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Cynthia Cunningham

Cynthia started as a neighborhood planner for the City of Indianapolis in 1989, and nearly every role she’s held since then has been oriented around social justice and social change initiatives.

Cynthia is experienced in formative and summative evaluation models and techniques, and in using the resulting data to develop effective service interventions. When she joined Community Solutions in 2015, Cynthia knew she’d found a place where her talents and her values could work in concert. “Pretty much everything Community Solutions takes on has a social justice aspect to it,” Cynthia says, “and that’s what’s always motivated me most in my work.”

Cynthia graduated from Indiana University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and has been an Adult Volunteer for Girl Scouts of Hoosier Capitol. Cynthia is a published author of several scholarly articles and is a well-regarded speaker on the use of information systems to improve outcomes for families, neighborhoods, and communities. She has served as a Board member of the Ball State College of Architecture and Planning: Indianapolis Center, a member of the Executive Committee of the Urban Institute National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, and a member of the American Planning Association and American Planning Association Speakers Bureau.

Why are you passionate about what you do at Community Solutions?

I enjoy helping organizations that need an outside perspective to help them identify how they can be better at what they do. At Community Solutions whether we are assisting with grant writing, strategic planning, or evaluation we are doing it with the intent of helping our clients better serve people. We challenge them to consider how they serve everyone, not just those that are easiest to reach.  


What inspires you?

I am inspired by all of the people before me who risked everything to create social change from the civil rights, disabilities rights, women’s rights and anti-war movements to Stonewall and Black Lives Matter.


If you could offer advice to a younger version of yourself, what would you say?

Learn from the past, listen well with an open mind and work for a more just future.

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