Dwight Clasby

EndCAN Development Director

Episode 19: Get to Know EndCAN! Part 1

Get to know us! Today’s conversation is with Dwight Clasby, EndCAN’s Development Director. Dwight discusses how the boldness of EndCAN’s mission inspires him in his work, the importance of listening to the stories of survivors, and how child abuse and neglect affects us all. 


Episode Transcript

Transcript of the Louder than Silence Podcast

Episode #19 – Get to Know EndCAN! Pt. 1 

Transcribed by Adam Soisson


[Inspirational theme music plays.] 

>> Lori: Thank you for joining us. In this podcast, we are real people, talking about real things. Child abuse and neglect: a topic that is all too often left in the shadows of silence, leaving survivors alone, fearful, and oftentimes without a voice. We’re having conversations to become Louder Than Silence. It is here, where we will invite you to join us and be the change needed to end child abuse and neglect. 

>> Lori: Good morning everybody. My name is Lori Poland and I am the Executive Director for the National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect. You are listening to our podcast Louder Than Silence. Thank you so much for joining us. This podcast little segment we’re doing right now is an About Us and I just thought it was so valuable for our listeners to understand what makes us tick. While I am always talking and out there in the world there is a huge piece behind the scenes and who makes us as wonderful as we are and that is 100 percent due to the people that work here. So you’ve already met a couple of our staff but today you get to meet our Development Director Dwight Clasby and I’m so grateful that Dwight is with us. We just fell into Dwight. We brought him in for a brief consult on an event we did, our No Dinner Dinner at the beginning of the year and once we fell into him we fell in love with him. He’s just such a good human being with a genuine authentic heart and that’s hard to find in the development world, first of all, it’s hard to find in the world period. So Dwight we are thankful that you’re a part of us and a part of our team. I’d love for you to tell our listeners who you are and what makes you tick in the world. 

>> Dwight: Thanks Lori. First I’m so passionate about this mission that EndCAN has and was from when I first met you and Dick [Krugman]. I have a direct link to the cause which I really didn’t, I guess, accept when I was talking to you so I guess that makes me double passionate if you can be. So it’s just exciting to be part of the team and I think what really attracted me even more was the boldness of the mission. It almost reminded me of  when we announced we were going to put a man on the moon. I mean, to end child abuse and neglect in our lifetime you can’t get much bolder than that. It’s something that everyone can get behind and the more I looked at the numbers when I first got to know EndCAN I was just really appalled and surprised and just wanted to jump in and do what I could to make a change.  

>> Lori: Awesome. Thank you for that. I’ve felt that here. You’re so passionate and it shows in every conversation I have with you. I would imagine as a fundraiser and a development person that it makes your job – I don’t want to say your job is simple because it’s probably the hardest job ever. Nobody likes to talk about money, nobody likes to ask anyone else for money. But I would guess but when you can get behind something like you said, everybody can get behind this. But when you yourself are behind it and passionate about it, it makes that ask, it makes that conversation all the easier. 

>> Dwight: Totally agree. I think also what I find about child abuse and neglect is that it affects everyone, not just those that might have been abused or neglected. It affects family members, friends, colleagues at work. It might be a hard conversation to have or even to start but everyone has a story unfortunately so it’s really just a starting point in listening to people. With listening then you can start talking and breaking down barriers and ask people to invest in something that shouldn’t happen. 

>> Lori: For sure, that’s so cool. Okay I’m going to ask a silly question because why not. As a little boy, what was your favorite game to play when you were being adventurous and creative? 

>> Dwight: Oh gosh [laughs]. Two things first came to mind. I don’t want to give away my age [laughs] but one was army, just exploring out in the woods, the streams and such that we lived in Connecticut when we moved there from Oklahoma. Obviously New England has tons of rock walls so we would play on them. Your imagination could just run wild. Then baseball was my passion as a kid. I wanted to grow up and play centerfield for the New York Yankees because their centerfielder had come from Oklahoma. 

