PRESS RELEASE: Center for Civic Innovation Announces Inaugural Civic Innovation Fellows

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Atlanta, Georgia – June 22, 2016

The Center for Civic Innovation is proud to announce the inaugural class of Civic Innovation Fellows. The Civic Innovation Fellowship is a leadership and business development program for social entrepreneurs in Atlanta. Every six months, the Center for Civic Innovation will bring together a cohort of eight individuals with innovative, outcome-driven ideas to tackle social challenges in Atlanta and provides them with business development workshops, free work space, mentorship, advising, and leadership development training. More details can be found at


The inaugural Civic Innovation Fellows are:

  • Alexander Acosta, Soul Food Cypher: Soul Food Cypher utilizes the power of freestyle rap and lyricism to transform the lives of individuals and their communities. They are an organization that showcases the positive aspects of hip hop culture through our cypher events, membership program, and community outreach.

  • Joshua Brown, The Center for Children with Incarcerated Parents of America: The Center for Children with Incarcerated Parents of America is a minority and veteran operated community-based organization whose mission is to divert parental and intergenerational incarceration, by helping at-risk, low-income individuals to stabilize their lives economically and reach their leadership potential in the community.

  • Monica Campana, Living Walls, The City Speaks: Living Walls seeks to promote, educate and change perspectives about our public space via street art. With their mission we aim to address blight, neglected public spaces, connection between people in their communities, and access to free thought-provoking art in the public space.

  • Rutu Chaudhari, The Dharma Project: The Dharma Project's mission is to educate, empower, and employ populations that face financial and/or social barriers to the transformative power of yoga. They introduce vulnerable populations to yoga and healthy lifestyle practices, and train individuals from those communities to teach yogic practices on their own, creating a cycle of wellness that continues to spread in underserved communities.

  • Marian Liou, We Love BuHi: We Love BuHi envisions a safe, attractive, fun, livable and inclusive Buford Highway corridor. The organization seeks to catalyze the area's revitalization through creative, collaborative placemaking showcasing the area's diversity.

  • Reginald Maisonneuve, eDea, LLC: eDea is dedicated to advancing the financial well-­being of individuals and communities and giving institutions the means to better serve them. Through the innovative use of technology, we define, visualize and quantify financial health to help people understand, achieve and maintain financial well-being.

  • Jeffrey Martín, honorCode: honorCode's purpose is to empower schools to build the capacity for tomorrow's world. They provide curriculum and training to schools to bring more web development into the general K12 classroom.

  • Susanna Spiccia, re:imagine/ATL: re:imagine/ATL is a nonprofit organization that equips youth from all backgrounds to share their stories through multimedia production, activating youth through project-based learning to positively impact their community.

The Civic Innovation Fellows represent a diverse group of Atlanta’s social entrepreneurs, including 50% women.

“Starting a business is hard. Starting a social impact business is, in many ways, even harder,” says Rohit Malhotra, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Civic Innovation. “When things don’t work out for social impact businesses, it’s not just a matter of dollars and cents. Social enterprises are the best businesses a city can ask for. Mission-driven organizations not only improve the lives of other, but are also important economic drivers for our city. Solving social challenges Atlanta faces today will help save our city a ton of money in the long run.”

Nathan Jones will serve as the team lead for the Civic Innovation Fellowship. Serving as the Center for Civic Innovation’s Venture Development Manager, Jones brings deep experience in stimulating sustainable micro-economies in under-resourced neighborhoods. He is a Co-Founder of the Village Micro Fund, an incubator and micro-lender in Atlanta, and began his career at Goldman Sachs. “It’s tough being the founder of any startup; you’re constantly consumed with every detail of your product. But it’s exponentially more personal with social enterprise because, at the end of the day, your end success metric isn’t just users, sales, or high valuation,” says Jones. “It’s also, and perhaps most importantly, how a life was impacted because of your work.”

About the Center for Civic Innovation

The Center for Civic Innovation engages with local communities and public institutions to develop, test, and scale social interventions that create positive economic impact and increase civic participation. We do this by supporting and investing in people and organizations who are already on the ground with products or services that make the public sector more effective, innovative, and participatory. We host programs for community-based social entrepreneurs at all stages, but focus on early stage, untested projects. We are based in Atlanta, Georgia, and our programs are focused on tackling challenges faced by the city, the metro region, and state while creating models that will be scalable to cities like Atlanta.


Nathan Jones, Venture Development Manager,

Rachel Stanley, Membership and Communications Manager,