Mr.Calhoun is a sought after keynote speaker, panelist, and moderator here and abroad, speaking in the areas of strategies to reduce crime and violence, helping to build communities that don’t produce crime, the role of the faith community in helping to reduce crime and violence, engaging youth in helping to solve community problems and on his books: Policy Walking: Lighting Paths to Safer Communities, Stronger Families & Thriving Youth; Hope Matters – The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America and Through the Hourglass, Stories of Life and Love. He has spoken in a wide variety of venues, including frequent appearances at the White House, the U.S. Justice Department, and state, national and
international conferences on criminal justice, youth and families, and faith.”
Youth and Gang Violence Can Be Prevented
From relational work in tough neighborhoods, to coordinating the efforts of key community entities such as schools, law enforcement, the faith community, social services and others, Mr. Calhoun discusses how communities across the nation have reduced youth violence, and have helped build vital neighborhoods that do not produce crime. On this topic he has presented to the White House, the Departments of Education and Justice, Office of National Drug Control Policy, at nationwide conferences in Canada, and in cities across America.
It Takes a Village to Raise a Child, but do We Know How to Raise a Village?
In this presentation, Mr. Calhoun describes a wide range of programs and policies that would help create community wholeness, interaction and health. He stresses policies that would help nurture healthy communities, Integrating policy with civic values. A healthy community must reflect robust economic opportunity, social service provision and the encouragement of a healthy civic and family life. Presented at international, state-wide and city-wide conferences.
The Role of the Faith Community in Preventing Crime and Violence
Loaded with tangible examples, this keynote discusses types of faith policies and programs–faith-linked, faith-based and faith-filled, and discusses how faith-linked constructs are not antithetical to but enhancing of the best in social policy. This speech highlights legal issues, advantages of building partnerships with the faith community and tips for government agencies in dealing with the faith community. This speech has been delivered to interfaith groups and to policy makers.
Engaging Youth as Partners–Youth as Resources!
We often view youth as hunks of pathology waiting to go off. “Control,” “Fix,” “Endure” and “Educate” are the headings under which most youth work falls. Rarely do we communicate to youth that they are needed, that they can, want to and have, rolled up their sleeves with adults to help make their neighborhoods, schools and communities better. Mr. Calhoun, referencing the factors of risk and resiliency (what is it about youth who make it against the odds), enumerates 10 reasons why it is so important to include youth as part of the solution, while citing heart-gripping stories and evaluated results from across the nation. Presented to national groups such as the Child Welfare League of America and to state and city-wide annual conferences
Finding Hope and Joy in the Broken Places: Keepin’ on, Keepin’ on
Mr. Calhoun recounts the stories of people who, against significant odds, reshape lives and communities across America. They are stories of people who should be battered and discouraged, yet they give thanks; they are bound by impossible schedules, yet they feel free; they are angry at what they see, yet they forgive; they work in chaos and the anonymity of life, yet they call individuals by name; they work amidst mistrust and brokenness, yet they stay. How do they do it? Where does it come from? The stories dig into and spotlight what keeps these people hopeful, what keeps them standing, caring and affirming as they wrestle with some of the most difficult and painful situations imaginable.
Separation of Church and State: What Did the Founding Fathers Actually Intend?
Mr. Calhoun explores how the founders fought fiercely to protect freedom of religion, and to allow all faiths (or none) to flourish. Yet the founders desired a moral nation, an “exceptional” nation, “a city on the hill,” even “a new Jerusalem.” They felt the new nation to providentially ordained, to be qualitatively different. Mr. Calhoun’s presentation discusses how this debate plays out today, the legitimacy of religion in the public square, and how faith-linked policies can both cause trouble and can enhance the best in social policy. Given in a variety of venues including universities and faith-community adult education classes.
Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America:
Referencing his book of the same name, Mr. Calhoun’s presentation tells the faith story not often heard, a story embodied in the lives of people whose faith reconciles, not divides, alleviates pain, not causes it, serves, not dominates. Extracting common theological themes from a variety of traditions–Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and American Indian–Mr. Calhoun tells the other side of the faith story: a faith that heals the sick, feeds the hungry, bring hope to the poor and angry, visits the prisoner. Presented in a variety of faith-based venues and universities, including Fordham University’s annual “Spring Headline Forum.”
Through the Hourglass: Poems of Life and Love:
Reading poetry from his book of the same name, Mr. Calhoun creates an album of life’s images–courting, kids, teens (the agony and ecstasy), word-paintings of friends and characters he has encountered along the way. “Touching and beautiful, while at the same time thought-provoking and inspirational,” his presentation is designed to evoke discussion and mutual reflection.
