Todd Belcore has committed his life to making a difference in his community. When you think of the saying "Be the change you want to see", he is truly one who epitomizes that. Todd is an award-winning lawyer with over 20 honors under his belt including ABA's National Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year and the White House's Champion of Change. Todd is also a mediator, advocate, law lecturer, and co-founder of the non-profit Social Change, a national non-profit committed to amplifying community voices and disrupting the legacy of systemic injustice through organizing, legal and technical assistance, empowering communities, policy advocacy, and storytelling. He brings over 20 years of experience and passion for serving communities that desire and deserve change and an equal chance. Social Change is a non-profit that uses organizing, film, litigation, and advocacy to dismantle the new Jim Crow and transform lives, communities, and systems.
Born the youngest of four kids on the southside of Chicago, Todd had the opportunity to witness first hand what life was like when the entire system discriminated against people with handicaps, like his older brother, poverty and racism. Despite things that were against them, his mother never stopped fighting to give her children a fighting chance. She encouraged them to fulfill their potential by pushing for educational and extracurricular activities. This inspired Todd to become a lawyer so that he could fight for others who were mostly forgotten and left behind. He aimed to intercede on their behalf against the different systems and barriers that prevented them from fulfilling their purpose.
Realizing how important it was for people who looked like him to hold positions of power and make the decisions that actually effected their own communities, he started Social Change in 2012. The goal was to share stories of hardships so that people could understand the pain that people were dealing with. Through the context of storytelling, the organization hoped to disarm people of their prejudices and allow them to walk in someone else shoes. With policy advocacy being a major part of Social Change, Todd has been able to lead and assist in efforts to pass 24 measures in multiple states relating to entrepreneurship, jobs, equity in the cannabis industry, increasing government transparency and accountability, police and community relations, business ownership, housing, and justice, sentencing, prison, and reentry reform.
This weekend, Social Change will be hosting its first virtual version of The International Social Change Film Festival that is also called Change Fest. There will be dozens of films, content, and speakers who speak to the truth of whats going on in our nation and the movements you can partner with to make change happen. In addition to storytelling, the Change Fest Film festival aims to equip people with the basic necessities they need in order to continue to fight for change within their community. Purchase your #ChangeFest Tickets here.