Each of the thirty-five nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurs working to address pressing issues such as systemic racism and climate change will be provided with up to $90,000 in seed funding over two years, as well as training, programmatic support, and access to a large network of investors, supporters, and thought leaders.
Selected from a pool of more than twenty-eight hundred applicants, the fellows include Kelsey Skaggs and Alice Cherry of the Climate Defense Project, which is working to reduce the legal risks of nonviolent civil disobedience protesting climate change; Laurin Hodge Leonard and her mother, Teresa Hodge, of Mission: Launch, which is working to improve the health of individuals with criminal records by producing an algorithm for a background screen that is fair, demonstrates the strengths and capacity of formerly incarcerated individuals, and improves their access to jobs, entrepreneurship opportunities, and financial products; and Miranda (Yu Wen) Wang and Jeanny (Jia Yun) Yao of BioCellection, which is working to reduce the amount of plastics that cities send to landfills by developing a new chemical recycling technology that treats contaminated and unrecyclable plastic waste.
The organization's 2018 fellowships are supported in part by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Citi Foundation, and the ZOOM Foundation. This year, the Citi Foundation also is partnering with the organization to launch the Inclusive Leadership Initiative, which will support members of the 2018 Echoing Green Fellow class representing communities of color in the United States, with an emphasis on helping them create pathways to employment and services for young men and women of color.
"When opportunity is equitably allocated, people with a deep understanding of the problem and a strong drive to take action can solve the most challenging issues of our day," said Echoing Green president Cheryl L. Dorsey. "We believe in supporting not just the big ideas for positive social change, but in investing in the bold and talented people behind them. That's why Echoing Green is creating an ecosystem to support our past, present, and future fellows with the tools they need to thrive. We are excited to welcome the 2018 class into a lifelong support network that can help make their ideas reality for years into the future."
(Photo credit: Climate Defense Project, Getty Images)