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Grinnell Prize

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Grinnell Prize Symposium, Nov. 6

 

2013 prizewinners honored in the third annual Grinnell Prize Symposium.

Today’s Public Events
Roundtable Luncheon with Winners: noon, Rosenfield Center Room 101
"People with Rights," Access Asylum Winners: 7:30 p.m. Rosenfield Center Room 101 (will be live streamed)
Pub Quiz: 9 p.m. Rosenfield Center Lyle’s Pub (in basement)

The 2013 Grinnell Prize recipientsElizabeth Scharpf and Julian Ingabire Kayibanda of Sustainable Health Enterprises and Emily Arnold-Fernández of Asylum Access, will be honored for their innovations in social justice during a week-long series of events at Grinnell College and in Des Moines.

The third annual Grinnell Prize symposium, to be held the week of November 3, will bring these young innovators to campus to talk about their work and meet with students in and out of class. 

The visit will feature a number of public events, including presentations by the prize recipients, and an awards ceremony with a keynote address by anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean.

About the Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize (also known as the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual (or individuals) and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice.

Grinnell Prize Symposium, Nov. 5

2013 prizewinners honored in the third annual Grinnell Prize Symposium.

Today’s Public Event

Award Ceremony and Keynote Presentation: 4:15 p.m. Herrick Chapel (will be live streamed)

The 2013 Grinnell Prize recipients, Elizabeth Scharpf and Julian Ingabire Kayibanda of Sustainable Health Enterprises and Emily Arnold-Fernández of Asylum Access, will be honored for their innovations in social justice during a week-long series of events at Grinnell College and in Des Moines.

Sister Helen Prejean, author of “Dead Man Walking: The Journey Continues,” will present the keynote address with a reception and book signing afterwards.

The third annual Grinnell Prize symposium, to be held the week of November 3, will bring these young innovators to campus to talk about their work and meet with students in and out of class.

The visit will feature a number of public events, including presentations by the prize recipients, and an awards ceremony with a keynote address by anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean.

About the Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize (also known as the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual (or individuals) and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice.

Grinnell Prize Symposium

2013 prizewinners honored in the third annual Grinnell Prize Symposium.

Today’s Public Events

  • Lunch with Prize Recipients: Noon, Marketplace Dining Pavilion
  • Celebration in Des Moines: 5:30–8 p.m. World Food Prize Headquarters, 100 Locust St.

The 2013 Grinnell Prize recipients, Elizabeth Scharpf and Julian Ingabire Kayibanda of Sustainable Health Enterprises and Emily Arnold-Fernández of Asylum Access, will be honored for their innovations in social justice during a week-long series of events at Grinnell College and in Des Moines.

The third annual Grinnell Prize symposium, to be held the week of November 3, will bring these young innovators to campus to talk about their work and meet with students in and out of class.  

The visit will feature a number of public events, including presentations by the prize recipients, and an awards ceremony with a keynote address by anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean.

About the Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize (also known as the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual (or individuals) and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice.

2013 Grinnell Prize Winners Announced

The 2013 Grinnell Prize—a $100,000 award presented to young innovators in social justice—will be presented to the founder of a group supporting refugee rights in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the leaders of an organization using an innovative business model to support women’s economic development in Africa.

Winners

Emily Arnold-Fernández is founder and executive director of Asylum Access, the only international organization solely dedicated to supporting refugee rights in countries of first refuge in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Instead of the traditional humanitarian aid approach, Asylum Access’ innovative model helps refugees rebuild their lives through access to safety, legal work opportunities, education and the ability to move freely and make empowered choices for themselves.

Elizabeth Scharpf is the founder and chief instigating officer of Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), and Julian Ingabire Kayibanda is the chief operating officer of SHE Rwanda. A social venture that invests in overlooked ideas that can have a significant positive impact, SHE is increasing women’s access to affordable menstrual products by manufacturing low-cost maxi pads using local agro-waste, primarily in Rwanda, but soon globally.

One of the largest prizes honoring social justice, the Grinnell Prize is presented annually to leaders under 40 who are making creative innovations in social justice.

See the winner’s page for more information about the winners and their organizations.

The 2013 Grinnell Prize recipients will spend the week of Nov. 3 in Grinnell meeting with students in classes, and the wider community in events that are open to everyone ranging from informal lunches, pub quiz night and bowling to an award ceremony, reception in Des Moines, and individual presentations about their work.

See the full symposium schedule for details.

