Skip to main content
Boston College School of Social Work
Center for Social Innovation


Lunch with Leader Talia Rivera

Talia Rivera's experience working with youth began in 1998. She is among the leading thinkers on youth violence, gang interventions, network organizing, and street work in the City of Boston.

Rivera is a native of Roxbury who has worked as a community organizer, mobilizing residents, community, and faith-based organizations around issues affecting youth and urban neighborhoods. She has worked for the Hyde Square Task Force, the Black Ministerial Alliance, and Boston Rising, and is now Network Manager for New England for the Council on Foundations. In 2001, she founded and ran Villages Without Walls, an intervention program designed to broker truces between gangs, leverage community connection, and empower high-risk youth and families to improve their lives. Rivera also coordinated a network of over 120 youth-serving agencies to strengthen the system of services for youth at high risk through capacity building, advocacy, and as a volunteer lobbyist.

Rivera was a writer for the FamilyEducation, an online consumer network of the world's best learning and information resources, personalized to help parents, teachers, and students of all ages take control of their learning and make it part of their everyday lives.

Lunches with Leaders: This program is designed to expose Macro-SIL students, and other Boston College students interested in leadership, to the practical experiences of leaders in social-justice-oriented careers. Leaders will bring their strengths in administration, policy, and change management/transformation to the discussion. The program will take place as a lunch series, where leaders discuss their greatest leadership challenge, their most important leadership lesson, and give three pieces of advice for students. A facilitated Q&A session will follow.