Social Change

Here are a few of the social change or service projects the Guzman family has been involved in.  Here you’ll also be able to link to Social Change Projects that have come out of Dr. Guzman’s graduate class MLD 683 – Leadership for Social Change.


Breaking the cycle of working class poverty

EMMANUEL HOUSE and BRYAN HOUSE (“Reclaiming Hope for War-Torn Refugee Families”):  Two family organizations started by Rick & Desiree Guzman in memory of Dr. Guzman’s youngest song Bryan Emmanuel Guzman (1985-2006).  These organizations work to lift the working poor out of poverty.  Learn moreNOTE:  In April 2018 Emmanuel House merged with a long-time partner, The Joseph Corporation to become THE NEIGHBOR PROJECT —a move that increased its ability to serve families by more than 10 fold. Visit The Neighbor Project website, read more about the merger HEREand watch executive director Rick Guzman’s talk “Every Person’s God-Given Ability to Contribute.” There’s no better place than this talk to understand and be inspired by the work and vision of TNP.


HEAR US:  A national organization founded by Diane Nilan, the distinguished advocate for homeless persons, Hear Us focuses on giving voice and visibility to homeless women and children.  My wife, Linda Bonifas-Guzman, is on the Hear Us Board of Directors.  Go to for more.  Read more on this site Here.  Also find out about service opportunities at the DAYBREAK HOMELESS SHELTER, which Diane helped start, and see a video about Feed My Starving Children.


Social Change ProjectsLEADERSHIP FOR SOCIAL CHANGE PROJECTS:  Dr. Guzman’s graduate class MLD 683 – Leadership for Social Change has spawned many fine projects, several of which will be featured on this site.  Learn more about these projects and the class Here.



CHICAGO FAMILY DIRECTIONS  is a 501 (c)(3) that started as a project in the Leadership for Social Change class.  It provides, at no cost, consistent, long-term tutoring to homeless and impoverished K-12 students in the Chicago Public Schools to prepare them for college, careers and an adult life without homelessness.  Read more HereNOTE: In 2018, after an impactful seven-year run CFD ceased formal operation.


Diversity Plan


DIVERSITY  INITIATIVES:  Dr. Guzman led in developing the Diversity Plan for Naperville United School District #203, one of Illinois’ most prominent, and  was honored by the state for this effort.  You may view a pdf of the pamphlet mailed to every household explaining the plan, and read more about Diversity Initiatives Here.




Though not involved in the direct running of organizations, we can support their causes by cheering them on, attending their events, spreading the word about what they do.  Here are a some organizations we try to do this with, organizations that have helped immensely—especially at Emmanuel House, Bryan House, and Hear Us—with their support and innovative programming.


The UnionThe Union is a great concert venue just blocks from the campus of North Central College.  Run by the college’s Ministry and Service office, it brings in an array of wonderful musicians, artists, and films.  It’s tag line tells you a lot: “A Venue for Social Change.”  Great entertainment, a socially conscious atmosphere.  It was one of the earliest supporters of Bryan House, and continues to help us fund and spread the word about Emmanuel House.  Go to The Union’s website (, and read more Here.

Students in Free EnterpriseSIFE (which has recently changed its name to ENACTUS) stands for Students in Free Enterprise.  What started out as a club for business majors concerned mainly with U.S. deficit spending, has blossomed into a great social change organization concered with economic justice and growth.  The SIFE team competes with all colleges and universities in the U.S., and has established itself as one of the nation’s premiere teams with its particular brand of social change businesses.  Read more Here—where you’ll also find a link to SIFE’s internet TV series, MISSION COFFEE CAN, about its great coffee business.

North Central College Old MainThe Union and SIFE are only two of many service-oriented projects at NORTH CENTRAL COLLEGE, which is among the most recognized colleges in the country for its ethos of service.  It’s one of the things I’m most proud about—and something that’s kept me teaching there for over 35 years.  See a post about service at the college Here.  To see a VIDEO about service featuring a project started at one of our family’s Emmanuel House sites, go  Here.


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