Remarkable People

We Are Each Other’s Destiny

To reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is to consider deeply our human interconnectedness and the world we want to build. Each year on this day, I re-read his extraordinary, elegiac “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to remember his commitment to human equality and the price he paid. I read it to remind myself of the power of idealism grounded in pragmatism. I read it to renew my belief in our individual and collective abilities to help bend the moral arc ever more toward justice. [Read More]

Imagining the world as it could be

Christine Gitau is an East Africa Fellow and an enterprise coach at Craft Afrika, which provides business support services to craft entrepreneurs, enabling them build viable and thriving businesses in Kenya. At Acumen we often use the term “Moral Imagination” when talking about leadership. Christine wrote a reflection on how this concept has shifted her thinking. We could not be more proud of what she is building! [Read More]

Why We All Need A ‘Rikki’

Caren Wakoli is an emerging leader in East Africa who has launched a foundation to support the next generation of female leaders for Africa. Caren applied twice for the fellowship and was not accepted, but she did not give up. Her resilience and grit allowed her to persevere, and this year we are proud to have her as an East Africa Fellow. Below she shares her story on why everyone needs a ‘Rikki,’ and failure is never final.  [Read More]

Hope for Samburu girls

Joyce is 10 years old. She is from Samburu, an area in northeastern Kenya known for its beautiful landscapes, abundant wildlife, and centuries-old culture. As part of Samburu tradition, Joyce had been forcefully married to a man old enough to be her grandfather. Luckily, before the wedding she was rescued and put in school. Today, she is in second grade and the brightest in her class. [Read More]

Finding purpose through courage

Courage in unlikely places

My pathway to Acumen and the impact investing space is a bit circuitous, but is inspired by the courage that I met in quite unlikely places.  It took traveling to Assis, Brazil, for my heart to be arrested. Through the eyes of children like Pit, who were held at gunpoint and forced to join violent gangs, or Lillian, who were caught in a bitter cycle of prostitution to support their drug addiction, I saw courage that came from brokenness. [Read More]

Win No Matter What: the power of positivity

As a freshman college student in New York City last year, I rode the subways often as a means of getting around Manhattan. Usually, I thought nothing of the subway system. One day though, I was in such a joyful mood that I just had to socialize with someone.  I tried to initiate a conversation with a lady sitting next to me on my subway car, only to get a blank emotionless face in return. She looked extremely rushed and bored at the same time. That moment ultimately made me think about humans in general. We often do not live to the fullest or notice all the bright life around us because we think we have insufficient time, are preoccupied, or sometimes tired. [Read More]