Purpose Prize


Patricia Foley Hinnen , Capital Sisters International
Founder and CEO
Capital Sisters International
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

I spent 25 years working all over the world for the Peace Corps, Congress and the State Department, evaluating the effectiveness of development programs and promoting the microfinance industry. My travels took me to 60 countries. What I observed was that despite billions of dollars in aid, the face of poverty was increasingly female. Three-fourths of the people living on $1 day are female, and so are two-thirds of the world’s illiterate. They earn only 10 percent of the world’s income and own only 1 percent of its private property.


Priscilla Higham , African Solutions for African Problems (ASAP)
Founder and Program Director
African Solutions for African Problems (ASAP)
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

At certain times, a human life takes a quantum leap. That happened to me in 2000 while on a journalism assignment in the Nairobi slums. The activist and Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai introduced me to a network of women who – without funding – were taking care of children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.


Leslie Gray , Woodfish Institute
Founder and Director
Woodfish Institute
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

In 2000, I opened the Woodfish Institute in San Francisco to develop and teach innovative approaches to mental health, blending modern psychology with indigenous health practices. I’m a Native American clinical psychologist in private practice. I’ve also studied with tribal shamans, healers and elders in four countries.

While designing the curriculum, I got a remarkable opportunity that transformed my vision for Woodfish from a place that teaches individual counseling into one that fosters planetary healing.


John Dye , Live54218
Chairman, Executive Committee
Live54218
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

As executive editor of the Green Bay Press-Gazette, I launched an editorial campaign in 2010 asking readers to identify the biggest problem facing our economically and ethnically diverse community. The answer: childhood obesity. Twenty percent of low-income toddlers in Green Bay, WI, are obese.

In response to our campaign, teams of community members met for the next year to review the effectiveness of existing wellness programs and find ones that would help us raise healthier children.


Virginia Donohue , On Point for College
Founder/Executive Director
On Point for College
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

My “Aha!” moment came in 1998, when I was 52 years old. I was buying dorm room bedding for Nick, who was in a program for chronically homeless youth. I had helped him get into one of the best music conservatories in the country. I was CFO of a computer distribution company, but for eight years, I had volunteered at a homeless shelter in Fulton, NY, assisting kids like Nick with the college application process and fees, campus visits and essentials like bedding.


Alexandreena  Dixon , Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture of Rockland, Inc.
Board Chair/Dance Instructor
Chiku Awali African Dance, Arts & Culture of Rockland, Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

Dance was my salvation growing up in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. It kept me away from alcohol, drugs, jail and teen pregnancy — rites of passage for many of my friends. The arts helped me to think differently about myself. I believe they can do the same for others.


Gloria Carter Dickerson , We2Gether Creating Change
Founder and Executive Director
We2Gether Creating Change
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

Sunflower County sounds like a happy place. But the rural Mississippi Delta county is one of the poorest in the nation. An alarming 54 percent of children live in poverty, and the high school graduation rate is just 59 percent.

When I moved back there in 2009 after a prosperous 35-year career in accounting, some people may have thought I was having a midlife crisis. But it was really a midlife awakening that led me to found the organization We2Gether Creating Change, to break the cycle of generational poverty in places like Sunflower County.


Russell DeLucia , The Small-Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund, Inc. (S3IDF)
Founder and Executive Director
The Small-Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund, Inc. (S3IDF)
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

In 40 years working in infrastructure development, I helped bring 60 projects to the developing world: electricity, water, light, clean water, sanitation, transportation, telecommunications. These utilities transform lives — but only some lives. The truth is, most of the poor can’t afford to connect to them. And without access, the poor stay poor.


Michael Connor , Open MIC/Business Ethics Magazine
Executive Director
Open MIC/Business Ethics Magazine
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

“‘Business ethics’? Isn’t that an oxymoron?” I heard that joke a lot in 2004 when I bought Business Ethics, a magazine about corporate responsibility. But more than 40 years as a business journalist and media executive taught me that corporate secrecy can be a threat to the bottom line and to democracy.


Liza Bercovici , Gabriella Charter School
Executive Director
Gabriella Charter School
Purpose Prize Fellow 2014

When my daughter, Gabriella, died in 1999 in a bike accident, my life stopped. My husband and I and our two sons were devastated. Too grief-stricken to continue my law career, I closed my practice and, with the help of family and friends, established The Gabriella Foundation in her honor. In the process, I slowly rebuilt my life.

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