Deinstitutionalization of Juvenile Offenders – The Massachusetts Success Story
In the mid-1970’s Massachusetts embarked on a radical, nationally unprecedented policy to close all its training schools, schools that had housed stubborn and runaway children along with serious juvenile offenders. While the closure of these 19th century buildings was both bold and necessary, chaos ensued. The crime rate soared; serious delinquents were remanded to adult prisons, and the state legislature vowed to reopen all the closed institutions. Mr. Calhoun was hired in 1976 as Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) to make a community-based movement into a community -based system. While Calhoun believed most youth could be treated in community settings close to their homes, he helped to set up a graduated system of care extending from individual mentoring on one end to secure settings on the other with much in between. When he left in 1979, DYS was cited as a national model. His speech on this topic tells this story and address the underlying principles, which are applicable to this day.
Mr. Calhoun has been a community organizer; he has served as CEO of both a small (Justice Resource Institute) and a large (the National Crime Prevention Council) non-profit agency; he had been both a gubernatorial and presidential appointee, and he has served as a long-term consultant to the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Department of Justice. Over the years he has developed a theory of effective leadership. He has a particular interest in addressing those who have no formal authority, but are tasked with bringing together and harnessing the energies of several different partners. Mr. Calhoun speaks to the question of how does the work get done when the “leader” has no line authority?
What People are Saying
“Jack has the rare ability to inspire, educate, move and motivate an audience like none other. Jack will make you laugh and he will make you cry; inspire you to action; cause you to reach deep within your soul to engage his thoughts, ideas and entreaties.”
– David Dean, President/CEO, Dean International, Dallas, TX
“When Jack speaks, he inspires. His points land. After he speaks, you want to get up off your chair and act. I do not know of a more persuasive and effective spokesperson in the nation today for the well-being of children and youth and the communities in which they live than Jack Calhoun.”
– Kathy Jett, Director, California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
“He is an absolutely compelling public speaker, who speaks so eloquently, yet from the heart at the same moment. I cannot think of a more talented or motivating orator.”
– Peggy Conlon, President, The Advertising Council, Inc., New York
“I have no hesitation in commending Jack Calhoun to you as an outstanding communicator of our times; a truly great person who has made an invaluable contribution to our thinking, who has inspired us to action, and who has never lost touch with the people and communities he has sought to serve.”
– Sir Nigel Whiskin, Former CEO, Crime Concern, London, England
“In all situations I have been awed by Jack—as a speaker and as a leader. He has a profound ability to touch his listeners’ hearts and minds. He speaks with unparalleled passion and enthusiasm. I enthusiastically and unreservedly recommend Jack for selection as the featured presenter.”
– Shay Bilchik, Former President, Child Welfare League of America, Washington, D.C.
“After your keynote at our annual meeting, one of our staff members said, ‘I wanted to get back to the office and start working right away after Jack’s talk while I still felt inspired.’”
– Alcia Ross, Executive Director ACT, Sacramento, California
“Rarely does one begin a two-day conference and hold one’s breath during the keynote speech, hoping that it will never end. I have devoted three decades of my life to the social services field, and I’ve traveled to a lot of conferences and hear a lot of speeches. There is none better than Jack Calhoun.
– Deane Bunce, President, Youth Alive, Oakland, CA
“How can I thank you adequately? Your facilitation of the U.S. Attorney’s Oakland Gang Summit was elegant, effective and inspiring. With over 60 speakers, you took an overly long and disjointed agenda, making it an inspiring event that ended on time. You make presenters feel comfortable and valued…and a knack for finding the common thread…weaving a whole cloth. Truly a masterful job. The City of Oakland is grateful.”
– Sara Bedford, Director, Policy and Program, Department of Human Services, City of Oakland
“After I heard you at the University in Paris, I knew you had to be my keynote speaker at the WHO World Conference in Norway. At our Conference in Bergen, we had 300 international speakers and 600 participants from more than 60 countries. During and after the conference I have been told from all over the world that your speech was the best. You were outstanding.”
– Erik Brekke, Senior Vice President, Tryg Vesta Insurance and World Conference Sponsor
“I have been coming to the Family and Juvenile Court Judges annual meetings for decades, and yours was simply the best speech I’ve heard in all the years I’ve been coming. You inspired me. You reminded me why I do this hard work.”
– Steve Rideout, former Senior Juvenile Court Judge, Alexandria, VA
“Jack, thank you so much for coming to Bradley Hills and giving such a terrific talk on Sunday. People raved about your being here and can’t wait to have you back.”
