Economic Mobility, General

Meet New Profit’s first Economic Mobility Cohort

Eight social entrepreneurs will spend a year engaging with a peer learning community focused on advancing economic mobility in the U.S.

March 7, 2022

New Profit is pleased to introduce the eight social entrepreneurs that comprise our inaugural Economic Mobility Catalyze Cohort. This group of innovators is actively tackling crucial levers that impact economic mobility in America including pathways to gainful employment, social determinants of work, and financial health.

For this investment cycle, New Profit prioritized funding organizations led by women of color, with an emphasis on Black, Latina, and Indigenous leaders. Eighty-five percent of the incoming cohort identify as Black, Latina/o/x, or Indigenous leaders and seven of the eight social entrepreneurs in the cohort identify as women. Recognizing that the systemic obstacles and inequities that prevent or limit economic mobility differ across geographies, New Profit selected social entrepreneurs from distinct regions across the country.   

The 2022 Economic Mobility Cohort includes:


  • Jessica Santana, America On Tech: America On Tech (AOT) envisions a world where young people of color across the country have equitable access to compete fairly for opportunities in the technology sector. AOT’s mission is to decrease the racial wealth gap by increasing equitable pathways for underestimated students into degrees and/or careers in technology.
  • Carolyn (CJ) Johnson, Black Cultural Zone: The mission of the Black Cultural Zone (CDC) is to unapologetically center Black arts, culture and economics as we collectively design, resource, transform, and build collective power for our communities.
  • Nika Soon-Shiong, Fund for Guaranteed Income (F4GI): F4GI builds technology and infrastructure for guaranteed income programs that are both community-rooted and scalable. F4GI provides direct, unconditional, recurring cash transfers and wraparound/supportive resources to communities and women of color, providing COVID-19 relief while supporting long-term job and wealth creation.
  • Gabrielle Wyatt, The Highland Project (THP): The Highland Project is building and sustaining a pipeline of Black women leading communities, institutions, and systems, resulting in the creation of multi-generational wealth and change in the communities where they live and serve. By investing in leaders across sectors, generations, and the country, THP is a long-term strategy to create wide-reaching structural change and disrupt the racial wealth gap for the Black community through evidence-based and community-rooted practices.
  • Reuben Ogbonna, The Marcy Lab School: The Marcy Lab School helps young people accelerate their careers. The year-long college alternative provides young adults from underestimated backgrounds with the skills, habits, and networks necessary to launch a rewarding, purpose-driven career in the tech sector.
  • Claudia Arroyo, Prospera: Prospera is the only organization in the U.S. advancing cooperative business development specifically for Latina immigrants in Spanish. Through our comprehensive, culturally-specific training and technical assistance programs, Prospera partners with Latina entrepreneurs to develop the skills and leadership capacity they need to launch businesses that foster cooperation, economic resilience, and well-being in immigrant communities.
  • Maria Velazquez, Telpochcalli Community Education Project: Telpochcalli Community Education Project mobilizes youth and adults for social justice work by building individual capacity, collective power, and mutual responsibility through culturally relevant and community-directed education, leadership development, and organizing. They stay in mission by supporting community-led programming, providing essential services and referrals through TCEP’s call center, training, and mentorship.
  • Samantha Abrams, Walker’s Legacy Foundation: Walker’s Legacy is a global platform for professional and entrepreneurial multicultural women. They exist to inspire, equip, and engage through thought-provoking content, educational programming, and a global community. (Note: At the time of publication, Ayris T Scales was CEO. Walker’s Legacy Foundation welcomed Samantha Abrams as CEO and Managing Director in summer 2022.)

This week, the Cohort gathered online to learn with and from one another during a three-day convening led by New Profit staff. Session topics included goal-setting, conducting organizational assessments for capacity building, and building relationships across organizations. 

Over the next year, the Cohort will continue to benefit from this peer learning community that connects these entrepreneurs through learning sessions and convenings focused on tackling key leadership and organizational challenges. Additionally, each leader’s organization will receive $100,000 in unrestricted funding, as well as one-on-one leadership and strategic coaching to help them build organizational capacity and take aim at changing the broader systems in which they operate. Learn more about why economic mobility is a key investment area for New Profit here

For inquiries about New Profit’s Economic Mobility Cohort, please email: 

About New Profit

New Profit is a venture philanthropy organization that backs social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit exists to build a bridge between these leaders and a community of philanthropists who are committed to catalyzing their impact. New Profit provides unrestricted grants and strategic support to a portfolio of organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs to increase their impact, scale, and sustainability. It also partners with social entrepreneurs and other cross-sector leaders to shift how government and philanthropy pursue social change to ensure that all people can thrive. Since its founding in 1998, New Profit has invested over $350M in 130+ organizations and, through the America Forward Coalition’s collective advocacy efforts, has unlocked over $1.7B in government funding for social innovation.