Since our founding in 2014, we have worked with 14 movements in 13 countries and 5 continents, piloting and iterating the best ways to get movements the support they need.
Our support has ranged from virtual coaching to amplifying campaigns at critical moments to intensive in-country trainings with ongoing coaching and support. Our 2015 Catalyst Fellowship brought together 23 catalysts from 8 countries and movements for a 6-month intensive coaching and instruction using the Rhize methodology.
Catalysts Are Equalizers, Visionaries, and Doers that Are Transforming Societies through the movements they lead
Catalysts exist in every community, town, and country in the world. They see the world for what it is but also for what it could be. By taking ownership of the issues that affect their community, rising up against injustice, opening up new spaces through participation, and building resilient communities, they are shaping democracy to be as it was intended: people-powered.
Organizing is the great equalizer. No matter the issue, it cuts out the middlemen and gives people the agency to shape their surroundings, change culture and transform societies, behavior, and policy.
Catalysts understand that it’s not about “digging wells.” It’s about inviting people to dig with you or, better yet, innovating alternatives for water access, alternatives for failing institutions and infrastructures. Catalysts embody the qualities of leadership that enable others to take responsibility and take action.
Meet our catalysts and the movements they lead.
Movements we support are joining a growing network of catalysts that are creating decentralized nodes of people-power around the globe. They will be growing their movements while joining a more global movement that is putting people-powered change at the center of democracy.
Government Accountability: Global, Liberia, Nepal
Blair Glencorse, Lawrence Yealue, Nora Rahimian
At the Accountability Lab, we empower youth to build creative tools for integrity and anti-corruption in their communities. By enabling people to use information and knowledge to hold their governments to responsible, we’re catalyzing a global movement of individuals unlocking the rich potential for political and economic development around the world.
LGBT Rights: Cyprus
Maria Arettines, Fatema Islam, Kypros Savva
The LGBT movement for equal rights in Cyprus is in its infant stages, and we’re excited to be catalyzing a more powerful effort to dismantle institutional homophobia and xenophobia that is weaved into all aspects of Cypriot society. Our first goal is to create an inclusive, physical and safe space for members of our community to organize and fight against discrimination and for equal recognition.
Tax Justice: Kenya
Sungu Oyoo, Victoria Atieno, Anthony Ndaka
Kenyans for Tax Justice is a grassroots movement addressing economic policy and oppression in Kenya, with a particular focus on tax policy. We advocate for socially-just, progressive and transparent tax systems. Everyone is a taxpayer and everyone deserves to benefit from taxation.
Environmental Justice: Colombia
Xiomara Acevedo, Dora Tafur, David Portillo
Born out of the Rio+20 movement, Barranquilla+20 is a youth led collective group whose purpose is to educate and empower children and youth about environmental issues by means of education, communication and work in the ground strategies. We are building a movement of resilient communities and committed youth working to realize the vision of environmental sustainability in our city and across cities in Colombia.
Land Rights: Philippines
Task Force ANTI APECO (TFAA) is a network of farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous people, lawyers, religious organizations and young people fighting for inclusive development primarily in Casiguran, Aurora, Philippines and mounting a movement against the abuses and human rights violations by the Development Aggressor Aurora Pacific Economic Zone (APECO). Our goal is to uphold the right to self-determination which necessitates reclaiming our land and calling for the repeal of the law authored by the Political Dynasty of the Angaras.
Land Rights: The Gambia
Saffiatou Bobb & Ebrima Ceesay
Activista-Gambia brings together top youth activists from around the country to fight against injustices across The Gambia. This year, we are catalyzing a nationwide movement for land rights to ensure greater food security for the hundreds of thousands of Gambians suffering from hunger and to ensure a more prosperous, egalitarian Gambia.
Carry That Weight: United States
Carry That Weight is a growing movement of student activists organizing to end domestic and sexual assault on college campuses to a national scale. After a successful National Day of Action on October 28, 2014 that reached over 150 campuses in five countries, we continue to support their work to strategically build the movement and end the rape culture that enables the assault of 1 in 5 women in US colleges.
Securing Disability Rights: India
Pradeep Raj is an award-winning activist for disability rights as well as a Paralympian. He has helped lead the battle for the passage of the Disability Rights Act in India, which he continues to pursue. But he has won other important battles like ensuring Indian government buildings and sports stadiums are wheelchair accessible around the country.
Bring Back Our Girls: Nigeria
Olatunji Olanrewaju, Ibrahim Dangana, Aisha Yesufu, Veronica Bakam, Adebukola Shonibare
In the wake of the disappearance of the 246 ChibkGirls in Northern Nigeria in April 2014, we immediately began to call for their return and bringing the issue to the broader international community. We are still working closely with the families of the victims and building on our initial momentum to ensure disappearances like these cannot happen again and the perpetrators are brought to justice. Follow our progress here: http://www.bringbackourgirls.ng/
Gender-Based Violence and Discrimination: Bahamas
Alicia Wallace & Terneille Burrows
The Coalition to End Gender-Based Violence & Discrimination brings together organizations throughout the Bahamas to promote equal protection and recognition under the law. We’re an education, cultural and advocacy organization galvanizing a movement for women’s rights in a country rife with discrimination in everyday life.
The Movement for Public Space: Lebanon
This burgeoning movement in Beirut, Lebanon is working to gain access to public spaces in cities throughout Lebanon that either remain inaccessible to the public or are becoming privatized without citizen input. Rhize continues to support their strategy and leadership capacity building.
Sudan Democracy First Group: Sudan
Sudan Democracy First Group studies corruption of the Sudanese government. They use their data to educate and empower activists around the country.