Ben Reuler is the Founder & CEO of In the Area Productions where he supports other white people, especially white men, in progressing on their antiracism journey. Ben is a former Licensed Social Worker and executive director, deeply committed to building workplace cultures where employees from all backgrounds feel supported, and where harmful default systems are dismantled.
During his 7+ years with Seattle Works, Ben and his team evolved the white-founded, white-led civic organization into one where power was shifted to a BIPOC-led staff and board, leadership was distributed, and all employees could bring their full, authentic selves to work. Prior to Seattle Works, Ben spent six years as the Executive Director of LIFT-Chicago, which aims to break the cycle of poverty by building families’ well-being, financial strength, and social connections.
Ben has delivered keynote remarks and spoken on panels throughout the country, including at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft World HQ, and the Global Engagement Summit. Ben also gave keynote remarks at a gala featuring Grammy Award winning musician Ben Harper. Ben has been recognized as a Young American Leader by Harvard Business School; received the Social Impact Award from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration Alumni Association; and is a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow. Ben has authored, and been interviewed for, dozens of media pieces about antiracism and leadership, and served three years on the international Affiliate Assembly for Points of Light, the world's leading organization dedicated to the power of volunteerism.
Ben himself is a lifelong volunteer, and was honored with the Akemi Tanemura Service Award for Exemplary Efforts in Community Outreach. Ben earned his MSW from the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration and Bachelors degree in Comparative Sociology from the University of Puget Sound. He lives with his family in beautiful Seattle, Washington.