Rick Phillips is the Executive Director and founder of Community Matters (CM), a California- based nonprofit organization whose mission is "to engage, equip, and empower young people to be contributors and peacemakers in their schools and communities." He has been interviewed on The Today Show as an expert on violence prevention and empowering youth. Rick is the lead author of Safe School Ambassadors: Harnessing Student Power to Stop Bullying and Violence, published by Jossey-Bass/Wiley (April, 2008).
Rick is the creator and co-developer of Safe School Ambassadors®, a youth-centered, violence- prevention program that has been implemented in more than 650 schools across the United States and Canada. A nationally-recognized educator, speaker, facilitator, and trainer who brings years of expertise and practical experience to schools and communities across the country, Rick has been a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at more than 300 national and state conferences, including those for the Search Institute, the National School Boards Association, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the National Middle School Association. Rick has spoken on topics including; "Strengthening Adult-Youth Partnerships for Improving School Climate," "Breaking the Code of Silence," and "Building Safer Schools from the 'Inside-Out.'" With Rick as lead presenter, CM provides training, facilitation, and consultation to organizations, schools and communities in the areas of:
- Bullying- and violence-prevention education;
- Youth development, with an emphasis on assets development;
- Involving all youth in service and leadership;
- Strengthening and sustaining school and community partnerships; and
- Increasing organizational and professional effectiveness and performance.
Rick earned his Master's of Science Degree in education from the University of Southern California where he was a recipient of a United States Office of Education Fellowship. His background includes serving as a principal and teacher at elementary, middle, and high schools, a school district and county office of education administrator, and a Regional Director at the Healthy Kids Center for the California Department of Education. Rick is a father, grandfather and champion of all children and youth.