Non-profit

Center for Transformative Action (CTA)

Website:

www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/

Location:

Ithaca, NY

Tax ID:

16-0990318

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $2,558,572
Expenses: $2,441,213
Assets: $2,223,495

Executive Director:

Anke Wessels

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Center for Transformative Action (CTA) is a left-of-center activist, grantmaking, and education organization affiliated with Cornell University. 1 Since its founding as the “Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy” in 1971, the group has expanded its activities throughout the state of New York. 2

CTA is associated with left-of-center organizations, including the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, a left-leaning LGBT immigration legal activist group, and the Unbroken Promise Initiative, a left-leaning racial and social policy nonprofit. 3 4 The center also received grants from the Ford Foundation, a grantmaking institution with a history of contributing to left-of-center causes. 5

The center is staffed by individuals who have worked for and donated to left-leaning causes, including It Starts Today, a Democratic political action committee (PAC); the Democratic Socialists of America, a left-wing political faction that supports socialist and other left-leaning candidates for office; and the presidential campaigns of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). 6 7 8

Activities

The Center for Transformative Action is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization affiliated with Cornell University. 9 Founded as the “Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy” in 1971, the organization was a center for left-leaning social policy efforts of Cornell students, faculty, and alumni. 10

In 2006, the group changed its name to the Center for Transformative Action to emphasize its role as a hub for policy activism. 11 CTA expanded its operations in 2011 to become a grantmaking organization for policy activism nonprofits across the state of New York. 12 The group supports local business cooperatives as “alternative economic strategies to promote economic stability and independence in the face of White supremacist oppression and violence.” 13  The organization promotes left-of-center climate policies, including the reduction of carbon emissions to benefit communities of color and the elimination of industrial agriculture. 14 15

The center offers courses and opportunities for students to learn about and engage in left-of-center social policies through Ashoka U, an activism network founded as a partner organization of the center that has held programs at 600 universities and trained more than 4,000 college educators and administrators. 16 17

CTA asserts the importance of education on “racial justice, racial violence, and white privilege.” 18 The center seeks to “dismantle systems, structures, and relationships of power that perpetuate racism, oppression, and exploitation” and to “dismantle the structures, power relationships, and habits of the mind that perpetuate inequitable outcomes.” 19

CTA partners with the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, a left-leaning LGBT immigration activism group. 20

Funding

The Center for Transformative Action received $11.96 million in grants from 2017 to 2021. 21 Two grants totaling $358,000 came from the Ford Foundation, a grantmaking institution with a history of contributing to left-of-center causes, from 2016 to 2017. 22 The grants were given for the purpose of promoting Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies to shareholders of corporations. 23

In 2021, the organization donated to the Unbroken Promise Initiative, a left-leaning racial and social policy nonprofit, to legal support for LGBT immigrants in detention, and to LGBT immigrants affected by COVID to help with living expenses. 24

People

Anke Wessels is the executive director of the Center for Transformative Action. 25 Wessels donated to It Starts Today, a Democratic political action committee (PAC), in 2018 and to the 2000 presidential campaign of left-wing activist Ralph Nader. 26

Dominick Recckio is the president of the center. 27 In 2022, he retweeted a post that asserted that “white supremacy directly increases COVID harms.” 28 He also donated to the 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and the 2020 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). 29

Cathy Enz is the vice president of the center. 30 Enz donated to the 2018 Senate campaign of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. 31

Martha Williams is a board director for the center. 32 She was chair of the Nassau County, New York chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. 33

Denise Ramzy is a board director for the center. 34 She worked as a consultant for the U.S. Green Building Council.35

