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Ashoka Honors North America's Top Social Entrepreneurs with Lifetime Election to Global Fellowship

Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Categories: Events

Posted: Feb 19, 2008 – 02:33 PM EST

 

ARLINGTON, VA - February 19, 2008 - Twenty-one leading social entrepreneurs from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America have been elected Ashoka Fellows, and will be inducted on February 25 in a ceremony at the new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Ashoka: Innovators for the Public recognizes these Fellows for their system-changing solutions for the world's most urgent social problems. They join the ranks of some 2,000 Fellows in over 60 countries around the world who are working for social change to improve society. More than 250 Fellows are from North America.

The Seventh Annual North American Fellowship Induction ceremony will be hosted by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in the Knight Concert Hall. The keynote speaker will be Michael Barone, senior writer for U.S. News and World Report and principal coauthor of The Almanac of American Politics. Featured speakers will include: Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Bill Drayton, Founder and CEO of Ashoka; James J. Jensen, Executive Director of The Jenesis Group; and Diana Wells, President of Ashoka.

"These new Fellows join with Ashoka and their peers to elevate and strengthen the 'citizen sector' here and around the world," said Ashoka founder Bill Drayton in announcing this year's Fellows. "Ashoka Fellows are innovators, creating pattern-changing solutions for the most pressing social problems of our day. We like to say that our Fellows don't teach a man to fish, they reinvent the fishing industry. They bring to light the very best new ideas, then multiply their successes by replicating their ideas across their country and the world. As important, to succeed they encourage local people everywhere to stand up and become changemakers - introducing the Fellows' ideas and their own."

Ashoka Senior Fellow and award-winning educator Don Shalvey, founder of the Aspire Public School network in California, will present the 21 Fellows who are being inducted from Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the United States:

  • Amy Bank Puntos de Encuentro - Using mass media to help women and youth discuss and defend human rights (Managua, Nicaragua and San Francisco, California)
  • Bruce Cahan Urban Logic, Inc. - Adding social values to lending and spending (Palo Alto, California)
  • Oona Chatterjee Make the Road New York - Uniting poor communities to create the change they seek (Brooklyn, New York)
  • Gerald Chertavian Year Up - Placing young urban adults and corporate America on a shared path to success (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Eric Dawson Peace Games - Bringing children and their schools a shared purpose: leading the way to peace (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Alisa del Tufo Threshold Collaborative - Enabling communities to help troubled families heal (North Bennington, Vermont)
  • Jonah Edelman Stand for Children – Raising voices and casting ballots for those too young to vote (Portland, Oregon)
  • William F. Foote (Global Fellow) Root Capital - Opening global markets to small producers by redefining their investment value (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • Rosanne Haggerty (Senior Fellow) Common Ground - Restoring buildings and rebuilding lives to end homelessness (New York, New York)
  • Kathryn Hall-Trujillo Birthing Project USA - Bringing women of color together to nurture young moms and their babies (Taos, New Mexico, and Sacramento, California)
  • Farhana Huq C.E.O. Women (Creating Economic Opportunities for Women) - Propelling immigrant women into leading roles in business and life (Oakland, California)
  • Esther Lardent (Senior Fellow) The Pro Bono Institute - Integrating civic engagement into the practice of law (Washington, DC)


  • Peter Nares (Senior Fellow) Social and Enterprise Development Innovations - Opening the way to replace poverty with economic independence worldwide (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
  • Abelardo Palma Formación y Capacitación, A.C. - Preserving the culture and identity of indigenous children through bilingual education (San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México)
  • Billy Parish Energy Action Coalition/The Dream Reborn - Employing youth and the underserved in greening our planet (Flagstaff, Arizona)
  • Sidney Ribaux Équiterre - Creating environmentally and socially sustainable communities (Montréal, Quebéc, Canada)
  • Daniel Ross Nuestras Raíces – Transplanting knowledge and culture to create jobs, guide youth, and renew urban America (Holyoke, Massachusetts)
  • Omar Rodríguez Solano Edumar - Protecting Costa Rica's ocean environment through education and community involvement (Puntarenas, Costa Rica)
  • Jayne Stoyles Canadian Centre for International Justice - Guaranteeing that human rights abusers are brought to justice anywhere in the world (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
  • Atsumasa Tochisako (Global Fellow) Microfinance International Corporation - Putting global banking to work for immigrants and their homelands (Washington, DC)
  • Michel Venne Institut du Nouveau Monde - Reinventing the public forum as a platform for citizen action (Montréal, Quebéc, Canada)
  • These leading social entrepreneurs will become lifetime members of Ashoka's global fellowship, an international association of their peers. Fellows receive initial support that enables them to focus full-time on their work and access to professional and strategic services to help them achieve pattern-changing impact in their fields. Each Fellow is also eligible to apply for supplemental funding for collaborative projects, and to receive training and technical assistance through Ashoka and its partners.

    In addition to these 21, Ashoka is naming Kwame Scruggs of Alchemy, Inc. (Detroit, Michigan) and Lucy Chagon of Commodus (Quebec, Canada) as Affiliates. Alchemy gives purpose to inner city children through mythological stories, drumming and other arts. Commodus is an online open market for services provided by citizen sector organizations focused on life-work balance.

    Ashoka Fellows work in six broad fields: learning/youth development, the environment, health, human rights, economic development and civic engagement. Selection criteria include the newness and potential social impact of the idea, as well as the candidate’s entrepreneurial qualities.

    About Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

    Ashoka: Innovators for the Public is a global community of social entrepreneurs who deliver innovative solutions to social problems. To build this citizen sector community, Ashoka identifies and supports leading social entrepreneurs, creates opportunities for collaboration, and builds systems and institutions that facilitate high impact social solutions. Over the past 26 years since Bill Drayton founded Ashoka, the organization has invested in over 2,000 Ashoka Fellows in more than 60 countries. In 2008 Ashoka will launch programs in Israel and Russia. Ashoka’s global fellowship is privately financed by individuals, venture networks, foundations, and leading business entrepreneurs.

    www.ashoka.org
    www.changemakers.net

    For more information, please contact:

    Katherine Hutt Nautilus Communications
    Phone: 703-938-4540

    For more from this organization:

    Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

     

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