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Sisters of Charity Foundation Seeks Applicants for Social Innovation Fellowship

CLEVELAND, OHIO, February 4, 2020 – The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland (SOCF Cleveland) in partnership with the Cleveland Leadership Center is now accepting applications for the next cohort of The Innovation Mission fellowship, designed to empower Cleveland professionals to grow and develop big ideas to disrupt the status quo and create systems change across our communities.

The Innovation Mission primarily seeks individuals employed at values-driven organizations who recognize potential pathways to systems change that will upend issues of poverty, and need the time and space to explore ideas for solutions. The fellowship will offer innovation coaching, partnership opportunities, peer collaboration and sustained support as fellows work toward becoming Cleveland’s next changemakers.

SOCF Cleveland will host a series of information sessions through March for interested applicants who want to learn more. Registration is available on Eventbrite.

The fellowship, developed in partnership with the Cleveland Leadership Center, concluded its inaugural class in spring of 2019.

“Last year’s fellows did an extraordinary job of demonstrating that innovation takes passion, hard work and plenty of iteration,” said Susanna Krey, president, SOCF Cleveland. “We now know that dedicating time and resources to deeply understand a problem—as well as how that problem is perceived by those affected—can lead to new approaches that will improve quality of life for Cleveland’s low-income individuals.”

The Innovation Mission was an incubator for Legal Aid’s Housing Justice Alliance, which recently worked alongside City Council to introduce and pass legislation for tenants’ rights in eviction cases. Additional projects, like medically tailored meals for recently discharged patients and an education and legal service center for low-income entrepreneurs, continue to gain traction with local communities and organizations.

Following both internal and external evaluations of the previous Innovation Mission, SOCF Cleveland has updated the approach to this year’s fellowship, shortening the overall length from 18 months to 12, and selecting up to 10 rising fellows to participate in three months of educational ahead of the final fellow selection. The final selected fellows will then continue their innovation education as they dig deeper to advance their ideas.

“Inviting a larger group to participate in the foundational innovation workshops offers the opportunity for the rising fellows to develop thoughtful, consistent project plans,” said Christine Mitton, director, knowledge and learning at SOCF Cleveland. “When it is time for the rising fellows to pitch for a final fellow spot, they will have had the time to apply a true innovative framework to their idea and can better articulate a plan for the future.”

Of the rising fellows, four will be selected to complete the in-depth work of the fellowship. This includes additional workshops for group collaboration, and individual project work supported by SOCF Cleveland and Cleveland Leadership Center.

“We are excited to once again be a part of The Innovation Mission,” said Marianne Crosley, president, Cleveland Leadership Center. “With so many incredible Clevelanders who have come through the doors of the Cleveland Leadership Center, we will help to identify a team of supporters for each fellow. These subject-matter experts will help counsel and connect fellows to solve problems and locate the resources they need to really move the needle on our community’s issues.”

This fellowship is designed for the seasoned professional in any industry across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The Innovation Mission includes: orientation; eight full-day workshops through June 2021; ongoing small-group meetings with mentors and partners; and independent work to research, develop and launch an idea. Participants are required to obtain their employer’s support and input.

Information sessions:

  • Tuesday, February 11: 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, February 14: 8 to 9:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, February 25: 4:30 to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 4: 8 to 9:30 a.m.

A full timeline, applications and additional information can be found at


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