Jessica Norwood - Emerging Change
Founder and Executive Director
Emerging ChangeMakers Network
A tireless activist committed to the cause of community investing, Jessica Norwood labors at the
intersection of empowering grassroots leadership and facilitating innovative entrepreneurial ideas.
Armed with an encyclopedic understanding of the intricacies of business development, she deploys
strategies in the areas of capital, policy and leadership development to transform the systems that
prohibit communities from thriving in an increasingly harsh economic climate.
As a leading social entrepreneur in her native Alabama, Jessica is a vocal evangelist for investing as
a strategy to build community resiliency. Identifying the need for a springboard for those with a
vested interest in the ﬁnancial vibrancy of their respective communities, in 2012, she established
the Emerging ChangeMakers Network. This initiative targets disenfranchised communities within
the Deep South, providing a user-friendly business development toolbox of sorts that allows
civically dedicated individuals to actively invest in their communities. An oﬀshoot of the program,
SOUL’UTIONS, was launched shortly thereafter, encompassing a network of investment clubs
supporting socially conscientious businesses and economically vulnerable communities
throughout the area.
As the face of these progressive initiatives, Jessica has shared her considerable expertise across the
business arena, serving as a lead consultant for the following entities: the Center for Social
Inclusion, Black Land Loss Prevention Project and Leadership Capacity after Hurricane Katrina;
Oxfam America, Coastal Communities Land and Water Restoration Policy; and Managing Director,
League of Independent Voters, League of Young Voters Education Fund and the League of
Pissed-Oﬀ Voters PAC.
For her dedicated endeavors, Jessica has been bestowed with a myriad of recognitions throughout
her career, including: the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Local Economies
Fellowship; Harvard University, Hip-Hop Archive at the DuBois Institute, Political Power and Hip-Hop
Fellowship; Duke University and Southern University, Eﬀective Leaders Fellowship; University of
South Alabama, Center for Healthy Communities Fellowship; and the National Coalition on Black
Civic Participation, among others.