Annual Professional Development Conference for Nonprofits in Bakersfield key stop in Rich Harwood’s Work of Hope Tour

Renowned public innovator to also lecture at Cal State’s Kegley Institute of Ethics

Bakersfield, CA (March 8, 2013) - As part of his 2013 national community tour Work of Hope, Rich Harwood, president and founder of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, will keynote United Way of Kern County’s 23rd Annual Professional Development Conference for Nonprofits on March 12 at 12 p.m. In his keynote, Rich will address hundreds of nonprofit workers from Kern County, citing from his most recent book The Work of Hope on people’s need to turn outward toward the community and kick-start a new trajectory for the country by starting small and acting locally.

“I am continuing my tour in Bakersfield because I believe it is a community with potential to be a beacon in the nation, showing that change can occur when people come together around common goals and work with each other on issues that matter to the community,” said Harwood.  “The United Way of Kern County is a great example of an organization in Bakersfield that has stepped up to listen to the people in the community and act with them, not for them.”

Following his speech at the conference, Harwood will give a special guest lecture to academics, students and members of the community assembled at California State’s Kegley Institute of Ethics at 7 p.m. in the Walter Stiern Library.

“The timing for Rich Harwood’s visit couldn’t be better,” said Della Hodson, president of United Way of Kern County. “The work of the Harwood Institute is significantly impacting the United Way system. We’re thrilled to be able to share this work with the nonprofit network here in Kern. ”

This stop in Bakersfield is the second stop in Harwood’s national community tour. Following the release of The Work of Hope, individuals and organizations inundated Rich with requests to come speak in their community, to show that there is a way to restore belief in the country that people can still work together on important issues despite differing agendas. These requests spurred Rich to start a national community tour to help the nation turn outward and ignite more compassion and concern for the common good.

If you would like to attend one of these events, registration for the Annual Professional Development Conference for Nonprofits is $55. For more information, please visit For more information on the lecture at the Kegley Institute, please visit


About The Harwood Institute:

The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that works with individuals and organizations to fix issues that are holding back communities, using a network of national partnerships as well as programs, workshops and speeches derived from 20 years of on-the-ground efforts. Founded by Richard C. Harwood, The Harwood Institute is today a leading change organization, recognized nationally for a unique approach to breaking down barriers and empowering people to make progress in improving their communities. For more information, please visit


About United Way of Kern County:

United Way's focus is to improve the education, income and health of every Kern County resident. UWKC brings stakeholders together to forge consensus, marshal resources, build coalitions and partnerships, and generate philanthropy and volunteerism in all segments of our community, with the understanding that the combined result is far greater than the sum of each individual component. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the United Way in Kern County.


Media Contact:

Jim Cooney - The Harwood Institute - - 301.656.3669

Jill Egland - United Way of Kern County - - 661.834.1820