Deadline: October 31, 2021

Do you know somebody who is a change-maker working on the cutting edge of social innovation? A leader collaborating and co-creating solutions to pressing social justice issues? A visionary tackling immediate challenges while also addressing related systemic issues? A mentor inspiring the next generation of social innovators? Nominate them for the Grinnell Prize 2022.

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.


  • Nominees must be nominated by a third party. 
  • Nominees may be a single individual or a team of two people who are working together and have a pivotal role in their project’s innovative design and implementation. 
  • Nominees should be forces for equity and social justice. The nominator should be able to demonstrate that the nominees, through their education, co-creative work, and dedication, have played an instrumental role in: 
    • identifying a concrete social or environmental justice need; 
    • designing and implementing an equitable and creative solution related to that need; 
    • beginning to address the need’s root causes and transform the systems that undergird them; and 
    • demonstrating a substantive and sustainable community or environmental impact now and in the future. 
  • 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 must include:
    • A statement indicating their willingness to be nominated for this prize;
    • A brief (3-4 paragraph) personal biography detailing:
      • the development of their interest and involvement with the social justice need; 
      • their definition of social justice and how that connects to their work. 
      • a 4-5 paragraph description of their social innovation that includes a summary of:
        • a description of their role in designing and implementing an equitable and creative solution related to that need; 
        • the context in which they are working and the concrete social or environmental justice need they are addressing; 
        • how they are addressing the need’s root causes and transforming the systems that undergird them; and 
        • How their project demonstrates substantive and sustainable community or environmental impact both now and in the future.
  • Nominees should demonstrate practices that are consistent with Grinnell College’s education in the liberal arts through serving the common good and demonstrating expertise in the areas of critical thinking; innovative, equitable, and systemic problem solving; and demonstrated change-making. 
  • Nominees may be from anywhere in the world. 
  • Nominees do not need to be affiliated with Grinnell College. 
  • Nominees must have sufficient English fluency to engage with the Grinnell College community.


Nominations for the 2022 Grinnell Prize opened on July 15, 2021 and will be due by Saturday, October 31, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.

Nominees selected as semifinalists will be interviewed by student researchers and may be asked to provide more details about their work. Nominees selected as finalists will be contacted by Grinnell Prize staff and asked for additional supplemental information. This information must be provided in English and may include items such as:

  • annual reports
  • nominee resumes or CVs
  • three letters of reference
  • photos
  • any news articles and videos that tell the story of the work
  • organizational and policy documents (IRS 990 forms or audited financial statements)

Click here to nominate

For more information, see FAQ and visit Grinnell Prize.

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