top of page
LOGO new.png

The Social Impact-athon is a weekend-long challenge  to promote environmental justice in Boston by investing in local nonprofit organizations.

[East Boston Chamber of Commerce]


Work in a team.

Participants will be assigned to an interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students with a robust mix of skills, knowledge, and experiences. As a team, students will learn about environmental justice in Boston and develop a Team Plan to fund nonprofit organizations working with communities at risk of environmental inequity.

Develop a plan.

Teams will study the accomplishments and priorities of several nonprofit organizations addressing environmental justice in Boston. They will then develop a Team Plan articulating their strategy for achieving impact by distributing $50,000 among three or more of these organizations.

Award real money.

Our funding partner, Germeshausen Foundation, will award $50,000 among the organizations included in the Team Plan judged to have the greatest potential for impact. Additionally, each team will be invited to direct a $1,000 grant from the foundation to the participating organization of its choice.

What is Environmental Justice?

Environmental Justice is the right of all people to live, work, and play in a clean and healthy environment and have a voice in the environmental issues that affect them regardless of their race, national origin, or socioeconomic status.

What is Experiential Philanthropy?

Experiential philanthropy (EP) is a teaching methodology that engages students in independent, real-dollar grant making so they can grapple with the practical and ethical implications of investing in social change and making difficult decisions with consequences.  The Social Impact-athon will draw heavily on the practices of our course-based EP program, Northeastern Students4Giving (NS4G), which emphasizes systems thinking, ethical reasoning, humility, perspective taking, and collaboration.


As with NS4G, students’ decision making in the Social Impact-athon is independent of any relationships participating nonprofit organizations may have with the university. This event is not affiliated with the Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative.  

[John Tlumacki/Getty]

Why Participate?

Collaboration and Teamwork

Experience the power of interdisciplinary collaboration while expanding your personal network.

Perspective Taking

Learn about the experience and expertise of Boston organizations and residents confronting environmental justice challenges in their communities.

Problem solving

Examine a complex and dynamic problem and develop a creative, ethical, and effective strategy for contributing to a solution.

Civic Mindedness

Learn about the role nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and civic engagement play in our society.


Rebecca Riccio

Director, Social Impact Lab

Daniel Faber
Professor of Sociology, Northeastern
Director, Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative

Atyia Martin
Distinguished Senior Fellow at Northeastern University's Global Resilience Institute, and first Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston

Kalila Barnett
Climate Resilience Program Officer, Barr Foundation

Andrew Seeder
Senior Associate, Research & Metrics, Conservation Law Foundation

Joan Fitzgerald

Professor, School of Public Policy and Urban, Northeastern University

Sunrise Movement Boston

Members of the local chapter will be answering questions in a tabling session on Saturday afternoon



Rev. Mariama White-Hammond

Pastor, New Roots AME Church




Raytheon Amphitheatre

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Registration, Dinner 


6:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Welcome, Overview          Rebecca Riccio

6:30 pm - 7:15 pm


    Daniel Faber

7:20 pm - 8:05 pm


     Atyia Martin

8:15 pm - 9:00 pm


    Andrew Seeder 


Curry Student Center

9:00 am - 9:30 am

9:30 am - 10:45 am


     Rev. Mariama White-Hammond

10:45 am - 11:00 am


11:00 am - 11:45 am


     Kalila Barnett

11:45 am - 12:15 am


12:15 am - 12:45 am


     Joan Fitzgerald

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm


1:00 am - 2:30 am


     Rebecca Riccio

2:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Team Work Sessions

Dinner and snacks provided


Curry Student Center

9:30 am

Proposals Due

10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Lessons Learned and Brunch

1:30 pm
Grantee Announcements, Closing Remarks

Sunrise Movement Boston


Becca Berkey

Director of Service-Learning, Center of Community Service, Northeastern University

Dan Jackson 

Executive Director, NuLawLab, Northeastern University School of Law

Chris Bosso 

Associate Director, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Liz Allen 

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University

Joel Jaquez
Manager of External Relations and Partnerships 
Learning by Giving Foundation

Mari Barrera

Principal, Barrera Consulting

Akiera Gilbert

On-Sight Customer Success Associate, APDS & Northeastern Students4Giving Alum

Sarah Saydun

Pathways Coordinator, Zumix, & Northeastern Students4Giving Alum


Shaya Gregory Poku 

Director, Center for Social Justice and Community Impact 

Wheaton College


Sam Vaghar
Executive Director, Millennium Campus Network

Advisor to the Executive Director, UN Women

Shanna O'Berry

Director of Academic Programs

Learning by Giving Foundation 


Kate Trimble   

Senior Associate Dean and Director

Office of Experiential Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

Jennie Stephens

Director, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs 

Director for Strategic Research Collaborations of the Global Resilience Institute, Northeastern University

Ted Landmark

Director, Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, Northeastern University


Join Us!

Questions? Get in touch with us.
Learn more about the Social Impact Lab.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

bottom of page