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   February 3, 2004
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 Echoing Green Names ‘Ten Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs’ Honorees to receive Echoing Green Fellowship with up to $90,000 grant

Selected from nearly 1,000 applicants in 60 countries, ten organizations receiving the prestigious 2003 Echoing Green Fellowship will receive up to $90,000 in seed funding over two years to launch new nonprofit organizations that address society’s most difficult problems.

NEW YORK (PRWEB) October 30 2003-- From an Arab-Jewish couple promoting nonviolent political action in the Middle East to a former Rwandan refugee who is helping immigrants make the transition to life in the United States, the global social venture fund Echoing Green is honoring the world’s “Ten Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs” for their efforts to use entrepreneurial principles to create lasting social change.

Selected from nearly 1,000 applicants in 60 countries, the ten organizations receiving the prestigious 2003 Echoing Green Fellowship (bios attached) will receive up to $90,000 in seed funding over two years to launch new nonprofit organizations that address society’s most difficult problems. The new leaders will be honored at an Echoing Green conference on November 6 in San Francisco, California.

“Through the Echoing Green Fellowship, we are the first to invest in visionary leaders with bold ideas for social change,” said Dr. Cheryl Dorsey, Echoing Green President and a 1992 Echoing Green Fellow. “We take risks on emerging leaders with new solutions because the greatest risk is overlooking an idea that can change the world.”

Echoing Green selects fellowship recipients based on a rigorous five-month application process that includes the creation of a detailed organizational plan and a series of in-person interviews before a panel of veteran business and nonprofit leaders in New York City. Judges evaluate applicants’ leadership and entrepreneurial skills, creativity and the potential of their ideas to deliver long-term social change.

“Echoing Green Fellows are part of a new class of community leaders who are using entrepreneurial principles to create positive social change,” Dorsey said. “We believe the energy and innovation that drive the private sector can foster new solutions in the social sector.”

Echoing Green is a global social venture fund that provides seed capital and technical support to emerging leaders with bold ideas for social change. Individual recipients receive a $60,000 grant and partners receive a $90,000 grant. Since 1987, Echoing Green has invested more than $21 million to help 370 leaders spark positive change in 30 countries. Echoing Green Fellows have launched organizations in education, youth development, health, housing, environmental justice, civil and human rights, economic development, social justice, the arts and immigration. Seventy-seven percent of organizations launched by Echoing Green Fellows are still in existence, and 85 percent of Echoing Green Fellows stay in leadership positions in the social sector.

For information and to apply for a 2004 Echoing Green Fellowship, visit, call 212.689.1165 or email The deadline to apply for a 2004 Echoing Green Fellowship is January 12, 2004.
(List of winners follows)
Echoing Green Names ‘Ten Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs’
2003 Echoing Green Fellows

Adam Shapiro and Huwaida Arraf, Palestinian Strategic Nonviolence Initiative
Ramallah, Palestine
A Jewish-Arab couple, Shapiro and Arraf created the Palestinian Strategic Nonviolence Initiative to train and educate students and activists to use nonviolent political strategies to address difficult economic conditions and escalating violence in Palestine. “Our project empowers youth to use nonviolent strategies to take the struggle for human rights and dignity into their own hands,” says Arraf, 27. “We believe nonviolent political action is the only answer and our best hope.”

Clementine Mukeshimana Msengi, Bright Move, Cedar Falls, Iowa
A former Rwandan refugee, Msengi created Bright Move to provide education, mentoring and social service referrals to help immigrants and refugees make a successful transition to life in America. “Bright Move recognizes the importance of refugees and immigrants in ensuring the economic and social viability of Iowa,” says Msengi, 30. “We help them cope effectively with their new cultural environment, which enables them to make positive contributions to the community and lead more productive and satisfying lives.”

