On February 8th, I was really excited to be joined by my good friend and John Jay College President Jeremy Travis, as we announced the creation of the Ron Moelis Social Innovation Fellowship. The Fellowship, to begin Fall 2017, is part of a mission that’s important to me:  helping students pursue socially responsible business opportunities.

Unlike my other Fellowship programs, which encourage business students to consider ways of incorporating social impact into their business plans, this opportunity is meant to support students who are already on a social impact path to consider business or entrepreneurial endeavors as well.   Though most students of John Jay College of Criminal Justice go onto careers in nonprofit or public sector, I wanted to work with the College to create an opportunity for students who maybe hadn’t really considered a career in business, and show them that there are ways to foster what I call “the double bottom line” – doing well while doing good.

To kick off the evening, the College invited students, faculty and alumni to a discussion between Andi Phillips and Randy Brown, incredible leaders of newer business models enacting this same standard.  Andi, formerly of Goldman Sachs, is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Maycomb Capital LP, a new impact investing platform, and Randy Brown is the CTO of Jopwell, a startup firm dedicated to creating job placement for Black, Latino and Native American students and professionals.  They joined the discussion centered upon what socially responsible business is today, and how that commitment has shaped their individual pursuits.  The panel was moderated by Assistant Professor of Public Policy Heath Brown, and students were able to ask questions about how their passions can be applied within the business world today.

The Fellowship, a semester-long program, facilitates placement of exceptional students of social justice within some of New York’s most innovative yet socially responsible companies.

It was fascinating to hear about Andi and Randy’s experience, and to know that other New York entrepreneurs share my passion for business while also looking for ways to improve our communities. I’m excited about this opportunity for students at John Jay College, and thrilled to meet the first class of Ron Moelis Social Innovation Fellows in the Fall of 2017.