>> Lori: Isn’t it amazing what fuels us? Relatability, it’s all about relatability. That’s awesome. So Dwight comes from a pretty significant background in the academic world and working with higher ed and in development with alumni and folks like that. For him to be here at EndCAN we feel like it’s a unique and cool gift that you’ve landed with us. I don’t really believe in coincidences. I know on our end there was certainly some strong intention once we met you and got an idea of who you were, to have you around. I’m curious, why EndCAN and why child abuse and neglect and who not necessarily staying in that academic world? 

>> Dwight: Well I’ve always been attracted to organizations, be it academic or nonprofit that have a strong mission and have a focus from my time serving on the cystic fibrosis Board many decades ago. While my wife Julie and I had no connection to the disease, we had a strong connection to helping those kids lead healthy lives. With EndCAN and its mission to end child abuse and neglect, that is such a strong statement and it’s going to take more than just our team. 

>> Lori: It’s going to take an army, right? 

>> Dwight: So I’ve always wanted to be with an organization that’s making a difference and I really think EndCAN has the ability to do that and it starts with small steps but then eventually we’ll be marching. 

>> Lori: For sure, we are ready. That’s so cool. Alright so Julie is your wife, you just referenced her. For our listeners, it is so neat to hear Dwight talk about his love because the passion that he and his wife have. I’ve never even met her and I feel like I know her so well. The passion they have for one another, and connection and commitment, their marriage and their relationship is just beautiful. So you got through childhood then you found the love of your life and you had three kids and you got through the early parts of parenthood. One of my favorite quotes – and I have a lot of favorite quotes – is the hardest part about parenting is the first forty years [laughs]. So you can say you got through that and now you’ve transitioned into being grandparents so tell the listeners about that. What’s it like, especially form the lens of child abuse and neglect, what is it like to see your grandchildren? Is it different than your view as parents to want to protect or want to work on this cause or anything like that. 

>> Dwight: I think as a parent you’re always worried about your kids, no matter how old they are. You always want the best for them. They don’t always understand that [laughs] 

>> Lori: Especially on Friday night when you say no or you set a curfew [laughs] 

>> Dwight: Right. So fast forward to being a grandparent, our grandkids – we have four now and they age from two months to almost 20 years old. don’t want to say we worry less about them so to speak but really worry about the world that they have because they have so much more access to everything with technology and the internet. We grew up with not locking doors and letting people come and go. It’s totally a different world. Clearly as grandparents we worry about that. You want to teach your kids about making good choices and clearly I would say with technology and the internet, that’s probably more worrisome than when we were bringing up our kids as parents. You can’t keep them locked in and protect them but you’ve got to  – like some of our efforts with EndCAN, we just have to educate and be open. 

>> Lori: Right, we just have to do exactly what we say for our mission. The route that we’re taking sounds similar to what you do as grandparents which is cool so thanks so much for that answer. I think that’s about all we have in terms of time for today but I am positive we’ll be doing more of these podcasts so that as our army builds out people want to know how we’re making this happen and why and how they can help and be a part of it so thanks so much for joining us today and thanks so much for sharing with us and thanks for being a part of our team. I’m so grateful to know you and work with you and be doing this with you. Everybody thanks again for listening today, for joining us. I’m Lori Poland, I’m the Executive Director for the National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect. You’ve been listening today to one of our staff members, our Development Director Dwight Clasby who is just such a gem and gift to be a part of all the magic we’re trying to do here in the world. Thanks again Dwight, have a wonderful day. 

[Inspirational theme music plays.] 

>>Lori: I want to thank each of you again for joining us today and listening in. If you or someone you know is being abused, please call 1-800-4-A-CHILD. To learn more about EndCAN, visit www.endcan.org or find us on all social media platforms. Join us in being Louder than Silence and being a part of the change. Please leave a comment, like our podcast, or share with your friends. The more the word spreads, the more of a collective impact we can have. If you have a question or you know someone who would want to be a guest on our podcast, please contact bethechange@endcan.org. Thanks again, and have a great day.  





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