Daniel Ravicher, Public Patent Foundation, New York City
A patent attorney and University of Virginia School of Law graduate, Ravicher created the Public Patent Foundation to use education, advocacy and legal action to challenge illegitimate patents that prevent patients from receiving vital medications and limit economic opportunities for small business in the marketplace. “Most people do not realize how illegitimate patents restrict their freedoms and affect their wallets,” says Ravicher, 28. “Eliminating illegitimate patents will save the general public billions of dollars by removing barriers to competition in the marketplace for formerly patent-protected goods.”

Fred Schlomka, Mosaic Communities, Kfar Saba, Israel
Schlomka established Mosaic Communities to lease and purchase land and develop new housing to create integrated Arab-Jewish communities that are open to all residents of Israel. “Obstacles in regional planning and in obtaining building permits have led to mounting housing inequities in Israel,” says Schlomka, 50, an Israeli and American citizen. “Mosaic Communities will work to ensure all citizens of Israel have equal access to housing and land.”

Gary Kosman, America Learns, Los Angeles, California
Kosman launched America Learns, the nation’s first internet-based program designed to empower tutors and tutoring program managers by streamlining administrative processes and sharing best practices. “America Learns redefines tutor monitoring, evaluation and support by turning these traditionally separate systems into a single process,” says Kosman, 25. “By partnering with practitioners and administrators, we have designed a powerful technology solution to help tutors focus on teaching, not bureaucracy.”


Echoing Green Names ‘Ten Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs’ (Continued)

Joshua Brown, The Salish Language Perpetuation Project, St. Ignatius, Montana
Brown launched The Salish Language Perpetuation Project to preserve the language and cultural traditions of his Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Nation. With only 80 fluent Salish speakers among 6,000 tribal members, Brown’s organization is helping to develop a Salish language immersion school for youth, a historical data preservation program and cross-generational events that will forward the community’s customs and traditions into the future. “Language is the foundation of society and the fundamental key that connects generations through time,” says Brown, 29. “Until now, no one has brought the Salish people together to preserve our language and protect our heritage.”

Marcus Douglas Scott, The Fré Foundation, Arlington, Virginia
A lawyer and urban studies Ph.D. who was classified as mentally retarded in grade school, Scott created the Fré Foundation, a nonprofit, bipartisan public education organization dedicated to using innovative cross-generational teaching tools to inspire democracy, engage equality and celebrate difference. The word ‘fré’ means ‘seed’ in Tigrinya, a language spoken in Northern Ethiopia, and Scott says his goal is to help the nation’s schools plant the seeds for responsible civic participation and sustain collective memory across generations. “Today’s youth did not experience the fundamental democratic changes won by the major social justice movements of our past, and so they don’t feel linked to many of our nation’s greatest leaders,” says Scott, 40. “Only a leadership that learns from the past is capable of articulating a democratic vision for the future.”

Mia Butzbaugh and Michael Dale, Northwest Workers’ Justice Project
Portland, Oregon
Butzbaugh and Dale are launching the Northwest Worker’s Justice Project to expand access to legal services for low-wage, contingent and undocumented workers in Oregon. As economic trends prompt employers to adopt contract and temporary employment strategies, the project will provide advocacy, education and referrals to increase access to legal representation for the most vulnerable members of the workforce. “We are creating a strong voice for workers and building solidarity across ethnic and racial barriers,” said Dale, 55. “The project will be in the forefront of efforts to understand and act on the common interests of all low-wage and immigrant workers.”

Tara Veazey, Eastern Montana Self-Help Law Project, Helena, Montana
Veazey’s Eastern Montana Self-Help Law Project mobilizes attorneys and community volunteers to provide poor people with the legal education, advice and self-help materials they need to competently and confidently represent themselves in civil cases. “With meaningful education and assistance, people can be empowered to solve their own legal problems,” said Veazey, 31. “Our goal is to make the courts more accessible to low-income Montanans and offer creative alternatives to the often costly and dependent client-attorney relationship.”

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