How can we expand community wealth and Black ownership in the Mississippi Delta? What role can people in debt play in addressing exploitative lending practices? Can Indigenous chefs and culinary traditions help us reckon with history and reconnect us with the places that sustain us? How can local and state governments better translate protective laws into practice for all communities?

Social entrepreneurs have many of the answers we need right now – to these and other urgent questions. Join us in welcoming four new members – Tim Lampkin in Clarksdale, MS; Astra Taylor in Asheville, NC; Jill Habig in Oakland, CA; and Sean Sherman in Minneapolis, MN. They join a community of almost 4,000 Ashoka Fellows across 90 countries (and 300 here in the U.S.) and combined networks of millions of changemakers spanning the globe.

Tim Lampkin | Higher Purpose Co.

Tim is the Founder and CEO of Higher Purpose Co, a 501c3 economic justice nonprofit building community wealth with Black residents across the Mississippi Delta by supporting the ownership of financial, cultural, and political power. Using an integrated model of business ownership, narrative change, and advocacy, Tim is unapologetically tackling generational poverty, structured inequality, and institutionalized racism in the state of Mississippi. 

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Astra Taylor | The Debt Collective

Astra is the Co-Founder of The Debt Collective, a membership organization that empowers debtors to renegotiate, resist, and refuse unfair debts through the use of technology and advocacy. Operating at regional and national levels, The Debt Collective is helping everyday Americans advocate against exploitative debt practices, reframing debt from something personal and shameful to systemic and to be scrutinized.   

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook 

Jill Habig | Public Rights Project

Jill Habig is the Founder of the Public Rights Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the gap between the values expressed in our laws and the lived reality of our most vulnerable communities. Through PRP, Jill empowers state and local prosecutors to protect the core rights and freedoms that define us as Americans by providing them with the talent and resources to enforce their residents’ legal rights more proactively.   

Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook 

Sean Sherman | Indigenous Food Lab

Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota) was born in Pine Ridge, SD and currently lives in Minneapolis, MN where his non-profit NATIFS hosts the Indigenous Food Lab and works globally to popularize and support indigenous culinary traditions. He himself has been cooking across the U.S. and world for the last 30 years. Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.   

Website | Twitter | LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook 

Join us in welcoming Tim, Astra, Jill, and Sean in the next weeks on Twitter @AshokaUS; Instagram @ashoka_usa; LinkedIn @Ashoka – and follow along via our popular (and short!) email brief with insights and opportunities sourced from the network, straight to your inbox every Friday.

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