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Know Your Rights
Source: Ashoka
Subject: Profiles of MRNY
Type: Media Coverage

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

VA – 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

"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

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

  • Amy Bank, Puntos de Encuentro – Using mass media to help women and youth
    discuss and defend human rights (Managua, Nicaragua and San Francisco,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • 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,
  • Peter Nares (Senior Fellow), Social and Enterprise Development Innovations –
    Opening the way to replace poverty with economic independence worldwide (Toronto, Ontario,
  • 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,
  • Sidney Ribaux, Équiterre – Creating environmentally and socially sustainable
    communities (Montréal, Quebéc,
  • 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,
  • 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,

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.