Derek Ellerman

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Derek Ellerman
Derek Ellerman testifying before Congress
EducationCognitive Neuroscience, Sc.B.
Alma materBrown University
Known forCo-founder of Polaris Project
TitleMember of the Board
AwardsAshoka Fellow; John Hope Award for Community Service

Derek Ellerman (born June 27, 1978) is an American social entrepreneur. He was a co-founder of Polaris Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that combats human trafficking and modern slavery. In 2004, he was selected as a Fellow by Ashoka.[1] Ellerman is the co-publisher of the intersectional feminist website Everyday Feminism.[2]

Educational background[edit]

Derek Ellerman attended Brown University, graduating in 2002, with a Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Neuroscience.[3]

Professional background[edit]

While an undergraduate student at Brown University, Ellerman established the Center for Police and Community (CPAC), an organization that addressed issues of police misconduct in Providence, Rhode Island. At CPAC, Ellerman served as the Executive Director and worked to support individual victims of police abuse. He assisted in successfully advocating for the creation of the first civilian review board for law enforcement in the state of Rhode Island.[1][3]

In 2002, during his senior year at Brown, Ellerman co-founded Polaris Project with Katherine Chon after reading an article in a local paper about a fake massage business, the conditions of which were close to slavery.[4] Located in the United States, Polaris Project works to address and combat all forms of human trafficking, while providing programs and services to help all victims throughout the country.


  1. ^ a b "Derek Ellerman | Ashoka - Innovators for the Public". Ashoka. Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
  2. ^ "About Derek Ellerman". Everyday Feminism. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Brown Alumni Magazine: "Against Their Will"". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "This Just In | SLAVE LABOR". Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-14.

External links[edit]