. He served on the National Trustee Board of the National Urban League during the last years of Whitney Young’s leadership and in the transition to Vernon Jordan.
He also was one of the first “civil rights” interns at the Metropolitan Applied Research Center, a Civil Rights Think Tank, founded by Dr. Kenneth Clark where he engaged with senior leaders of the civil rights movement in discussions about the future direction of the movement.
He has developed organizations with leaders in numerous communities in the United States including New York City, Baltimore, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, and Jackson, Mississippi. Among the many victories won by these organizations include hundreds of millions of dollars in new loans to homeowners by banks, statewide anti arson legislation in New York State, education reform in Baltimore and Memphis that led to significant increases in funding for education and providing scholarships for thousands of inner city students to go to college, the defeat of the National Rifle Association in the statewide referendum on gun control in Maryland and nursery home reforms. Immediately after Hurricane Katrina; he spent four years organizing African American communities along the Mississippi Gulf Coast to receive disaster relieve leading to the formation of a coalition that negotiated nearly one billion dollars in disaster relieve funding for these communities.
He has trained thousands of Clergy, lay leaders, unions’ staff and leaders, government and private sector institutional leaders over the past forty years and lectured at colleges and universities including Duke University, Vanderbilt University and UNC Chapel-Hill on theories of social change and community organizing.
His innovation and creativity in developing and delivering training, strategic advice and organizational development is well known both nationally and internationally.
He has worked with organizations such as Bread for the World, the Sidney Alliance in Australia, President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on Neighborhoods, national unions including the National Education Association and SEIU/Workers United.
In 2004, he was honored by being named an international auditor in South Africa for the Lesson Project Roundtable on Building Citizen Capacity and Land reform. He provided consultant services to civil society organizations in Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
In 2007, Gerald went to India as part of a delegation of post Katrina community organizers to meet with Tsunami area civil society leaders to share and explore strategies from their common experiences.
Today he is the managing Partner of Taylor&Taylor Strategies LLC.