Sharon Prince is the CEO and Founder of Grace Farms Foundation, a private operating foundation established in 2009. The Foundation’s interdisciplinary humanitarian mission is to pursue peace through five initiatives — nature, arts, justice, community, and faith — and Grace Farms, a SANAA-designed site for convening people across sectors. Its stake in the ground is to end modern slavery and gender-based violence, and create more grace and peace in our local and global communities.
Prince commissioned the Pritzker Prize-winning firm SANAA to design the River building at Grace Farms. Since opening in October 2015, Grace Farms has garnered numerous awards for contributions to architecture, environmental sustainability, and social good, including the AIA National 2017 Architecture Honor Award, Fast Company’s 2016 Innovation by Design Award for Social Good, and the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2019, Prince and Grace Farms received the NYC Visionary Award from AIA New York and the Center for Architecture.
Prince has fought for disrupting contemporary slavery and violence against women on a local and global scale. In 2018, she co-founded, along with Bill Menking, Editor-in-Chief of The Architect’s Newspaper, the Design for Freedom Working Group. In short order, more than 60 industry leaders and experts in the built environment, including construction and design principals, scholars, lawyers, and human rights experts, joined the Design for Freedom Working Group to apply their expertise and wherewithal to eliminate forced labor in the building materials supply chain.
In 2020, Prince launched Design for Freedom, a ground-breaking movement to create a radical paradigm shift to remove slavery from the built environment. The launch included the publication of Design for Freedom, a new report providing analysis and data on how slavery is cemented into the very foundations of our buildings, and a dedicated website with tools, resources, and original content.
Prince co-founded Grace Farms Foods, a new social entrepreneurial venture and public benefit corporation, wholly-owned by Grace Farms Foundation. Launched in March 2021, the for-profit company was created to demonstrate and educate on the charitable purposes of the Foundation.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic Grace Farms launched the Relief Fund for Connecticut to provide critical PPE to first responders and health care workers and food relief to those in need. In recognition of delivering 2 million PPE and over 200,000 pounds of food, Prince received the CEO Forum’s Transformative CEO Award | Leading through Crisis in the category of Community.