June 24, 2018
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Black Washingtonian Honored as Social Innovator


Entrepreneurs Over 60 Win $50,000 - $100,000 Each for Using Creativity, Experience to Solve Long-Standing Social Problems

WASHINGTON,  -- Kenneth Barnes has been named a 2009 Purpose Prize Fellow, an honor for social entrepreneurs over 60 who are using their experience and passion to take on society's biggest challenges. Now in its fourth year, the six-year, $17 million program is the nation's only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life.

Kenneth Barnes, Sr., the black founder/CEO of the Washington, DC-based ROOT (Reaching Out to Others Together), Inc. was named a Fellow for his work on behalf of victims of crime and gun violence not only in his native Washington, DC, but throughout the US. In April of this year, Mr. Barnes was the recipient of the National Service Award presented to him by the Attorney General of the United States during National Victims of Crime Week. This honor is the highest awarded to an individual based upon their work on behalf of victims of crime. Just this past month, Mr. Barnes was the recipient of the BET Hometown Hero of the Year award. Since his son was brutally murdered in 2001, he has worked tirelessly and ceaselessly to develop an awareness campaign, programs, and initiatives to help prevent gun violence from a public health perspective, rather than wait to react to violence, as he feels is so often the norm today.

Kenneth Barnes will join 46 other Purpose Prize Fellows at a Summit on Innovation this weekend at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business' Center on Social Innovation, one of the world's leading academic centers focused on social entrepreneurship.

"It is truly an honor to be recognized by the Purpose Prize and be awarded a Fellowship. It is further an honor that the Purpose Prize and all involved recognize our efforts to bring the awareness of gun violence as a public health issue to the forefront of attention," states Kenneth E, Barnes, Sr., MS.

The Purpose Prize supports Fellows by helping develop their capacity, linking them with funders and venture philanthropists and connecting them to other social innovators over 60. It is part of the Encore Careers campaign run by Civic Ventures, a national think tank on boomers, work and social purpose. Funding for The Purpose Prize comes from The Atlantic Philanthropies and the John Templeton Foundation.

Sherry Lansing, CEO of the Sherry Lansing Foundation and former chair of Paramount Pictures' Motion Picture Group, chairs the jury that selected this year's winners. The 24 judges are leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector - including actor Sidney Poitier, social entrepreneur Thomas Tierney, former Senator Harris Wofford and journalist Cokie Roberts.

The Purpose Prize is a program of the Encore Careers campaign (www.encore.org), which aims to engage millions of boomers in encore careers combining social impact, personal meaning and continued income in the second half of life. The goal: produce a windfall of human talent to solve society's greatest problems, from education to the environment, health care to homelessness. www.encore.org.

Contact: Priscilla Clarke (202)723-2200, pclarkepr@aol.com




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