Social Innovators

The Social Innovation Forum's portfolio of nonprofit Social Innovators and social impact business Impact Entrepreneurs represents a range of social issues including food insecurity, healthy aging, environmental sustainability, youth development, and the arts. Explore our portfolio by year or social issue and read Innovator and Entrepreneur Spotlights to learn what it means to be a part of the Social Innovation Forum.

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  • More Than Words

    • 2009 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Housing & Homelessness
      Social Enterprise
      Workforce Development
      Youth Development

    More Than Words is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. By working as a team to manage their own retail and online used book business, café, and community space, youth develop the employment skills, leadership, and self-confidence they need to successfully transition to adulthood.

  • Innovator Spotlight

    My Life My Choice

    • 2010 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Women & Girls
      Youth Development

    My Life My Choice is a nationally recognized initiative designed to stem the tide of commercial sexual exploitation of adolescents through survivor-led programs that educate and empower youth to create a positive life path while working to eliminate the violence and victimization of sexual exploitation.

  • Mystic River Watershed Association

    • 2015 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Environmental Sustainability
      Civic Engagement

    Mystic River Watershed Association works to protect and restore the Mystic River, its lakes, tributaries, and watershed lands and to improve local environmental conditions for the more than one half million residents of the Mystic River Watershed.

  • OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center

    • 2020 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Arts

    OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center's mission is to utilize innovative dance instruction, performance opportunities, and other effective development strategies to promote self-esteem, leadership development, physical fitness, and self-sufficiency among youth ages 2-18.

  • PAARI (Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative)

    • 2020 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Opioid Epidemic

    PAARI (Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative) provides training, strategic guidance, and support to police departments developing and implementing non-arrest referral programs.

  • Paige Academy

    • 2019 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Early Childhood Education

    Paige Academy is an independent community school offering a culturally-resonant and academically rigorous curriculum of arts, sciences, humanities, and technology for children from infancy to 12 years old. For almost fifty years Paige Academy has educated over 10,000 students from Boston's inner city neighborhoods. The school’s approach to teaching and learning is grounded in African and African-American culture, the Nguzo Saba, also called the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa.

  • Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD)

    • 2018 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Disabilities
      Youth Development

    Partners for Youth with Disabilities (PYD) empowers youth with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing transformative mentoring programs, youth development opportunities, and inclusion expertise. PYD motivates youth to reach their personal, educational, and career goals, and guides organizations in becoming more inclusive.

  • Innovator Spotlight

    Playworks

    • 2010 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Health & Nutrition
      Youth Development

    The Playworks mission is to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. Playworks’ vision is that one day every child in America will have access to safe, healthy play every day, recognizing that play creates valuable opportunities for children to grow physically, emotionally, and socially.

  • Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project

    • 2018 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Immigrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers

    Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project provides free legal services to indigent asylum seekers and detained immigrants, assuring fairness and access to justice. Since 1989, PAIR has served more than 11,000 asylum seekers and detailed immigrants, assisting more than 1,400 clients a year.

  • Project Citizenship

    • 2017 Social Innovator
    • Social Issue:
      Civic Engagement

    Project Citizenship enables immigrants to become citizens through free screening, large citizenship workshops, individual application assistance and referrals. For those unable to learn English due to a disability and those unable to pay, Project Citizenship advocates to obtain a disability waiver or a fee waiver.