Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Shackleton.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have always been driven by the belief that as a society, we are putting far more energy and resources into social impact than the actual impact that’s being achieved. I’ve sought to work for organizations that are taking innovative and scalable approaches to addressing social challenges and that are positioned to create large-scale social change. I started my career at the Michael J. Fox Foundation – an organization revolutionizing the way medical research is funded – where I was fortunate to work directly with several amazing female leaders, including the CEO, Katie Hood. Katie went on to become the founding CEO for the One Love Foundation, creating a first-of-its-kind model for educating young people about healthy and unhealthy relationships to ultimately change the statistics around relationship abuse. I joined One Love over two years ago as Executive Director and launched the organization’s first regional office here in California. This role was the perfect opportunity to help build One Love’s new regional outreach strategy while working deeply with young people and stakeholders on the ground in the community where I grew up.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As in any startup organization, we have celebrated many wins and faced lots of challenges. In just four years, the One Love Foundation has educated more than 650,000 young people nationally with thousands of those in California only. The flip side is because we are growing so fast, we sometimes can’t meet the demand due to lack of employee resources or community organizers.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The One Love Foundation – what should we know?
One Love was founded in honor of Yeardley Love, who was a 22-year old senior attending the University of Virginia. Tragically her life was cut short when she was killed by her ex-boyfriend. The family learned during the trial that her death could have been prevented had they recognized the signs of an abusive relationship. They founded One Love to educate and empower young people about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. Through compelling film-based workshops with peer-to-peer discussions, One Love opens young people’s eyes to unhealthy behaviors and offers a framework they can use to discuss these behaviors in their own lives. Empowered to pass this information on, young people spread our message to their communities in-person and online.
The One Love Foundation is now recognized as the national leader of relationship health education for students ages 11 through college. As a social impact organization, we are changing young people’s lives every day by helping them change the trajectory of their relationships and, by doing so, saving lives. We fill a void by teaching young people what healthy love looks like and how they can support their friends and communities to love better. We are proud to see many people asking to bring One Love education to their schools or community and asking how they can do more to create communities that don’t stand for relationship abuse. For example, much of our work to date in Los Angeles has been driven by students who are part of our Teen Ambassador program. They are on the front lines of this movement, bringing us to their campuses, holding fundraisers, and activating their peers.
- Website: joinonelove.org
- Instagram: Join1love
- Facebook: The One Love Foundation
- Twitter: Join1love