Senior Advisor, Organizing
Gerald (Jerry) Kellman has worked with NCRC as a Senior Advisor since 2014. He works on community benefits agreements; regional reinvestment coalitions, campaigns and summits; and capacity building for member organizations.
Kellman began organizing as part of the civil rights movement. He cofounded the Gamaliel organizing network and developed grassroots organizations in urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the Midwest. In 1985, he recruited and brought Barack Obama to Chicago, where he mentored him as an organizer. He was the media spokesperson for community organizing in the 2008 Obama for President campaign, spoke at the 2008 Democratic Convention, and was written about under the pseudonym Marty Kaufman in Barack Obama’s book Dreams of My Father.
He has worked as a lay ecclesial minister for the Archdiocese of Chicago, completed two years of postgraduate studies in Public Policy at the University of Chicago and holds masters’ degrees in Journalism from Northwestern University and Divinity from Loyola University. His work has been covered in numerous media outlets including the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, PBS Frontline, Le Monde, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal.