In this video, Root Change’s Director of Programs, Alexis Smart interviews Mauricio Miller, the Founder of the Community Independence Initiative, about the life experiences that led to launching this initiative, how CII works, the unique aspects of this initiative, and his decision to house CII in Root Change.Mauricio is the author of The Alternative, a book which challenges the assumption that low-income families are victims in need of charity. Instead, he lays out an alternative evidence-based approach that invests in the talents, ingenuity and social networks of families to address poverty.
The book draws on his personal story and his experience founding the Family Independence Initiative (or FII) in the United States in 2001. FII is now nationally recognized for their work and mission to accelerate low-income families’ own efforts to improve their social and economic mobility.
Mauricio was awarded the MacArthur Genius Fellowship in 2012 and was appointed by President Obama to the White House Council for Community Solutions. Most recently, Mauricio has started the Community Independence Initiative (or CII) and has partnered with Root Change to scale this peer-driven change model around the world. CII is currently operating in 6 countries: Liberia, Uganda, Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines and the United States.