From a Press Release by Echoing Green and Cooperative Advocacy for the People:
This month Ameca Reali and Adrienne Wheeler of the New Orleans-based Cooperative Advocacy for the People were named as 2011 Echoing Green Fellows. Out of 2,854 applicants from over 100 countries, only twenty-two individuals, representing a total of fifteen organizations, were selected as social change visionaries in the fields of human rights, health, and the environment.
“Louisiana incarcerates more people than any state in the country in a nation that jails more people than anywhere else in the world,” said Ameca Reali, co-founder of Cooperative Advocacy for the People. “This astounding fact has pushed us to rethink the way our criminal justice system operates and to provide avenues toward accountability that lifts instead of incarcerates our communities. Through this fellowship, Echoing Green has provided an opportunity for those affected by the criminal justice system to have a place to work toward collective solution building.”
For 25 years, Echoing Green has helped inspire and seed some of the world’s most powerful institutions—From Teach For America to City Year to SKS Microfinance. Since it was founded by growth equity firm General Atlantic in 1987, it has invested nearly $32 million in over 500 social entrepreneurs.
The 2011 Echoing Green Fellows are launching a total of fifteen new nonprofit, for-profit and hybrid organizations to solve intractable social problems. Chosen based on a rigorous selection process, each venture will receive seed funding of up to $90,000 over two years, health insurance, strategic planning support, legal assistance, and financial modeling, as well as mentoring from Echoing Green’s network of alumni and other leading social change professionals.
In announcing the 2011 Echoing Green Fellows, Dr. Cheryl L. Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, said, “Echoing Green’s 2011 Fellows are an inspiring group of pragmatic visionaries who, rather than accept the world as it is, see what it can be. It takes a village to raise a social entrepreneur. Help them bring their ideas to life, and further unleash their talent.”
Dave Hodgson, Managing Director of General Atlantic, LLC and Chairman of the Echoing Green Board of Directors, said, “Name the need—hunger, housing, fighting disease, connecting citizens who care, doing greater good with technologies—and you will find Echoing Green Fellows at work on creating solutions all over the world. We look forward to welcoming this new class of innovators into our robust network.”
Full descriptions and high definition videos of the 2011 Echoing Green Fellows can be accessed at this link.
About Cooperative Advocacy for the People:
Cooperative Advocacy for the People will be a non-profit criminal justice advocacy organization based in New Orleans, Louisiana that will provide incarcerated individuals with the possibility of freedom, access to justice, and the opportunity to make radical changes in a system with glaring deficiencies. A part of the organization’s mission includes offering non-capital post-conviction and expungment assistance. The organization will also create a collaborative space where attorneys, legal workers, and advocates can participate collectively in planning and implementing strategies for accountability and reform.
Ameca Reali was born and raised in a small town in Upstate, NY. She is one of three children raised by a single parent in public housing. From an early age her mother taught her the principles of service to others and the community and advocacy through her work in the community. Ameca graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University at Buffalo in 2006 and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans in 2011.
Adrienne Wheeler is from Savannah, Georgia and is a member of a military family (retired). She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 2001, a Master of Arts degree from New York University in 2008, and a Juris Doctor from Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans in 2011.
About Echoing Green:
Echoing Green is a nonprofit social venture fund that identifies, invests in, and supports some of the world’s best emerging social entrepreneurs—society’s change agents. Green invests deeply in these next generation change agents as well as works to create an ecosystem around them that supports and celebrates social innovation as a high-impact strategy for social change.