Across the country, changemakers are operating behind the scenes, working to solve some of America’s most daunting problems. They do so humbly, without seeking praise or notoriety. At NationSwell, we’ve always sought to elevate the innovation and tenacity of their efforts in the hopes of inspiring more people to action. Here, a celebration of the top work in 2017.
My Final Act of Service
Before Marine Corps veteran Anthony Egan dies, he has several lessons he wants to teach his son.
Disarmed: The Reclaiming of a City From Epic Gun Violence
In a community that’s experienced a 200 percent increase in the number of shootings in the past three years alone, ordinary residents are becoming peacekeepers.
The Rx for Better Birth Control
Colorado attempts to end the cycle of poverty by preventing unplanned pregnancy.
When Liberals and Conservatives Came Together on the Environment
Today’s politicians should look to the past for inspiration on how to achieve bipartisan legislation for the good of the planet.
From Blight to Beauty in the Motor City
It started with a dad protecting his family from drug dealers. Thirty years later, his revitalization efforts are still going strong.

An illustration inspired by the #metoo movement.

3 Ways to Show Empathy When Talking About Sexual Assault
The words used when speaking about sexual assault can have an impact on what others view as acceptable.
Neo-Nazi Music Is on the Rise. These Companies and People Are Taking It On
A former white supremacist fights back against the alt-right’s use of music to spread a message of hate.
A Prison With No Walls
Can a facility that relies on strict discipline instead of barbed wire and bars result in lower recidivism rates?
6 Stunning Art Projects That Are Making Cities Healthier
Cities across the nation recognize the revitalizing powers of beautiful community art.
The School Where Only Addicts Roam the Hallways
A cohort of sober youth confronts the realities of living drug free.