GPI Founder Wins Grinnell Prize
The prize, which received nominations from 45 countries, honors three individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. The prize includes a $100,000 award.
Global Press Institute is an award-winning, high-impact social venture that uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ and empower women in the developing world to produce high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change. Hegranes founded GPI in 2006 at the age of 25 after working as a foreign correspondent in Nepal.
During the last six years, GPI has trained and employed more than 130 women in 25 countries.
“I dedicate this award to the women journalists of GPI who have done me the tremendous honor of turning my little idea into a huge, world-changing reality,” said Hegranes, now 31.
Dr. Raynard S. Kington, president of Grinnell College, commended the 2012 prize winners.
“These young men and women embody Grinnell’s long-standing mission to prepare students to go out into the world and use their education for the benefit of the common good,” Kington said. “Our 2012 winners represent the ideals of the prize program in every way possible.”
Both journalism and social justice organizations have consistently recognized and lauded GPI’s work for its unique and effective impact. GPI has won more than a dozen journalism awards and honors, including the Journalism Innovation Prize from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2010 and the prestigious Kurt Schork Prize for Excellence in International Reporting from the Reuters Foundation in 2011. Hegranes received the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism in 2008 and a Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2011.
Members of the GPI team were thrilled to hear about the award today.
“In addition to recognizing the vision, courage and tireless efforts of Cristi Hegranes, the Grinnell Prize also validates the voices of GPI reporters, the stories they tell and the social justice they further,” said Maura Bogue, GPI’s managing editor.
Longtime board member Ryan Blitstein said: “After watching GPI produce high-impact work for more than six years, I am thrilled to see Cristi elevated to her rightful place among the world's top social entrepreneurs."
Hegranes will visit the Grinnell College campus the week of Nov. 12 to participate in the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize Symposium and awards ceremony. Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, will be the keynote speaker.
About Grinnell College:
Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs.
About Global Press Institute:
Global Press Institute is an award-winning, high-impact social venture that uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ and empower women in the developing world to produce high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change.
GPI offers women a unique training-to-employment opportunity that builds the skills necessary for success in professional journalism and then provides them with long-term employment. Each woman who completes the training program receives a job offer at a fair wage to become a GPI reporter. To date, GPI has trained and employed more than 130 women around the world.
As a result of GPI’s high quality and extensive reach, more than 25 percent of GPI stories in the last two years have catalyzed direct action – sparking social protest, provoking international attention to issues first covered by GPI and even changing laws in a country.