The freshest ideas come from where problems are acutely felt
Starting in 2015, we doubled down on a commitment to find and support the full diversity of social innovators across the U.S., the full spectrum of ideas — beyond those that might be easiest to spot in San Francisco or New York City. Early on, were talking and writing about All America as an opportunity to “redraw the map” of social entrepreneurship.
In the years since, the effort has created a far stronger Ashoka community in the U.S., with social entrepreneurs who can speak to many life experiences from many kinds of communities across the country. The reality is that change is happening everywhere, good ideas are emerging everywhere, communities are stepping up everywhere – this notion is at the root of All America.
Progress since 2016
Here are some of the significant changes we’ve seen since in the make-up of our Fellow selection since we committed to All America as a core strategy:
MEET SOME OF OUR ASHOKA FELLOWS
Little Rock, Arkansas
Lorenzo Lewis is turning barber shops into mental health access points for the Black community.
Katie is bringing fresh food to communities that lack them, catalyzing community engagement and local entrepreneurship along the way.
Bree Jones is addressing gentrification and housing affordability via “development without displacement” that leans on social capital.
Sean Sherman is reviving “pre-contact” cuisine to tell a different, more accurate story about the Indigenous people of North America.
Huntington, West Virginia
Brandon is dramatically transforming the workforce development sector in Appalachia and beyond, with a model that creates new and viable economic markets, while simultaneously creating direct employment and personal development opportunities.
Tim unlocks opportunities for wealth creation for Black, rural entrepreneurs by shifting our current economic development approach away from an overemphasis on collateral and prior wealth, and towards an appreciation of peer support and community prosperity.
GOING FORWARD WE WILL
Find the next 100 social innovators from across the country drawing on their lived experiences to reimagine and redesign better, more equitable systems that work for the good of all.
Accelerate the work of Ashoka Fellows by doubling our investment in the fellowship.
Amplify their solutions and lift up stories of collective changemaking that builds resilience and prosperity.
Secure 10 new partnerships of $1M + over the next 5 years. Want to join us? Please reach out.