Encore.org Purpose Prize Names a Columbia Winner

Monday, November 16, 2015

Columbia faculty member Jamal Joseph was among the six winners of the 2015 Encore.org Purpose Prize announced on November 16th. Now in its tenth year, the Purpose Prize recognizes and invests in people over 60 who combine passion and experience for social good. The prize is an excellent embodiment of a focal point of the Columbia Aging Center: to embrace the wide range of opportunities inherent in societies of longer lives.

Columbia Aging Center faculty member and Mailman School of Public Health Dean, Linda Fried, served on the selection committee.

This year’s winners are:

• Journalist Laurie Ahern (Disability Rights International) became an advocate for children with disabilities held in abusive institutions, fighting torture, training activists and changing lives in 36 countries. ($100,000 Purpose Prize)

• Micro-lending champion Patricia Foley Hinnen (Capital Sisters International), brings equality and economic justice to 75,000 women and their family members with "sister bonds" that fight the feminization of poverty. ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Financial Inclusion, sponsored by MetLife Foundation)

• Former Black Panther Jamal Joseph (IMPACT Repertory Theatre) has created a refuge where thousands of young people escape the violence in their lives, learn leadership skills and create art for social change. ($25,000 Purpose Prize)

• Dr. Samuel Lupin (Housecalls for the Homebound) has modernized the tradition of house calls, with two generations' support, bringing much-needed health care to 4,000 homebound elderly patients. ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Collaboration, sponsored by The Eisner Foundation)

• Far beyond the pulpit, teacher-turned-Episcopal-priest Belle Mickelson (Dancing with the Spirit) helps young and old fiddle in harmony, building connections in 29 remote Alaskan villages.  ($25,000 Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Impact, sponsored by The Eisner Foundation)

Former New York State Judge Laura Safer Espinoza (Fair Food Standards Council) moved from the courtroom to Florida's growing fields, bringing human rights and economic justice to over 30,000 farmworkers. ($25,000 Purpose Prize)