Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize 2019 ($100,000 Prize)

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The Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize, or 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.”

Grinnell was founded in 1846 by a group of transplanted New Englanders with strong Congregational and social-reformer backgrounds. They organized as the Trustees of Iowa College — originally in Davenport, Iowa. In 1859 the trustees moved the College to newly settled Grinnell, Iowa, where their abolitionist sentiments were more welcome. At the time, Grinnell was an important stop on the Underground Railroad that secretly transported slaves to freedom.

Do you know somebody who is:

  • A change-maker working on the cutting edge of social innovation?
  • A leader collaborating and co-creating solutions to pressing social justice issues?
  • A visionary tackling immediate challenges while also addressing related systemic issues?
  • A mentor inspiring the next generation of social innovators?

Nomination Criteria

  • Nominees must be nominated by a third party.
  • Nominees may be a single individual or a team of two people who are working together.
  • Nominees must consent to their nomination. This consent must be given in the form of a letter (if you are nominating two individuals for collaborative work this letter should come from the two jointly) that will be uploaded to the nomination form. This letter must be written by the nominee(s), be in PDF format, and include:  
    •  A statement indicating their willingness to be nominated for this prize;
    • A statement indicating confirmation that they will have completed an undergraduate degree(s) between the years of 2003-2019 and noting the name of degree-granting college or university;
    • A brief (2-3 paragraph) description of their social innovation work noting:
      • the social justice need they are addressing;
      • what they feel is innovative in how they are addressing the need;
      • the ways in which they are addressing systemic issues related to the need; and
      • the current and planned impact of their work.
  • Nominee(s) must have earned a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) between 2003 and 2019.
  • Nominees should be a force for social justice. They should have identified a concrete social justice need, designed creative and socially just solutions to address that need, and made a substantive impact through their hard work and dedication.
  • Nominees should have demonstrated the essence of Grinnell College’s broad liberal arts education through serving the common good and demonstrating expertise in the areas of critical thinking, innovative problem solving, and measurable systemic change making.
  • Nominees must not be widely known outside their immediate community or field.
  • Nominees may be nationals of any country.
  • Nominees DO NOT need to be affiliated with Grinnell College. 
  • Nominees must have sufficient English fluency to engage with the Grinnell College Community.
  • Nominees must be able to provide in English any supplemental information required as part of the selection process.

Additional Notes

The nomination form includes three essay questions that will be used to evaluate the nominees ability to:

  • Identify pressing social justice needs and utilize critical thinking and problem solving skills to solve issues related to that need;
  • Be innovative and socially just in the design and implementation of their solutions; and
  • Demonstrate their solution’s current and potential social justice impact.

Please direct any questions to career@grinnell.edu or to 1-641-269-4940.

Application Deadline: October 9, 2018.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize 2019