Grinell Prize for social and environmental justice

The Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize (the Grinnell Prize) honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $50,000, half to the winning individual(s) and half to their related, nominated organization.

Nominations for the 2020 Grinnell Prize will open July 15, 2020 and will be due by Saturday, Oct. 31, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.


Nomination Criteria

  1. Nominees must be nominated by a third party.
  2. Nominees may be a single individual or a team of two people who are working together and who are the primary project innovators.
  3. Nominees should be forces for social justice. The nominator should be able to demonstrate that the nominees, through their education, hard work, and dedication, have played an instrumental role in:
  4. Identifying a concrete social or environmental justice need;
  5. Designing and implementing an equitable and creative solution related to that need;
  6. Beginning to address the need’s systemic and root causes; and
  7. Demonstrating a substantive and sustainable community or environmental impact.
  8. Nominees must consent to their nomination. This consent will be given in the form of a letter that nominators upload in PDF format. (If you are nominating two individuals for collaborative work, nominees should write this letter together.) The letter will include:
  9. A statement indicating their willingness to be nominated for this prize;
  10. A brief (2–3 paragraph) description of their social innovation work noting: 1. The social justice need they are addressing; 2. A brief history behind their interest and involvement with this need; 3. What they feel is innovative in how they are addressing the need; 4. What their role has been in addressing the need;
  11. The ways in which they are addressing systemic issues related to the need; and
  12. The current and planned impact of their work.
  13. Nominees should have demonstrated the essence of Grinnell College’s broad liberal arts education through serving the common good and demonstrating expertise in the areas of critical thinking, innovative problem solving, and measurable systemic change making.
  14. Nominees must not be widely known outside their immediate community or field.
  15. Nominees may be nationals of any country.
  16. Nominees do not need to be affiliated with Grinnell College.
  17. Nominees must have sufficient English fluency to engage with the Grinnell College community.
  18. Nominees must be able to provide in English any supplemental information required as part of the selection process.