— David Gray, Pastor, Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church
“It was so wonderful to have you hear on Sunday. I can’t thank you enough for your stories and the way you inspired our parishioners. (And, of course, thank you so much for the book!) I have heard nothing but the highest praise from your presentation on Sunday. Do let us know if you ever want to come back.”
– Erika Takacs, Associate Rector, Christ Church, Alexandria
“Your passionate words reflected a genuine concern and understanding of the complex social issues we face. The audience used words like “inspirational,” “validating,” and “enlightening” to describe the afternoon…You have an open invitation to return to the city at your convenience…Thanks again for your extraordinary work on behalf of America’s children.”
– Patrick J. Morris, Mayor, San Bernardino, CA
“I greatly enjoyed listening to Jack’s perspectives on faith and government. As a man of deep convictions, his emphasis on living out faith in a secular nation was refreshingly down-to-earth. He both challenged and inspired my view of America, and instilled in me an appreciation for the principles this nation was founded upon.”
– Brianna Springer, 2010 MSW student, Baylor University
“THANK YOU! Our students loved you. I will be in the mail about having you back in the spring in the course I mentioned, and for the event we’ll host with you front and center…”
– Dr. John DiIulio, Director, Fox Leadership Program, University of Pennsylvania
“I am writing this testimony on behalf of a great man, Jack Calhoun. To be in his presence is to be with one who is a true leader, a man with deep wisdom and the courage of his convictions.
I had the good fortune to be with Jack when he came Enfield, Connecticut to be the keynote speaker for the first kick-off of our early childhood learning campaign. Jack spent the day inspiring our city leaders, asking questions that helped us discover our own values and passion.
Jack was the final speaker of the evening that had a packed agenda. It was late and it was obvious that the group was exhausted. Jack’s charisma held everyone in the room riveted to each word he spoke. His conversation clearly identified problems in today’s culture that our town is grappling with, yet he helped us to recognize our strengths as a community.
Jack reminded us of heroes such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela whose courageous struggle for equality and justice transformed the world. He opened our hearts; allowing us to find our voices, commitment and passion; our own heroism. We left that night renewed in our faith in one another, strengthened in our resolve to take risks on behalf of our children, and full of hope.
I could not recommend a more powerful or dynamic speaker.”
– Pamela Brown, MSW, Director of Social Service, Enfield, CT
“I highly recommend Jack Calhoun as this country’s most inspirational and motivational keynote speaker. The Press Release in Washington, DC for Hope Matters was incredibly refreshing. With all the opportunities for humanitarian causes, Jack Calhoun’s focus is one that unites beyond past barriers and creates a unity of spirit that has no limits.
– Cheryl Phillips, President, Cheryl Phillips Design, Queenstown, MD
List of Appearances
Keynote: “The Deeper Principles of Prevention: the Role of Faith in Affecting Change,” Virginia Interfaith Center Annual Conference – Richmond, Virginia
Speech: “Promising Gang Prevention Strategies: the 13-City Gang Prevention Network,” National Criminal Justice Association – Eugene, OR
Keynote: “Stopping Crime and Building Communities That Don’t Produce Crime,” – Waterloo, Canada
Keynote: “New Paradigms in Youth Policy,” Australian Crime Prevention Commission – Sydney and Melbourne
Keynote: American Embassy Summit on Crime – Mexico City
Speech: “Who is there to Name and Claim our Kids?” Ambassadors for Peace Awards Ceremony – Washington, DC
Keynote: “Who is Really Doing the Hard Work for Our Youth?” National Network for Youth Annual Conference – Washington, DC
Speech: “Comprehensive Community Reclaiming Strategies Can Reduce Crime,” International Center for the Prevention of Crime – Montreal, Canada
Keynote: Multi-Disciplinary Strategies to Reduce Crime and Violence Conference – San Bernardino, CA
Keynote: Statewide Gang Prevention Conference – Fresno, CA
Keynote: Annual Criminal Justice Conference – Winnipeg, Canada
Keynote: Annual Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Conference – San Jose, California
Panel Moderator: “The Role of the Faith Community in Preventing Crime and Violence” for Inter-faith Leaders
Keynote: North Carolina Governors Annual Criminal Justice Conference
Speech: “Faith in the 21st Century,” Christ Church Adult Education Forum -Kensington, Maryland
Speech: Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church Adult Education Group – Darien, CT
Keynote: US Attorney’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Fourth Annual Gang Prevention Summit – Boston, MA
Presentation: “Exploring State and Federal Policy That Would Support Violence Prevention Work on the Local Level,” The California Wellness Foundation – Los Angeles, CA
Keynote: National Forum to Prevention Youth Violence, US Department of Justice – Washington, DC
Speech: “Stopping Crime, Building Community;” League of California Cities – San Diego, CA
Conference Moderator: US Attorney Gang Conference – Oakland, CA
Keynote: “Crime Prevention as Community Building,” Annual Criminal Justice Meeting – Santa Clara County, CA
Keynote: “Cross Community Collaboration to End Youth Violence,” for the Youth Intervention Network of the Contra Costa Council Economic Partnership – Antioch, CA
Panel Moderator: “New Paths and Partnerships In Public Safety,” National League of Cities Annual Congress of Cities Meeting – Washington, DC
