Meet Jai Bharathi — World Class Social Innovator & 2022 Grinnell Prize Winner

 Students, faculty, staff, and guests will have the opportunity to celebrate and interact with our 2022 Grinnell Prize winner Jai Bharathi (she/her), Founder and CEO of MOWO Social Initiatives. Bharathi, through her work with MOWO Social Initiatives, disrupts systems of oppression by empowering women to be agents of their own mobility through two-, three-, or four-wheeler drivers’ trainings and access to employment.   


Wednesday, October 5 (3–4:30pm: Saints Rest Coffee Shop)

Coffee Chat with 2022 Grinnell Prize Winner Jai Bharathi 

2022 Grinnell Prize winner Jai Bharathi will be at Saints Rest Coffee for informal conversation Say you are with the Grinnell Prize, and your first cup of coffee is on us! 

Thursday, October 6  (4–5pm; Grinnell College Museum of Art)

Art as a Vehicle for Social Change 

Join 2022 Grinnell Prize winner Jai Bharathi and Tilly Woodward, Curator of Academic and Community Outreach, in a conversation about the role of art as a reflection tool for social change and how to harness collaborative creative processes for shared community impact. 

Friday, October 7  (12–1pm; HSSC A1231)

Grinnell Prize Keynote by 2022 Grinnell Prize Winner Jai Bharathi 

Keynote presentation by the 2022 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize winner. Q & A session will follow. A soup and salad buffet will be provided. Webex link for those who wish to attend virtually: 

Saturday, October 8  (2–3:30pm; HSSC A1231)

Discussion: Social Change & Adapting to Sector-Specific Advancements 

2022 Grinnell Prize winner Jai Bharathi will challenge the common, linear template for tackling social issues: 1) work to understand an issue; 2) curate solutions; and finally, 3) implement solutions. What is missing in this linear model is the need to keep up with changes and advancements in the issue areas we are trying to transform. If solutions are to remain relevant, we must account for advancements and changes in the sectors we are working to change. Using the example of improving mobility access in a context of evolving climate consciousness and sustainability advancements, this discussion will explore how to be nimble as a social innovator while simultaneously advancing a social movement’s core mission.  

Sunday, October 9 (3–4:30pm; HSSC A1231)

Discussion: Innovative Advocacy Campaigns for Creating Social Change 

Social innovators and entrepreneurs must account for the need to raise awareness about the issues they are addressing. Often, even those most impacted by an issue are not aware of just how they are being impacted by inequitable policies, processes, or systems. 2022 Grinnell Prize winner Jai Bharathi will explore how innovative advocacy campaigns like Moving Boundaries can work within communities to build a broader understanding of social need and lead to key collaborations with public and private organizations. 

By Susan Sanning
Susan Sanning Associate Dean and Director of Civic Education & Innovation