The Prime Movers: Cultivating Social Capital program supports leaders who engage masses of people to create a more just society. Prime Movers are emerging or established social movement leaders who are, or could become, public faces of mass movements in the US. We provide financial support, public policy contacts, advocacy training, networking occasions, opportunities for reflection, and a peer network to strengthen these leaders.

Fellows lead a variety of social movements, which are sustained collective challenges by ordinary people who act to change policies, cultural behavior, or social inequities. The program enhances fellows’ leadership skills to catapult their leadership capacity in their social movements. The program consists of two major components that facilitate the fellows’ professional development:

  1. Community building and peer networking: Fellows convene several times a year to discuss common issues and challenges and to identify pathways for change. Fellows also often contact one another for advice and assistance.
  2. Individualized support: Prime Movers each receive a $60,000 grant for customized professional development. The grant is distributed over the first two years of their fellowship and is strictly for individual development purposes, not organizational support.

Through participation in our program, Prime Movers become part of a diverse peer network that fortifies their individual leadership. This focus allows leaders to think beyond their organizations and take on broader, more pivotal roles within their movements.