Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell, IA

Grinnell College will host its first symposium dedicated to the Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize on October 25-27. The Symposium – co-sponsored by the college’s Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights – includes an awards ceremony and presentations by the 2011 prize winners: Boris Bulayev and Eric Glustrom (Educate!); James Kofi Annan (Challenging Heights); and Rabbi Melissa Weintraub (Encounter). Noted civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will present the keynote address, “With Justice for All,” on the final day.

The Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, established by Grinnell in 2010, recognizes 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. The 2011 winners, selected from more than 1,000 nominations from 66 countries, will receive $100,000 awards, half to the individuals and half to their respective organizations. On Tuesday evening, Oct. 25, President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., will honor the inaugural winners during an awards ceremony.

Over the next two days, winners will deliver public presentations on their work:

• Boris Bulayev, co-founder and executive director, and Eric Glustrom, co-founder and president, Educate! (shared award / presentation), on “Why I Quit the Basketball Team to Join Educate!- Jumping in the Deep-End”

• James Kofi Annan, president, Challenging Heights, on “Passion, Commitment, and Innovation: The Critical Success Factors in Community Project Sustainability”

• Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, founding executive director emeritus, Encounter, on “Authentic Peace-building: A Justice That's Not Just Us”

In addition to formal presentations, award winners will meet with students, faculty and staff in classrooms and informal settings to discuss their approach to social justice, sources of inspiration and success in overcoming obstacles.

“Social justice has been an integral part of the Grinnell mission since our founding in 1846. It contributes to our academic programs and culture on campus, and it inspires our alumni throughout their lives,” explained Kington. “The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize and Symposium program underscores our deep commitment to fostering positive social change.”

Public events during the three-day symposium on the Grinnell campus include:

• Oct. 25, 8 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Grinnell Prize awards ceremony.

• Oct. 26, 4:15 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Kofi Annan, Challenging Heights.

• Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Bulayev and Glustrom, Educate!

• Oct. 27, 11 a.m., Herrick Chapel: Convocation by Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center.

• Oct. 27, 4:15 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Weintraub, Encounter.

The Symposium coincides with the Call for Nominations for the 2012 Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, with entries accepted through November 14, 2011. Details of the program and the nomination process are available at

For additional information about symposium events, contact Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program,, 641-269-3091. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or