Speech: Lewinsville Presbyterian Church Adult Education Forum – Lewinsville, VA
Speech: Fordham University’s Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty – New York, NY
Panel Moderator: “U.S.-Mexico Di-National Drug Demand Reduction Policy Meeting,” State Department – Washington, DC
Speaker: Connections for HOPE Grand Opening – Herndon, VA
Closing Keynote: “The Role of the Faith Community in Creating Communities of Peace,” Mayor’s Peace Conference – Oakland, CA
Speech: Christ Church Pastoral Care Committee – Alexandria, VA
Speech: Bethesda Presbyterian Church Adult Forum – Bethesda, MD
Presentation: “Youth Violent Crime Can Be Prevented,” Santa Rosa City Council
Moderator: “ICPC Across the World: Experience of Local Leaders,” Plenary Panel, International Centre of the Prevention of Crime, 15th Anniversary Meeting – Montreal, Canada
Keynote: Children’s Task Force Annual Meeting – Enfield, CT
Presentation: “13 Cities Prove That Gang Violence Can Be Reduced,” American Probation and Parole Association — Anaheim, California
Plenary Panel: “Promising Gang Prevention Strategies: the 13-City Gang Prevention Network,” League of California Cities Annual Meeting – San Jose, California
Presentation: “The Deeper Principles of Prevention,” Baylor University Faculty and Students – Waco, TX
Presentation: “The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Christ Church Adult Forum – Alexandria, VA
Presentation: “Promising Strategies to Prevent Youth and Gang Violence,” National League of Cities “Your Cities Families” Annual Conference – Boston, MA
Speech: “How to Transcend Fear-Based Strategies,” International Crime Prevention Centre – Montreal, Canada
Keynote: “The Deeper Principles of Our Prevention Work: Stopping Crime and Building Caring Communities,” Sacramento Area Congregations Together Annual Meeting – Sacramento, CA
Presentation: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Virginia Theological Seminary Faculty
Keynote: 80-Nation Safe Communities Summit – Bergen, Norway
Keynote: After School Alliance for the Institute for Youth, Education and Families – Washington, DC
Keynote: 20th Anniversary of San Diego Children’s Commission – San Diego, CA
Keynote: National Conference of Family and Juvenile Court Judges Annual Meeting – Pittsburg, PA
Keynote: “Prevention of Youth Violence” – Tulsa, OK
Keynote: North Carolina Governor’s Crime Prevention Summit
Keynote: “Building Safe Communities and Reducing Crime,” Canadian Justice Minister’s Summit – Calgary and Alberta
Keynote: American Public Human Services Association Annual Meeting
Presenter: Congressional Roundtable on Youth, Faith and Public Policy – Washington, DC
Lecturer: University of Pennsylvania Fox Leadership Program – Philadelphia, PA
Keynote: Youth Crime Watch of America – Miami, FL
Lecturer: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, PA
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Church of the Redeemer – Haverford, PA
Keynote: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Virginia Theological Seminary – The National Press Club, Washington, DC
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Chappaqua Interfaith Council – Chappaqua, NY
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Rosemary Postel’s Book Club – McLean, VA
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Lewinsville Presbyterian Church Youth Group – McLean, VA
Speech & Book Signing: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” – Santa Rosa, CA
Participant: Governor’s Gang Advisory Board Meeting – Sacramento, CA
Participant: 13-City Gang Advisory Committee meeting – Sacramento, CA
Lecture: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Ingleside Retirement Home – Washington, DC
Speech: Redeemer Lutheran Church – Harrisburg, PA
Speech: Dean Fellowship Association – Dallas, TX
Speech: “Preventing Gang Violence,” League of California Cities – Squaw Valley, CA
Speech: “Involving Youth as Partners in Solving Social Problems,” Reclaiming Youth International – Rapid City, SD
Host: Reclaiming Youth International Annual Crazy Horse Awards Ceremony – Rapid City, SD
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” New America Foundation
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Fordham University Religion in Public Life Senior Values Seminar – New York, NY
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” The Muslim American Society – Brooklyn, NY
Speech & Book Signing: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” National Episcopal Church Center – New York, NY
Speech: “A New Response to California’s Epidemic of Gang Violence,” John Jay College – New York, NY
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Oxnard Clergy Coalition – Oxnard, CA
Presentation: “The 13 City Gang Prevention Network,” Oxnard City Council – Oxnard, CA
Session: “Intervening with Youth on the Edge,” National League of Cities Congress of Cities – Orlando, FL
Session: “Comprehensive Leadership Approach to Gang Prevention,” The California Wellness Foundation Annual Conference – Los Angeles, CA
Presentation: “Compassionate Communities,” Fetzer Foundation – Kalamazoo, MI
Speech: “Hope Matters: The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” Lebanon Valley Retirement Community – Palmyra, PA
Speech: “Effective Gang Prevention/Community Reclaiming Strategies in a Resource-Lean Era,” 13 City Gang Prevention Network Annual Conference – Santa Rosa, CA
Presenter: “What in God’s Name Are Some New Yorkers Doing? The Untold Story of Faith-Based Activism in Our City,” Fordham University Headline Forum – New York, NY
Presentation: “The 13 California City Gang Prevention Network: Three-Year Results,” U.S. Department of Justice – Washington, D.C.
