McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund Awarded to Emerging Organizations Building Local Solutions for a Resilient Future

January 27, 2022

Five promising leaders are transforming their communities across the US, India and Nigeria and will receive unrestricted funding to expand and scale their impact

Contact: Nina Sawhney
McNulty Foundation

New York, NY, January 27, 2022
––The McNulty Foundation and the Aspen Institute announced the 2022 recipients of the McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund, given to early-stage organizations that demonstrate significant momentum and are poised to scale and effect meaningful change. This year, a total of $100,000 will be awarded across five recipients hailing from Nigeria, India, and the United States. The recipients will be featured in a rapid-fire, virtual conversation on Wednesday, February 16th at 12pm EST exploring what it takes to create change in their communities.

Between the pandemic, the march of distrust and intolerance, and widespread economic disruption, it has been a difficult year for optimism and solutions. Yet, we have also witnessed the incredible resilience of communities large and small—and in times of stress, it is our neighbors and fellow citizens that we rely on. In one way or another, all of this year’s Catalyst Fund recipients are answering the question: how can we strengthen the social fabric of our communities? “The problems we face are overwhelming and complex, but the truth is that each person experiences them locally. Each of these leaders are taking challenges into their own hands, bringing solutions to their communities and building resiliency for the long-term,” said Anne Welsh McNulty, President of the McNulty Foundation and Trustee of the Aspen Institute.

Congratulations to the 2022 McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund recipients:

Grapevine Health | United States

Physician, epidemiologist, and public health advocate Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick is strengthening Black and Hispanic communities in the greater Washington D.C. area through Grapevine Health, which combats rumor and misinformation and improves understanding with relatable, culturally appropriate messages. Through storytelling and trusted voices, Grapevine Health is partnering with health systems and insurers to spread scientific data and accurate health information across the region.

Nigerian University of Technology and Management | Nigeria

Co-founded by Nigeria’s former Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah, the Nigerian University of Technology and Management is training the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs from Nigeria and across Africa. With a focus on high quality teaching, mentorship, and entrepreneurship, NUTM is growing rapidly on its mission to reverse the brain drain and spur a vibrant future.

East Harlem COAD | United States

When disaster strikes, whether in a hurricane or during a pandemic, public health and equity expert Dr. Ann-Gel S. Palermo knows the first and last line of defense isn’t large institutions, it’s your local community. East Harlem COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) is a multisectoral coalition serving one of New York City’s most underserved neighborhoods, building a coordinated response to public health emergencies and delivering information to the community by those trusted most.

EastMojo | India

Journalist Karma Paljor and entrepreneur Tanushree Hazarika saw that the northeast region of India, physically separated from the rest of the country and home to long-neglected indigenous populations, was left out of national media and conversations. They founded EastMojo, the first outlet to cover the region extensively and amplify local voices with unbiased, ethical journalism—especially important in India, where news voids can be filled by dangerous social media rumors.

SC AgriWellness | United States

The mental health crisis facing American farmers has been building for years as the industry consolidated, and that went into overdrive as the pandemic added new stresses and isolation. Fifth-generation South Carolina farmer J.E.B. Wilson founded SC AgriWellness to combat this trend, promote awareness of mental health issues in rural farming communities, and provide access to treatment and support, with aims to expand regionally.

SPECIAL EVENT: Meet the recipients and join them for a dynamic, rapid-fire virtual conversation on Wednesday, February 16 from 12-1:30p EST. Register here:

The McNulty Foundation established the Catalyst Fund at the Aspen Institute in 2017 to provide unrestricted support to promising ventures led by Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Having supported over 20 recipients from around the world, the Catalyst Fund boosts leaders and their organizations with funding as well as non-monetary support to reach the next level of impact. The Fund has received over $1.3 million in contributions from David Blood, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Nancy & George Walker Foundation, and many more, as well as a matching grant from the McNulty Foundation, all honoring the legacy of John P. McNulty.


About the John P. & Anne Welsh McNulty Foundation

The McNulty Foundation inspires, develops, and drives leaders to solve the most critical challenges of our time. The McNulty Prize Catalyst Fund was launched in 2017 to recognize ventures with significant momentum and at a critical juncture on their path to creating meaningful change. The Fund builds on more than a decade of impact with the John P. McNulty Prize, a $450,000 annual award that recognizes three Winners with moral courage, a vision for change, and a track record of bold and lasting impact. 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 @McNultyFound on Twitter and @McNultyFoundation on Instagram.

The Aspen Global Leadership Network’s (AGLN) is a growing, worldwide community of more than 3,000 high-integrity, entrepreneurial leaders from over 60 countries who share a commitment to values-based leadership and to using their creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. Because of their demonstrated accomplishment and abilities, they have been selected to join one of 13 geographic or sector-specific AGLN Fellowships around the world. Fellows convene annually at the AGLN’s flagship event, the Resnick Aspen Action Forum. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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