Community Development

Catalyzing Impact to Address Entrenched Inequities | Announcing the 2020 Recipients of the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund

October 14, 2020  • Aspen Global Leadership Network & The McNulty Foundation

This year has had no shortage of critical challenges and has laid bare the entrenched inequities and structural barriers that communities across the world face. The McNulty Foundation and the Aspen Global Leadership Network are excited to announce the 2020 recipients of the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund – all leaders who are fearlessly and uniquely tackling these barriers. The Fund is awarding $75,000 in total this year to five exceptional organizations that have demonstrated significant early momentum with great potential to scale and deepen their impact.

From working with institutions and individuals to advance an anti-racist and equitable vision in the US to incubating a social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ghana, to creating integrated, place-based healthcare solutions for farmworker communities in California, to galvanizing a performing arts movement to challenge gender norms and advance human rights in Nigeria, to building a pipeline for Latino education leaders across the US, these leaders are working toward creating the change we need now and for generations to come.

Read on to learn more about the recipients and the communities they serve. 

The Equity Lab | United States 

The Equity Lab is working to advance an anti-racist and equitable vision for the United States.

Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) leader Michelle Molitor (Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship) engages individuals and teams to catalyze change agents who can lead collective anti-racist actions in their organizations.Through fellowships and long-term partnerships, The Equity Lab empowers leaders at all levels to disrupt the institutions, structures, and systems that perpetuate racism and oppression. The Equity Lab is poised to grow across the country and bring others along in its vision for an equitable, antiracist society.

Social Enterprise Ghana | Ghana

Social Enterprise Ghana is creating a network to catalyze a vibrant social enterprise sector in the country.

Entrepreneur Amma Lartey (Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa) is developing a vibrant social enterprise ecosystem in Ghana, driving local innovation for critical problems through advocacy, convenings, and capacity building. With more than 600 members and events that have drawn in over 1,000 change-making organizations, Social Enterprise Ghana is steering the country’s burgeoning entrepreneurial sectors into a vehicle for scaled social impact.

Under One Roof | United States

Under One Roof operates with a unique place-based model of systems change that is community-led with farmworkers in California.

Healthcare executive Margaret Lapiz (Health Innovators Fellowship) is working directly with more than 100 community leaders to create an integrated hub for improving health outcomes and opportunities for farmworkers in California. A unique place-based model, Under One Roof is demonstrating how systems change can be community-led, ensuring a diverse and equitable approach for community health and well-being.

iOpenEye Productions | Nigeria

iOpenEye Productions is galvanizing a performing arts movement to challenge gender norms and advance human rights in Nigeria and beyond.

Nigerian director/playwright Ifeoma Fafunwa (Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa) uses the power of performance art and storytelling to empower women and transform communities. Through powerful and provocative theatre, workshops, talkbacks and street storms, her production company iOpenEye challenges the status quo and societal norms which limit gender equality and human rights.  Having reached a live audience of over 100,000 with her flagship production Hear Word!,  Ifeoma is expanding to reach a broader regional and global audience through new online platforms.

Latinos for Education | United States

Latinos for Educations builds a pipeline of Latino talent and education leadership in the U.S.

Education advocate and entrepreneur Amanda Fernandez (Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship) is creating pathways for Latino leaders in the education sector, bringing diverse talent into positions of influence and ensuring educational equity for all. Having built a network of over 3,000 Latino education leaders, and a Fellowship impacting the lives of over 200,000 students, Latinos for Education is poised to advocate nationally to further lift and activate the collective Latino voice on issues affecting students and families.

About the Catalyst Fund & the John P. McNulty Prize

The McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund recognizes ventures with significant momentum at critical junctures on their path to creating meaningful change. The Fund builds on more than a decade of impact with the John P. McNulty Prize, a $100,000 annual award that celebrates the boldness and impact of individuals using their leadership abilities, entrepreneurial spirit, and expertise to address the world’s toughest challenges. McNulty Prize Winners are chosen by an international jury that has included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, international statesman Olara Otunnu, international development expert Brizio Biondi-Morra, and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker. The McNulty Prize and Catalyst Fund are given in partnership with the Aspen Institute, to recognize exceptional leadership ventures undertaken by Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. For more information, visit Follow @McNultyPrize on Twitter and @McNultyFoundation on Instagram.