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Grinnell College Will Honor Young Innovators in Social Justice at “Grinnell Prize” Symposium

November 11, 2012
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Awards recognize innovation in low-cost infant care, women's empowerment through journalism, and veterans' issues and disaster relief.

Editors' Notes: Ben & Ferry's co-founder Jerry Greenfield may be available for interviews, as are Grinnell Prize recipients Cristi Hegranes, Linus Liang and Jane Chen. To request an interview, contact Stacey Schmeidel at Grinnell College, 641/269-4659.

Also, please note that this news release contains updated schedule information, as prize recipients Jacob Wood and William McNulty of Team Rubicon have rescheduled their Grinnell visit in order to assist with the Hurricane Sandy recovery effort. Updated information is highlighted in yellow.

Grinnell, Iowa?The designers of a low-cost baby incubator, a pioneering reporter dedicated to training women to be journalists, and the founders of an organization that mobilizes U.S. military veterans to respond to disasters around the world will be honored for their innovations in social justice during a week-long series of events at Grinnell College.

The second annual symposium celebrating Grinnell's Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize (also known as the Grinnell Prize) will run from Monday, Nov. 12, through Friday, Nov. 16. This year's symposium will feature a number of public events, including a keynote address by Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's, as well as presentations by 2012 prize winners Jane Chen and Linus Liang (Embrace and Embrace Innovations) and Cristi Hegranes (Global Press Institute). (The third recipients of this year's Grinnell Prize, Jacob Wood and William McNulty, of Team Rubicon, will not be on campus for the Nov. 12-16 symposium, as their organization has mobilized its largest-ever relief effort, assisting with the Hurricane Sandy recovery in New York and New Jersey. Wood and McNulty will visit Grinnell to receive their prize and discuss their work with students early in the spring semester.)

A complete schedule of public events, and more information about the Grinnell Prize, is below.

2012 Grinnell Prize Symposium?Public Events

Monday, Nov. 12

-- Noon, Dining Pavilion, Joe Rosenfield '25 Center: lunch with the prize recipients.

Tuesday, Nov. 13

--Noon, Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101: Social Justice Roundtable Lunch?.

The prizewinners will talk with one another and with the audience about a range of topics, including their philosophies and sources of inspiration.

-- 4:15 p.m., Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101: reception for the prize recipients.

*-- 8 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Grinnell Prize awards ceremony.

Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington will present the Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize to Cristi Hegranes of the Global Press Institute, and to Linus Liang and Jane Chen of Embrace and Embrace Innovations.

Wednesday, Nov. 14

*-- Noon, Herrick Chapel: Scholars' Convocation.

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's, will present "An Afternoon of Social Responsibility, Radical Business Philosophy, and Free Ice Cream." (Yes, free ice cream will be served.)

*-- 4:15 p.m. Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

Jane Chen and Linus Liang, co-founders of Embrace and Embrace Innovations, will talk about "Embrace: Giving All Infants an Equal Chance for a Healthy Life through a Low-Cost Infant Warmer."

*-- 8 p.m., Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

Cristi Hegranes, founder of the Global Press Institute, will discuss "Journalism, Social Enterprise, and the Essential F-word."

Thursday, November 15

-- 4:15 p.m., Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101. "Disaster Relief: A Panel Discussion."

Panelists to be announced.

-- 5:30 p.m., Second Floor, Joe Rosenfield '25 Center: reception with the prize recipients.

Friday, November 16

-- Noon, Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101: panel discussion of Grinnell College's Liberal Arts in Prison Program.

*These events will be streamed live on the Web, and also will be available for later viewing online. For more information, go to

About the Grinnell Prize

Established by Grinnell in 2010, the Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize recognizes individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in bringing about positive social change. Each of the 2012 winners, selected from more than 300 nominations from 45 countries, will receive $100,000, half of which will go to the individuals and half to their respective organizations.

In addition to public presentations, award winners will meet with students, faculty and staff in classrooms and informal settings to discuss their approach to social justice, sources of inspiration and success in overcoming obstacles.

"Social justice has been an integral part of the Grinnell mission since our founding in 1846. It contributes to our academic programs and culture on campus, and it inspires our alumni throughout their lives," explained Kington. "The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize and Symposium program underscores our deep commitment to fostering positive social change."

For more information about the 2012 symposium

The symposium is co-sponsored by the college's Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights.

For additional information about symposium events, contact Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program,, 641-269-3091. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or

About Grinnell College

Founded in 1846, Grinnell College is a highly selective, residential, liberal arts college that enrolls 1,600 students from nearly every state and as many other countries. Grinnell has a long history of curricular innovation and thoughtful progressivism. The college awarded the B.A. degree to a woman in 1857 and to an African American in 1871, established the nation's first major in political science in 1883, and in 1970 pioneered an individually advised curriculum that allows students to tailor their own education in collaboration with their faculty advisers. Grinnell is a leader in ensuring access to the nation's most talented students from all backgrounds, and Grinnell students graduate with one of the lowest levels of debt in the U.S.




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