Anti-Death Penalty Activist Sister Helen Prejean Will Deliver Keynote Address at Grinnell Prize Award Ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 5

Grinnell, Iowa – Sister Helen Prejean—the Roman Catholic nun whose efforts to abolish the death penalty inspired the Oscar-winning film Dead Man Walking—will present the keynote speech at the Grinnell Prize awards ceremony on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 4:15 p.m. in Herrick Chapel at Grinnell College.

The event will feature the presentation of Grinnell Prize medals to three young people who are innovators in social justice. This year’s Grinnell Prize recipients will be announced Monday, Oct. 28. For more information, go to www.grinnell.edu/grinnellprize.

The Nov. 5 awards ceremony—and a book signing at Macy House immediately following the ceremony—are open to the public at no charge. No tickets are required.

About Sister Helen Prejean

For three decades, Sister Helen Prejean has been a leading voice against the death penalty, shaping the conversation nationally, internationally and within the Catholic Church.

A member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, Prejean spent her first years with the Sisters teaching religion to junior high school students. Realizing that being on the side of poor people is an essential part of the Gospel, she moved into the St. Thomas Housing Project in New Orleans and worked at New Orleans’ Hope House from 1984 to 1986.

During that time, Prejean was asked to correspond with a death row inmate, Patrick Sonnier, at Angola, the state penitentiary of Louisiana. Prejean agreed and became Sonnier’s spiritual adviser. After witnessing his execution, she wrote Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States. A New York Times Best Seller for 31 weeks, the book inspired the 1996 movie of the same name, directed by Tim Robbins and starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. Dead Man Walking also was the basis for an opera and a play for high schools and colleges.

Since 1984, Prejean has divided her time between educating citizens about the death penalty and counseling individual death row prisoners. Prejean is also the author of The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions, and presently is at work on River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey.

About the Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize (also known as the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to each winning individual (or individuals) and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice. Nominations for the 2014 Grinnell Prize are being accepted through November 8. For more information, go to www.grinnell.edu/grinnellprize.

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at www.grinnell.edu.

 

Prize Week Events

Each year the Grinnell Prize recipients come to campus in the fall. They receive their prizes, meet with students and the wider community, and offer presentations about their work.

The following events are free and open to the public.

Grinnell Prize Nominations

Nominations for the 2014 Grinnell Prize are due by Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.

Grinnell College is seeking nominations for the 2014 Grinnell Prize. The award program — which annually presents winners with a prize of $100,000 — honors young innovators under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change.

Nominations for the 2014 Prize will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. Winners of the 2014 Prize will be announced in the fall of 2014.

“The Grinnell Prize reflects our College’s longstanding commitment to educating men and women who will make a difference in the world,” said President Raynard S. Kington. “We have been impressed by the high quality of nominations that we’ve received in the first years of the prize, and our students benefit greatly from interacting with Grinnell Prize recipients in the classroom and in informal settings on campus. The Grinnell Prize honors those who ‘practice what we teach,’ and we are pleased to have this forum to recognize young people who are raising visibility and creating innovative solutions for some of the world’s most pressing issues.”

About the Selection Process

This year’s selection committee will pick two winners to receive an award of $100,000, half awarded to the individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social change, for a total of $200,000 in prize monies. Past nominations have spanned a diverse array of social issues, including hunger relief, childhood education, environmental issues, literacy, youth arts, fair housing, violence prevention, immigration, GLBTQ, youth services, hospice care, children’s mental health and global peace, among many others.

Previous recipients of the Grinnell Prize are:

2011 – Eric W. Glustrom and Boris Bulayev, Educate!; James Kofi Annan, Challenging Heights; and Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, Encounter

2012 – Cristi Hegranes, Global Press Institute; Jacob Wood and William McNulty, Team Rubicon; and Jane Chen and Linus Liang, Embrace

The 2013 Grinnell Prize recipients will be announced on Monday, Oct. 28. The 2013 Grinnell Prize recipients will be on campus from Sunday, Nov. 3, through Saturday, Nov. 9, to meet with students and members of the broader community, talk about their work in courses and in public presentations, and receive their Grinnell Prize awards.

About the Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell Prize directly reflects Grinnell’s historic mission to educate men and women “who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.” Nominations are open to U.S. citizens as well as nationals of other countries. The program hopes to attract nominations across a wide range of fields, including science, medicine, the environment, humanities, business, economics, education, law, public policy, social services, religion and ethics, as well as projects that cross these boundaries. Grinnell especially hopes to receive nominations of those who work in areas that may not be traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business. No affiliation with Grinnell College is required.

Winners

2016 Grinnell Prize Winners

The power of words and language to effect positive change in individuals and societies is the focus of the 2016 Grinnell Prize, the largest monetary award presented by a U.S. college recognizing achievements in social justice.

Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize (the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual(s) and half to their organization.