In another step to significantly improve the lives of low-income children and their parents in the United States, Ascend at the Aspen Institute launched the $1 Million Aspen Institute Ascend Fund.Learn more
Reverend Vivian Nixon
New York, NY
Reverend Vivian Nixon is the Executive Director of the College and Community Fellowship (CCF), an innovative organization that assists formerly incarcerated women in pursuit of higher education, leadership skills, and career paths that lead to economic security. Rev. Nixon came to CCF in 2001 as a student, following a period of incarceration during which, as a peer educator to other incarcerated women, she became painfully aware that lack of education severely impedes the ability to escape the cycle of poverty and recidivism. In 2003, while completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services Administration at the State University of New York Empire College, Rev. Nixon became lead organizer at CCF. In 2006, she became executive director. The number of program participants has grown exponentially under her leadership. More than 190 CCF participants have earned college and graduate degrees. Fewer than 2 percent have had subsequent criminal justice involvement.
Rev. Nixon serves on the board of directors of the Fortune Society and on the advisory boards of several other organizations. She has received multiple honors including the Soros Justice Fellowship, the Petra Foundation Fellowship, the Hudson Link for Higher Education Brian Fischer Award, the Citizens Against Recidivism Mary McLeod Bethune Award, and the Correctional Association of New York Lifting As We Climb Award. Her leadership in educational advocacy includes co-chairing “Education from the Inside Out,” a collaborative campaign to restore eligibility for Pell Grants to incarcerated students.