Special Projects – Community Building Institute
Dacia Steiner, MPA, is the Director of the Community Building Institute at the Center for Social Change,
Miami’s first community space and co-working environment that is dedicated to promoting
collaborative, systemic solutions to social problems.
Dacia moved to Miami in 2011 to launch ReServe South Florida, the first affiliate of a national
innovative social enterprise connecting nonprofit organizations and public institutions with experienced
professionals 55+. During her tenure as Director, Dacia placed over 200 ReServists in a wide variety of
direct service and capacity building positions in South Florida, she developed strategic partnerships with the United Way, Miami Dade County Public Schools, the Alliance for Aging, and many other area agencies and, after a successful two year incubation period under Catalyst Miami, relaunched as an independent organization in 2013.
Prior to moving to Miami, Dacia was Program Manager at the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University, where she worked closely with founders John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann for over five years. Although Dacia is no longer officially with the ABCD Institute, she remains on the faculty and is a Fellow of the ABCD Center.
Dacia has worked directly with local, national and international government agencies, public institutions and nonprofits to design community-based participatory research projects, and provided training and technical assistance to them on the implementation of those efforts. Her research and writing primarily focused on themes related to youth, aging, and international development. She has also taught university courses in several topic areas, including introductory community development, complex organization, the nonprofit sector, asset-based organizing, and teaching in urban communities.
All of Dacia’s work emphasizes strengthening neighborhoods, engaging individuals, and connecting associations and institutions and other organizations through the design and implementation of asset-based community driven strategies.
An animal advocate in her spare time, Dacia lives in Allapattah with her two rescued dogs, Romeo and Sammi, and a stray kitty now named Voodoo, who adopted them all.