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Recently, the Kauffman Foundation ranked Atlanta as a top 10 US city for entrepreneurial activity and Forbes named it one of the best cities for female founders (1/3 of businesses are owned by women). We believe it is a hotbed for changemaking activity, and so we decided to visit and find out for ourselves.
Rev. Steve Miller is linking historically black colleges and universities with the black church to collect and share stories of the everyday impacts of racism in the U.S., and then leveraging these alliances and stories as a way to engage religious leaders of all races in addressing racial trauma and healing across their ministries.
Lam Ho is changing the field of legal aid to make it more accessible and responsive to underserved communities and to strengthen its role as a vehicle for social justice.
Fagan Harris is reimagining the changemaker talent pipeline for Baltimore and similar post-industrial cities struggling to recruit and retain top talent to solve pressing and increasing complex social problems.
Social entrepreneurship is not a partisan issue. But changemaking—seeking to effect a positive change in a community—is inevitably a political act. And voting is an integral part of that act. Unfortunately, racial and ethnic discriminatory practices often prevent participation for everyone. A few US Fellows have come up with innovative solutions to break down some of the barriers.
I think I can speak for many Americans in asking "what next?" As I watched the events of Ferguson unfold on my T.V. screen and across the social media landscape, I felt helpless, small and frustrated.
Dan Acher is using creative placemaking to combat the isolation and separation between urban residents and build a shared sense of belonging. In doing so, he encourages citizen ownership of public spaces and invites residents to take responsibility for their city, ultimately leading to a more active and empowered citizenry.