An Evening of Elevating Impact in Local Communities

SIF Centers Eight Distinguished Nonprofits at the 2024 Social Innovator Showcase

On Thursday, May 16, 2024, the Social Innovation Forum hosted its annual Social Innovator Showcase at the Artist for Humanity Epicenter in Boston. The eight nonprofits that make up SIF’S 2024 Social Innovator cohort presented their unique missions, accomplishments, and plans for growth to a crowd of around 200 philanthropists, business leaders, and other potential supporters. Attendees enjoyed networking and refreshments before sitting down to hear the presentations.

The speaking program began with a warm welcome from SIF’s Board Chair, Julia Satti Cosentino, and Vice Chair, Delphene Mooney, who acknowledged that it has been an exciting year of transition for SIF, before handing the mic over to SIF’s new Executive Director, Wyona Lynch-McWhite. Wyona, now just over four months into her new role, shared her passion for the work of the Innovators in her opening remarks. 

“Their commitment to meet community needs with innovative solutions – in partnership with community members – aligns with a personal commitment I have that is borrowed from a tagline from the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville: ‘Be Great. Do Great Things,’” she said. 

Tanya Inwald, SIF’s Director of Programs, introduced the first set of Innovators, each of who made a five-minute “pitch” style presentation about their organization’s work. Orion Kriegman of Boston Food Forest Coalition kicked off the Innovator presentations. He was followed by Olu Ibrahim of Kids in Tech, Inc; Ian Davis of Just A Start Financial Empowerment Collaborative; and France Neff of Family Independence, Inc. 

After the first four Innovators presented, dancers from OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, a 2020 Social Innovator, took the stage for a vibrant and dynamic dance routine. 

After the break, SIF’s Senior Program Manager Sarah Dingee introduced the next set of Innovators: Camila Amanda Rojas Piñeiro Pagan of Beat the Odds; Kishana Smith of Massachusetts Women of Color Network (MAWOCN), Diego Leonardo of Latinx Community Center for Empowerment (LCCE); and Joanna de Peña of Top Notch Scholars, Inc. 

This year’s Innovator cohort features local, grassroots organizations working in the areas of youth and education, climate resiliency, mental health and physical wellbeing in historically excluded communities, financial resilience, strengthening democracy, and disrupting cycles of harm. Seventy-five percent of the organizations are BIPOC-led and six of the eight have budgets under $1M. 

The crowd was captivated by the Innovators and their pitches. At the conclusion of the presentations, Wyona Lynch-McWhite came onstage again and issued a call to action. She shared three ways guests could support this work: 

  1. Make a financial contribution directly to an Innovator organization
  2. Support all eight Innovators by donating to the 2024 Social Innovator Fund 
  3. Activate your networks to spread the word about this work and engage other supporters 

Following the speaking program, the Innovators joined the audience for more networking and dessert. The Social Innovator Showcase represents the culmination of more than five months of preparation on the part of the Innovators. The evening would not have been possible without the help of the 2024 Track Partners, who support the entirety of the 24-month Social Innovator Accelerator program, the Showcase event sponsors (listed below), and the many consultants, coaches, and in-kind partners who work with the Innovators to prepare for the Showcase.

Learn More

To learn more about the work of the eight organizations featured, download the 2024 Social Innovator Guide

Thank you to our event sponsors!

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Silver Sponsors