Hi! I’m Shawn Humphrey. I’m a social entrepreneur with a knack for mobilizing globally recognized grassroots movements on a tiny budget. I’m also part of the Appalachian diaspora. My people ventured out of Hazard County Kentucky in the early decades of the twentieth century. We ended up scattered along the edges of Cincinnati. I grew up near-poor, poor and then near-poor again along the Ohio River. At one time or another, my people and I have been called white trash, hillbillies and river rats. Three bullies and a bathroom set me on the path of social justice that I walk today. My step-father went to jail when I was 15. Government issued peanut-butter and asking for food we could not afford from the up-the-street grocery store are part of my heritage. I was small-town fortunate though. I had an abundance of good people around me (neighbors, teachers and coaches). Indeed, my high school football coach secured scholarship money for me to play at his alma mater. As a first-generation college student, I struggled; but, over time, I ended up finding my way.

If I wasn’t a white, heterosexual, cis-gender man, it’s less likely that I would be in a position to share these words with you. Not impossible. Less likely. But I did. So, here I am. Sharing all of this with you was not easy. But, as you’ll learn, doing this and other things like it are part of the work. The necessary work of earning one’s self-possession – a prerequisite to changing the world.

Nowadays, I’m a blue collar professor. For most of the year, you can expect to see dirt under my fingernails. One of my favorite smells is burning biomass. The Ohio River runs through my veins. And, no matter how far I travel, the hills of Kentucky are never too far away. If given the chance, I would like to earn the honor of walking alongside you as you pursue your work.

Wanna know more?

See my 5 minute version of me page.

Subscribe to one (or both) of my newsletters:

  • This is the Work – a monthly newsletter with questions, quotes, poems and more to help those working in the social good space develop a deep interiority (and get things done). Subscribe here.
  • Halftime Speeches – a monthly email of encouragement from me to you. Because, there are days when we all need a gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) lightning bolt in the ass. Subscribe here.

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  • IMAGINE U: A couple years ago, I was asked “If you could build a Social Innovation program without any constraints, what would you build?” IMAGINE U is my answer – a thought experiment that includes a curriculum, courses, pedagogy and more: http://imagineu.co/
  • Grassroot(s) Garage: A platform dedicated to democratizing and diversifying the change-making space by teaching budding and established social entrepreneurs (outside the traditional enclaves of power) workarounds, hacks, and the beauty of bootstrapping: http://grassrootgarage.org/

My Top 10 Lists:

What am I up to now?

See my Now page.

What I look like

They say sharing your photograph builds trust with visitors. So, see my self-centered sounding me page.

Looking for the search bar?

Just click here. It’ll be at the top of the right sidebar. A bit inconvenient. I know. Sorry.

Wanna connect?

Email me at shumphre@umw.edu. I answer every email. You can also use my contact form.

Where can you find me on social media?

I have all the major channels; but, I really only use instagram.

Thanks for visiting! – shawn