Curious about becoming an Ashoka Fellow?
$25,000,000 raised and invested by Ashoka in U.S. social entrepreneurs since 2001
40,000 people reached directly per Fellow (600,000 reached indirectly)
80% of Fellows have influenced national policy and/or had their idea replicated by independent groups
74% of Fellows in the U.S. say that Ashoka has significantly increased their impact
Ashoka celebrates the dynamism and diversity of ideas and social entrepreneurs in the United States. Explore the full group below or search by area of interest.
Albert Cahn is the Founder of Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, or S.T.OP., a community-led response to the new wave of tech-enabled surveillance that is being deployed against marginalized communities in New York and beyond. S.T.O.P is building better oversight of rights-infringing technologies via litigation, legislation, and community education and mobilization.
Amy Lemley is addressing the growing problem of homelessness among teenagers who are too old for foster care but have neither a place to live nor the means to support themselves. Her work is helping former foster youth secure affordable apartments by providing them with microloans for housing start-up costs to get their "first place."
Through Arms with Ethics, Casey Woods is leveraging law enforcement’s unique ability to speak to all sides on the gun issue by developing police-led proactive strategies that help build a national network of common-sense, consensus-building community safety partners that includes gun owners and gun sellers.
Freedom for Immigrants is the only detention visitation network in the country monitoring the human rights abuses faced by thousands of immigrants held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Freedom for Immigrants has created a community-based alternative to detention that welcomes immigrants into the social fabric of the United States, instead of incarcerating individuals in the nation’s prison system.
Daniel Kish is transforming the blindness profession and the lives of people around the world through a model of perceptual navigation that is more respectful of blind dignity and purpose, easier to teach, learn, and use, and is more diversely applicable to all ages, cultures, backgrounds, and ability profiles.
Through a new citywide model for developing and retaining talent, Fagan Harris is activating networks to position talent as a city’s main “architecture” in which to invest, and in so doing upgrading the social impact sector’s capabilities, consciousness and collaborative capacity, thus empowering cities to solve their most pressing challenges.
Understanding that laws, policies and infrastructure have historically been designed to keep the low-income community from attaining a better quality of life, Imran Khan has identified how to increase the intrinsic motivation and skills of inner-city youth to counter these structures. By facilitating sustained interaction between the youth, the city and its citizens, Imran proves that experiential development has as crucial a role to play as cognitive development in the educational setting.
Creating incentives and new practices so that the built environment improves health and well-being while increasing our access to a diverse and productive natural world
Through Partners in Food Solutions, Jeff Dykstra is forging unlikely alliances between the world’s largest and smallest food companies, freeing up latent human potential to build a more robust, secure global food system.
Jennifer Bailey is building more united, morally-rooted social movement infrastructure in the American South, and clear pathways for leadership and self-care for its most marginalized leaders. By combining the existing moral authority of religious institutions with a new wave of “moral imagination” from young, marginalized, faith-rooted leaders, Jennifer is re-building the bridge between social justice movements and the religious institutions that have historically fueled them.
Starting with the education system, Kevin Long is utilizing resources from developed nations to support, mentor, and train teachers in developing countries with teaching methodologies targeted specifically at deaf students. Through the work of his organization, Global Deaf Connection (GDC), these students are encouraged to gain higher education and become trained professionals.
Dr. Laura Emiko Soltis leads a modern-day freedom school for undocumented youth where students receive free college-level classes, college application assistance, and the social movement leadership training they need to determine the course of their own freedom struggle. Against a backdrop of Southern states that deny undocumented students equal access to public higher education, Freedom U is creating liberatory spaces for learning and advancing undocumented students’ human right to education.
Lennon Flowers is upsetting the current clinical approach that pathologizes grief with a universal, humanizing model that empowers deeper community and personal growth. Through The Dinner Party, people who’ve lost a loved one are transforming life after loss from a deeply isolating experience and culturally taboo topic to an extraordinary tool for connection and community-building.
The high rate of unplanned pregnancy presents enormous challenges for women, families and society. Through Upstream USA, Mark and his colleagues are changing the culture of reproductive healthcare in the U.S. and pioneering a new model for ensuring all women receive same-day access to the full range of modern contraceptive methods.
Megan Marcus believes that any educator in the U.S. can and must become a consistent, caring and responsive “secure attachment figure.” Through FuelEd, Megan is showing how educators, school leaders, teacher training colleges, and counselors can transform educator preparation, performance and retention as well as student achievement and development both cost-effectively and at scale through the power of relationships.
Noran believes that the major failing of our juvenile justice system is its inability to provide young people real opportunities to practice being different in their communities. Through GrowingChange and its “Flip the Prison” initiative, he is setting the standards for re-using shuttered state-owned prisons and giving local leaders, educators, legislators, law enforcement agencies, and young people themselves the opportunity and the tools to change their communities’ power structures and their lives.
Paula Segal is reframing abandoned, neglected and un-programmed public land in cities as opportunity for multi-stakeholder community organizing. Her approach challenges residents to not accept ugly holes in their neighborhoods and empowers community groups with the tools, tactics, and experience to shape their cities. As her work spreads around the U.S. and the world, she is recognized as the pioneering advocate of the field of “community land access.”
Sean Sherman helps Indigenous chefs, farmers, and environmentalists revive and popularize “pre-contact” cuisine as a way to tell a different, more accurate story about the Indigenous people of North America. He then harnesses all the interest and opportunities created to systematically improve food systems in tribal communities and beyond.
Tiffiniy Cheng is expanding the internet's transformative potential for good by keeping this vital technology open and accessible. By activating millions of people across the globe and creating a cadre of internet defenders, she is ensuring that bottom-up civic engagement remains relevant in an increasingly online world.
Trabian founded BMe to update the narrative about black men in the United States, and to reveal them as catalysts for community building and national social change. BMe connects authentic black male leaders with key influencers across industries and sectors who share their belief in valuing all members of the human family.