Presentation: “The 13 California City Gang Prevention Network: Three-Year Results,” Fairfax County Coordinating Council for Gang Prevention – Fairfax County, VA
Presentation: “Navigating in an Uncertain World,” Langley High School Honor Society – McLean, VA
Speech: “The Untold Story of How Faith Works in America,” All Saints Episcopal Church – Pasadena, CA
Speech: “Engaging Youth as Partners in Helping to Solve Community Problems,” Reclaiming Youth International – Black Hills, SD
Baccalaureate Speech: “Aren’t you the Class of 1776?” McLean High School – McLean, VA
Keynote: World Bank Caribbean Crime Prevention Conference, Jamaica
Panel Moderator: Center for the Study of Social Policy, Fresno, CA
Baccalaureate Speaker: Millbrook School, Millbrook, CT.
Keynote: Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Assn/Project Aware, “Programs, Partnerships, Policies, People,” D.C.
Keynote: Annual Forum on Criminal Justice, Brazil
Presenter: “Comprehensive Strategies that Work,” World Bank, D.C.
Panel Moderator: Council on Foundations, “Police/Community Trust,” San Francisco
Panel Moderator: Council on Foundations, “The Role of Philanthropy in Violence Prevention/Community Building,” San Francisco
Panel Moderator: Models for Change, MacArthur Foundation, D.C.
Presenter: to University of Ottawa Students on Comprehensive Strategies that Work, Ottawa, Canada
Panel Moderator: “Comprehensive Strategies that Work,” National League of Cities, Institute for Youth, Education and Families, DC
Panel Moderator: “Comprehensive Strategies that Work,” Board of State and Community Corrections, Los Angeles, CA
Panel Moderator: “Leadership: Keeping it All Together,” Department of Justice Annual Summit, National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, D.C.
Keynote: “What Keeps Us On Our Paths,” Safe Long Beach Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA
Presenter: “Reducing Crime/Building Community through Citywide Strategies,” Violence Prevention Coalition of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA.
Presenter: “Welcoming the Returning Offender,” Board of State and Community Corrections, Sacramento CA,
Panel Moderator: “Training and Employing the Hard to Employ” and “Reducing Gun Violence,” US Department of Justice’s Youth Violence Prevention Forum, Baltimore, MD
Presenter: “What Keeps us on our Feet,” University of Ottawa
Panel Moderator: “Changing the Narrative,” Cities United, Washington, DC
Panelist: “Changing the Narrative,” National Association of Black and Hispanic Journalists, Washington, DC
Lecture: Honors Class lecture at George Mason Univ., Fairfax, VA
Keynote: National League of Cities, Washington DC
Presenter: Adult Education Class, Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, McLean, VA
Keynote: Anti Recidivism Coalition, Los Angeles, CA
Keynote: Nurse Family Partnership, Philadelphia, PA
Keynote: Long Beach Citywide Violence Prevention/Community Building Conference, Long Beach, CA
Presenter: Presentation to University of Ottawa Graduate Students, Ottawa, Canada
Panelist: Panel presentation to Cities United Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
Lecture: Lecture for students at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Keynote: Nurse Family Partnership, Philadelphia, PA
Keynote: ReCast Grantee Conference, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Assn/Center for Mental Health Services, Dept. of HHS, Rockville, MD