The Social Innovation Forum (SIF) has selected eight nonprofit organizations to participate in SIF’s 2022 “Social Innovator Accelerator,” a 24-month capacity-building program that helps nonprofit organizations gain visibility, expand their networks, and connect with philanthropic and in-kind resources to accelerate their work.
These eight Social Innovators will each receive access to more than $150,000 of cash and in-kind services, including remote and in-person training, coaching, and consulting, from SIF and its partners. SIF selected their 2022 Social Innovators based on their unique and impactful approach to serving and supporting their communities.
“We are excited to announce our Social Innovators for 2022,” said Susan Musinsky, Executive Director of the Social Innovation Forum. “In spite of a myriad of challenges, local nonprofits have sustained their critical work and have uplifted their communities. The philanthropic sector has also begun to reflect, acknowledge and address inequitable practices and allocation of resources. We have seen the funding community shift to promoting a more equitable grant making process that is inclusive and reflective of BIPOC and proximate leaders. We have heard from these communities how important it is to support grassroots, community-based organizations as they work to amplify and sustain growth in communities that are disproportionately facing barriers and inequities. We and our partners are excited to support this range of terrific leaders and organizations through the next phase of their growth and development.”
We hope that you will continue your support for this new cohort of Innovators and find ways to put your time, talent, and resources towards towards driving social change!
The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth (BAGLY), is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization, committed to social justice and creating, sustaining, and advocating for programs, policies, and services for the LGBTQ+ youth community. Formed in 1980 by and for LGBTQ+ young people, BAGLY develops and discovers youth leaders, improves the health and wellness of those it serves, and shapes policies and practices in Boston and across Massachusetts.
Lead Innovator: Grace Sterling Stowell, Executive Director
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "My biggest motivation in doing this work is knowing how important it is to invest in the young people of all of our communities. In spite of the often significant social and systemic discrimination and oppression directed towards LGBTQ youth, especially youth of color, trans/non-binary youth, and youth experiencing homelessness and other economic challenges, their strength, commitment and vision for a better world continues to inspire me to keep stepping up to support them as they move forward. We must all remember that young people are not only leaders of the future, but they are also leading today."
Chinatown Community Land Trust
Chinatown Community Land Trust works to stabilize the future of Chinatown as a neighborhood for working class families and a regional hub for the Chinese community through community control of the land, development without displacement, permanently affordable housing, and shared neighborhood spaces.
Lead Innovator: Lydia Lowe, Executive Director
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "The strength and resilience of the immigrant, working class women who are the heart and soul of Boston Chinatown. Chinatown is home for the regional Chinese community, the social, cultural, economic, and political base from which we strive to improve our lives, and the women are the moms that are taking care of everything. I owe it to my mentors to follow in their footsteps."
Lowell Community Health Center Teen BLOCK works to support the healthy development of young people and empowers them to become leaders in the community. By building leadership opportunities in the community and providing knowledge on health education and prevention, Teen BLOCK promotes healthy behaviors that will enhance the future prospects for our young people.
Lead Innovator: Ruth Ogembo, Director of Community Health;
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "The youth and team I work with motivate me to show up and do my best each day. Their creativity, energy, and pure joy, even in challenging times encourages me to show up and be of service."
Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition (MFFC) is a collaborative organization, bringing together Mattapan residents, organizations and others to work on improving the food and physical activity environments in Mattapan. MFFC promotes healthy behaviors through its networks and its partnerships with other organizations and it provides leadership through community engagement.
Lead Innovator: Shavel'le Olivier, Executive Director
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "Serving the community and working alongside the community has given me a sense of duty and purpose. The work done before me to make positive changes for residents inspires me to continue making those changes. Learning from those I serve, volunteering with those I serve, and interacting with those I serve keeps me grounded, humble and motivates me to show up and do my best each and every day."
Sisters Unchained is a prison abolitionist organization dedicated to supporting young women and girls with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents. Sisters Unchained is a refuge space where young women of color can focus on loving and improving themselves and their communities in the way they see fit.
Lead Innovator: Ayana Aubourg, Executive Director/Co-Founder
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "What motivates me to show up is community. We need each other. We need to continue breaking the isolation and empowering children affected by parental incarceration. We need to continue building alternative spaces for education, healing, and expressing our voices and visions."
The mission of The Center for Hope and Healing is to eradicate sexual violence by supporting survivors, educating, organizing, building community and actively engaging communities served. The Center for Hope and Healing challenges the forces that condone sexual violence and other forms of oppression such as sexism, racism and homophobia.
Lead Innovator: Isa M. Woldeguiorguis, Executive Director
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "Supporting Survivors, Building Community and Ending Oppression."
Transformational Prison Project, a project of Tides Center, works to address and end cycles of harm through the practice of restorative dialogues. The Transformational Prison Project works with both the individuals and the systems that cause harm, facilitating intentional conversations that lead to accountability, compassion, empathy, and healing.
Lead Innovator: Armand Coleman, Executive Director
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "The ones that I left behind. The lifers. The amends that I need to make. This work is living amends for me. I can't take back the life that I took, but I can bring it forward through this work. What motivates me is being able to prevent others from going through what I went through. The impact that we are going to have is monumental."
Young Man with a Plan (YMWAP), a 4+ year holistic mentoring program, creates a new culture of brotherhood, respect, aspiration, and achievement for 175 Black and Latino teens and young adults in Boston. YMWAP achieves this through research-informed strategies of connecting youth to caring adults; strengthening youth academic, social emotional, critical thinking, and financial literacy skills; engaging students in individualized success planning; and creating a protective community.
Lead Innovator: Dr. Jaykyri Simpson, Executive Director
What motivates you to show up and do your best each day? "The kids! We wake up every day activated to close Boston's egregious racial gaps in educational achievement, wealth, and life expectancy. We do this through sustained mentoring and coaching, exposing young men to a range of college and career paths, and helping them create plans for sustainable futures."