Have you ever been so inspired that you jumped up off your couch and joined a social movement? Millions of Americans have cared enough to take a chance at changing the world. Ambassador Swanee Hunt and Hunt Alternatives created the Prime Movers fellowship program in 2005 to support leaders of such social movements in the United States. Today we announce the seven women and men chosen as our 2014 Prime Movers fellows who will inspire you next or may have already done so.
We believe people propel national movements forward in order to resolve pressing national concerns, such as poverty, voting rights, food justice, racial justice, and immigration reform. These movements often elevate leaders who can envision a different future and motivate millions to get involved. These leaders are Prime Movers.
Fellows receive $60,000 over two years to hone their skills for engaging people to collectively create significant shifts in politics, policies, and culture. (PDF: What Does It Take to be a Prime Mover Fellow?)
The seven new fellows join 57 existing Prime Movers in a powerful learning community to share and build effective practices for 21st century social movement leadership.
Meet the new 2014 Prime Movers fellows -- men and women who will inspire you to act:
Annie Leonard considers trash more than just debris; it's also wasted time, energy, and materials. As Founder and President of The Story of Stuff Project, she compels millions to challenge consumerism and the associated environmental and social costs, economic corruption, and use of toxic chemicals in everyday products. In August, Annie will take this passion to her new role as the new Executive Director of Greenpeace USA.
Emily May envisions a world free from street harassment, where everyone, particularly women and LGBTQ individuals, enjoys equal access to public space. Too often victims of street harassment conceptualize their experience as isolated. Through her organization HollaBack!, Emily is changing the perception of this discrimination by identifying street harassment as a social epidemic and leading a movement to end it.
Cristina Jimenez Moreta has firsthand experience of the challenges faced by undocumented immigrants in the U.S. To combat the injustice, she mobilizes her peers in the millennial generation for immigrant rights. A Dreamer herself, she is Co-founder and Managing Director of the United We Dream Network, the nation's first and largest immigrant youth led organization building a movement to advance the rights and dignity of immigrant communities in the US.
Zachary Norris believes the U.S. incarceration system carries huge costs for our nation, communities, and families--especially people of color. As Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center, he leads the justice reinvestment movement to reallocate resources from prisons toward opportunities for communities of color disproportionately marginalized and impoverished by mass incarceration.
After spending her first career reporting on social change, Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Goodman is determined to change our nation's culture around end of life care. After her mother's death, she realized there is a fundamental issue people don't discuss; many are dying in a way they wouldn't choose and their loved ones are left feeling bereaved, guilty, and uncertain. Ellen co-founded The Conversation Project to ensure everyone's wishes for end of life care are both expressed and respected.
Shawn Dove defines the movement for black male achievement as America's unfinished business, recalling a long history of discrimination faced by black men and boys. As Manager of Open Society Foundation's Campaign for Black Male Achievement, he addresses the exclusion of black men and boys from economic, social, educational, and political life in the United States, elevating and connecting catalytic leaders and organizations to champion black men and boys as assets in our nation and communities.
Marielena Hincapie grew up interpreting for her immigrant parents, family, and friends in unemployment offices, food stamp lines, and hospitals. As Executive Director of National Immigration Law Center, she leads a premier immigrant rights organization dedicated to advancing the rights and opportunities for low-income immigrants through a strategic combination of litigation, policy, communications, and alliance-building to effect social change.
These new fellows join a powerful community, including Jim Wallis, Judith Browne-Dianis, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Paul Rieckhoff, Rachel Lloyd, Rea Carey, Rinku Sen, Saru Jayaraman, and Van Jones. Prime Mover Ai-Jen Poo commented about her experience as a Prime Mover fellow, "Strategic support of leaders can be game-changing in the development of a movement, as they are a critical part of a movement's architecture. Creating a web of support and resources for leaders is an invaluable investment in movement-building."