Leading social entrepreneurs join Stanford community


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From left to right: Chris Ategeka, Cristi Hegranes, Carolyn Laub and Raj Jayadev.


Stanford’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship welcomes four social entrepreneurs to campus in spring quarter to engage students and the Stanford community with leaders in the social sector. The four are serving as Social Entrepreneurs in Residence at Stanford (SEERS) Fellows at the Haas Center for Public Service through a partnership with Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. In addition to meeting with members of the Stanford community, they are teaching a community-engaged learning course this spring.


The SEERS Fellows lead organizations using entrepreneurial models to advance social justice and pioneer new approaches to public service delivery for marginalized communities. They have all been recognized for their path-breaking contributions to the field with awards and prestigious fellowships. The 2017 cohort join 19 other SEERS alumni who have been part of the program since its launch in 2011. 


Developing Healthcare Professionals Across the African Continent

Born and raised in rural Uganda, Christopher (Chris) Ategeka is working to ensure that everyone on the African continent has access to timely, quality health care. He is the founder and CEO of Health Access Corps (formerly Rides for Lives), which works to combat the dire shortage of healthcare personnel in Uganda and across the broader African continent. In an effort to curb the “brain drain” of talented healthcare professionals from African communities, Health Access Corps encourages trained healthcare professionals to stay and work in their local communities. In addition, the organization invests in training and placement of new health personnel to increase the talent pool of professionals committed to working in underserved areas of their countries.


Employing Local Female Journalists to Report Global News

Cristi Hegranes is the founder and executive director of Global Press, which works to create a more just and informed world by employing and training local female journalists to produce ethical, accurate news coverage from the world’s least-covered places. Global Press operates a training program, Global Press Institute (GPI); an award-winning news publication, Global Press Journal; and an innovative syndication division, Global Press News Service. GPI has trained and employed 180 journalists across 26 developing countries, including Haiti, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.


Bringing Community Organizing into the Courtroom

Raj Jayadev is the co-founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a community organizing and advocacy organization based in San Jose, California. For nearly 15 years, De-Bug has been a platform for the least heard of Silicon Valley—youth, immigrants, low-income workers, the incarcerated—to impact the political, cultural, and social landscape of the region. De-Bug's Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project created an approach to combatting mass incarceration called "participatory defense” that provides support to families with loved ones in the criminal justice system to build a legal defense amid public defenders’ overburdened caseloads. De-Bug has incubated participatory defense hubs across the country and is building a national network of community organizations to make systemic change in the courts from the ground up.

Organizing People and Aligning Resources to Create Social Justice

Carolyn Laub, a Stanford alumna, consults with social justice nonprofits and foundations on strategy, policy, movement building, strategic communications, scaling and replication. She recently co-founded Springboard Partners, an incubator of both high-impact social justice campaigns and start-up companies. Previously, Carolyn founded the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, which organizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth advocating for safety and justice in schools. Over 16 years, the organization trained over 15,000 youth leaders, grew GSA clubs in California from 40 to close to 1,000, trained youth advocates who helped pass more than a dozen statewide laws, replicated her California model in four other states and created a network serving 3,000+ GSA clubs in 39 states. Carolyn’s fellowship to the program is generously supporting by Echoing Green, an organization that supports early-stage social innovation.


Stanford undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to work on community-engaged learning projects with the 2017 SEERS fellows through a course, INTNREL/AFRICAST 142, this spring quarter. The course allows students to work alongside these nonprofit leaders to tackle real organizational challenges. From launching grassroots advocacy campaigns to developing new income generation strategies for organizations, students come away with new insight into the field of social change and concrete skills for the social sector. The course is led by Kathleen Kelly Janus, an attorney who has spearheaded many social justice initiatives in the Bay Area and is co-taught by the SEERS Fellows.  

The SEERS Fellows will be on campus through June to teach the community-engaged learning course, participate in events, and engage with student groups. To learn more about the Program on Social Entrepreneurship visit pse.stanford.edu or to connect with the SEERS Fellows, please contact Sarina Beges (sbeges@stanford.edu).