MILLEN forward

Box 1Meet MILLEN forward

June 9, 2015 | View on Facebook

Birmingham’s newest nonprofit is encouraging millennials to step up and help move our city forward. We’re chatting with James Sullivan, the founder of MILLEN forward, about his mission for the Magic City.

“The idea for MILLEN forward started when I made the decision to be more involved in the local community,” says Sullivan, who founded his nonprofit in February 2015. “I want MILLEN forward be a pathway to innovation and to making our community better.”

Sullivan explains that as a young professional getting involved in local volunteering experiences, he found a community of fellow millennials with the ideas and desire to make a difference; however, they often faced problems in figuring out how to best impact our city.

“A core value of mine is ‘There is no such thing as an issue or a problem, there are only opportunities’,” says Sullivan. That’s when he seized the opportunity to transform Birmingham millennials into “socialpreneurs” for the city.

The MILLEN forward team (L to R): Leah Bigbee, James Sullivan,  Jacqueline S. Sullivan

The MILLEN forward team (L to R):
Leah Bigbee, James Sullivan,
Jacqueline S. Sullivan

“A socialpreneur is a creative philanthropist,” he explains. “Though we believe in the traditional ways of giving, socialpreneurs also think outside of the box and are motivated by innovative, tangible ideas that give back to the community.”

MILLEN forward is in the early stages of developing new opportunities for socialpreneurs ready to make their mark on Birmingham. Sullivan and his team encourage all interested in getting involved to visit their website at

“It’s simple—if you want change, be the one to change it,” says Sullivan. “But, most importantly, when you work together and are enthusiastic about it, you will inspire others who have the same passion as you to move forward with you.”

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Sign 2What Does Birmingham Need Most?

June 16, 2015 | View on Facebook

Last week we introduced you to MILLENforward, a local nonprofit that is transforming Birmingham’s millennials into our city’s leaders. For founder James Sullivan, MILLEN forward is all about giving these millennials a platform to step up and make a difference in the Magic City.

“I truly believe in the concept of strength in numbers,” explains Sullivan. “The more people that are enthusiastic and active in providing honest feedback of how the city can be improved, the more leverage we have.”

In the photos below, you’ll see local millennials who are voicing what they’d like to see for Birmingham. What do you think Birmingham needs most? Let your voice be heard by letting us know in the comment section below this post.

So, why is it important for our city’s young professionals to get involved? Sullivan shares with us his Top 3 reasons:

1) It prepares you for leadership
Says Sullivan, “Great leaders possess confidence, which originates from being actively involved and knowing a subject matter.”

2) It gives you pride for our city
“When you work towards accomplishing a goal, you take more pride and ownership in the outcome,” Sullivan says.

3) It is our time to shine
“I believe the previous generation is ready to pass the torch to us,” explains Sullivan. “But, they don’t want to just give advice; you have to take initiative to show you are serious about personal and professional development.”

Interested in getting involved in the grassroots efforts of MILLEN forward? Learn how you can make a change for Birmingham at

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Auburn Engineering Students and JamesThe Future of MILLEN forward

June 23, 2015 | View on Facebook

Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared the grassroots efforts of local nonprofit MILLENforward, which works to engage millennials in the growth of our city. Today, we’re sitting down with founder James Sullivan about the future of MILLEN forward, and where he envisions this new nonprofit heading.

“Starting out, we’re focusing our volunteer initiatives on better understanding the needs of the city,” says Sullivan. “I think the opportunities are endless—we just have to be willing to commit and gain support.”

In the future, Sullivan wants to work on making Birmingham a friendlier city for cyclists, connecting youth with empowering mentors, and eventually improving Birmingham’s transit system. He shares another vision for his “Buy a Building” concept that could really give back to the city.

“My years, experience, and passion is in real estate investing,” he explains. “Listening to the people of downtown Birmingham, I’ve learned we need more places to buy groceries, more retail stores, and more restaurants.”

“I say why wait or keep asking for it?” he continues. “Let’s create our own businesses, whatever those may be; my concept is to buy a building and provide incentives for entrepreneurs who have a business plan to come in and open up shop.”

Sullivan also sees these businesses giving a portion of their proceeds towards a cause or towards helping start up another business, thus generating a cycle of growth for our city.

For Sullivan, MILLEN forward is all about the people of Birmingham: what they want for the city and how they can make it happen.

“We need dedication from our grassroots supporters, whether it is financial, volunteering, or sharing ideas,” he says of moving the nonprofit towards its potential. Great progress starts from the ground up, and it takes passionate people to move it forward.

Says Sullivan, “We are the future, we are the voices, and we are the change we want to see.”

A grand future is envisioned for MILLEN forward, but it takes the involvement of local millennials to achieve it. Learn more about the community-driven nonprofit and how you can get connected at

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millenialYou’re Invited: The First MILLENixer

July 13, 2015 | View on Facebook

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to MILLENforward, Birmingham’s newest nonprofit geared towards millennials who want to make their mark on the Magic City. Now, we’re excited to share that the organizations’ first idea-sharing mixer is scheduled for later this month.

Join founder James Sullivan and like-minded social leaders on July 28th at Carrigan’s Public House for the inaugural MILLENixer, where you’ll hear about how to get involved with MILLEN forward and brainstorm projects to help move the city forward.

“Sometimes you can get overwhelmed trying to initiate change,” says Sullivan. “But when you talk to people like yourself, you realize you are not in it alone.”

Sullivan explains that MILLEN forward was founded on five core values, and he’s sharing those with us today—see if these values fit your own ideals:

1) Volunteerism
Says Sullivan, “To give your time to help someone in need is fulfilling in and of itself.”

2) Creativity
MILLENforward encourages diversity and people who think outside of the box.

3) Entrepreneurship
“We take calculated risks,” says Sullivan. “And we know the more people we solve problems for, the more successful we are.”

4) Philanthropic Mentality
Sullivan states it simply: “Giving back is why we exist.”

5) Integrity
For the MILLEN forward team, honesty and accountability have no substitutions.

Do these core values describe the way you take on life? If so, Sullivan welcomes you to attend the inaugural MILLENixer later this month. We also encourage you to submit an application online ( to help decide if MILLEN forward is the right organization for you.

Learn more about the local nonprofit at and check out the video below!

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