References

  1. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  2. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  3. “Center for Transformative Action.” CTA Projects. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/projects.
  4. “IRS Form.” Center for Transformative Action. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/160990318/202300459349301310/full
  5. “Grants Database.” Ford Foundation. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/awarded-grants/grants-database/?q=%22Center+for+Transformative+Action%22&p=1.
  6. Wessels, Anke. “Anke Wessels – Executive Director – Center for … – Linkedin.” LinkedIn. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anke-wessels-7930886.
  7. “Browse Individual Contributions.” FEC.gov. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Dominick%2BRecckio.
  8. Williams, Martha D. “Resume.” Martha D. Williams. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.marthadwilliams.com/resume.
  9. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  10. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  11. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  12. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  13. “Center for Transformative Action.” CTA – What We Do. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/what-we-do.
  14. “Center for Transformative Action.” CTA – What We Do. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/what-we-do.
  15. “Center for Transformative Action.” CTA Projects. Accessed July 24, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/projects.
  16. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  17. “About Us.” Ashoka U. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://ashokau.org/about-us.
  18. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  19. “Center for Transformative Action.” About CTA. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/about-us.
  20. “Center for Transformative Action.” CTA Projects. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.centerfortransformativeaction.org/projects.
  21. “IRS Form.” Center for Transformative Action. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/160990318/202300459349301310/full
  22. [1] “Grants Database.” Ford Foundation. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/awarded-grants/grants-database/?q=%22Center+for+Transformative+Action%22&p=1.
  23. “Grants Database.” Ford Foundation. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/awarded-grants/grants-database/?q=%22Center+for+Transformative+Action%22&p=1.
  24. “IRS Form.” Center for Transformative Action. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/160990318/202300459349301310/full
  25. Wessels, Anke. “Anke Wessels – Executive Director – Center for … – Linkedin.” LinkedIn. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/anke-wessels-7930886.
  26. “Browse Individual Contributions.” FEC.gov. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Cathy%2Benz.
  27. Recckio, Dominick. “Dominick Recckio – Communications Director – Tompkins County – Linkedin.” LinkedIn. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/domrecckio.
  28. Davis, Hannah. “New Study Shows White Americans Who Learn about Covid’s Racial Disparities Have: 1) Reduced Fear about Covid2) Reduced Empathy for Those Vulnerable to Covid3) Reduced Support for Covid Protections White Supremacy Directly Increases Covid’s Harms.” Twitter, March 30, 2022. https://twitter.com/ahandvanish/status/1509292505485000715?s=46.
  29. “Browse Individual Contributions.” FEC.gov. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Dominick%2BRecckio
  30. Enz, Cathy. “Cathy Enz – Founder & CEO Enz & Associates – Enz & Associates | LinkedIn.” LinkedIn. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathy-enz-61732610.
  31. “Browse Individual Contributions.” FEC.gov. Accessed July 1, 2023. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?contributor_name=Cathy%2Benz.
  32. Williams, Martha D. “Resume.” Martha D. Williams. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.marthadwilliams.com/resume.
  33. Williams, Martha D. “Resume.” Martha D. Williams. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.marthadwilliams.com/resume.
  34. Ramzy, Denise. “Denise Ramzy – Senior Lecturer – Cornell University | Linkedin.” LinkedIn. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dramzy.
  35. Ramzy, Denise. “Denise Ramzy – Senior Lecturer – Cornell University | Linkedin.” LinkedIn. Accessed July 2, 2023. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dramzy.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: January 1, 1972

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Jun Form 990 $2,558,572 $2,441,213 $2,223,495 $455,702 N $2,227,365 $297,594 $19,449 $113,253 PDF
    2019 Jun Form 990 $2,024,881 $2,158,632 $1,904,149 $223,712 Y $1,632,841 $332,825 $26,779 $98,664 PDF
    2018 Jun Form 990 $2,815,291 $2,132,340 $2,016,318 $202,130 N $2,549,547 $229,520 $11,806 $64,506 PDF
    2017 Jun Form 990 $1,826,509 $1,615,060 $1,266,720 $136,233 N $1,590,798 $222,427 $4,045 $117,341 PDF
    2016 Jun Form 990 $1,399,302 $1,360,241 $977,633 $329,781 N $1,181,657 $193,733 $2,398 $141,520 PDF
    2015 Jun Form 990 $1,434,444 $1,282,308 $874,070 $265,279 N $1,188,086 $144,351 $1,744 $107,464 PDF
    2014 Jun Form 990 $1,280,552 $1,226,877 $771,812 $315,157 N $1,103,017 $125,286 $839 $127,276 PDF
    2013 Jun Form 990 $1,188,767 $1,144,705 $560,486 $157,506 N $1,025,440 $128,760 $614 $121,835 PDF
    2012 Jun Form 990 $885,081 $982,224 $500,134 $141,216 N $717,034 $138,416 $1,025 $89,565 PDF
    2011 Jun Form 990 $1,079,726 $1,010,882 $596,032 $99,660 N $869,104 $125,894 $2,899 $87,602 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Center for Transformative Action (CTA)

    119 ANABEL TAYLOR HALL
    Ithaca, NY 14853-1001