Marist alumnus Dr. Edward Summers ’04/’06M, founder of Bronx-based the Thinkubator, has been named to Robin Hood’s Power Fund, a new initiative supporting leaders of color and their organizations. Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization, funds impactful and scalable solutions to lift families out of poverty. The Power Fund invests in leaders who share Robin Hood’s mission of increasing economic mobility while championing racial and economic justice. Summers has dedicated his career to economic development in his hometown of the Bronx.
To combat the barriers leaders of color face in accessing philanthropic dollars, the Power Fund takes a three-fold approach: a meaningful investment in an organization; targeted capacity-building and technical support; and a self-directed investment in the leader’s own development and elevation. The Power Fund was seeded with an initial investment of $10 million by Robin Hood and investors such as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, BlackRock, and Capital One.
In 2020, Summers founded the Thinkubator, an innovative nonprofit that provides education, career, and work-based learning opportunities for low-income youth in the Bronx. The Thinkubator harnesses their creativity through a youth-led design thinking consultancy, internships, workforce training, career development, job placement, a Youth Council, educational programming, and advocacy. With financial support from the Power Fund, the Thinkubator can now enhance and expand its work. Said Summers, “I am excited, humbled, and honored by this opportunity to elevate the work and impact of the Thinkubator. I look forward to the transformational impact this funding will have on our organization and on the youth and communities we serve.”
A two-time Marist graduate, Summers served for seven years as Presidential Fellow and a member of the senior leadership team under Marist President Dennis J. Murray. He is currently on the College’s Alumni Executive Board as well as its Diversity & Inclusion Alumni Advisory Board.