The Memorial Foundation Social Justice Fellows Program is designed to engage and develop young adult (18-35) movement leaders through a dynamic learning and personal development experience. The Fellows Program unites like-minded emerging leaders from across the nation who share an unwavering commitment to social justice and who have embraced opportunities to advance change through leadership. Social Justice Fellows are passionate, community-oriented leaders who believe in organizing and mobilization as keys to the movement for systemic change in spaces across the United States. Additionally, Fellows must possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit with a focus on improving the conditions of marginalized persons on a local, state, and/or national level.
The Social Justice Fellows Program requires an eight-week commitment and will convene virtually in Summer 2022. The curriculum for the Fellows Program centers advocacy, community organizing, learning, and public policy to creatively leverage the unique experiences of each Fellow. Learning will be guided by some of the nation’s leading voices on social justice through dynamic lectures and self-guided instructional modules. As a result of participating in this Program, Fellows can expect to build an intentional community of support with like-minded leaders across the nation, explore high impact practices that move communities from consumers of a movement to activism, and develop an understanding of leadership and advocacy for long-term, sustainable community change.
The Fellows Program utilizes multiple learning approaches to engage Fellows in an intentional learning process that will equip them with skills and knowledge to enhance their leadership capacity.
These sessions are intended to enhance foundational knowledge, build skills, and encourage dialogue on current issues within social justice movements. Each session will be facilitated by a distinguished lecturer (or small panel of distinguished lecturers) who are nationally recognized voices in the causes and continued pursuit of social justice in America. Presentations from each lecturer may vary in length but these sessions will require an uninterrupted, designated three-hour commitment once per week. A full schedule of these sessions will be provided at the start of the program.
This self-guided experience will allow Fellows to deeply explore an area of personal interest as part of the program experience. Learning journeys are designed to encourage practical application of the knowledge gained through participation in the lecture sessions, as well as strengthen the opportunity for collaboration and thought partnership between Fellows. Fellows can expect to dedicate between two and three hours every week over the course of the eight-week program for this portion of the experience.
Guided by the knowledge gained in the lecture sessions and learning journeys, each Fellow will develop and share a proposal for building a movement on an issue impacting a local, regional, or national community. The Capstone Project will be presented after the conclusion of the structured portion of the Fellows Program. A full description of the Capstone Project and its requirements will be provided at the start of the program.
Each Fellow who successfully completes the program will be invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC to participate in a congressional visit specifically designed to provide space to engage with members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate on issues of social justice and public policy. Fellows will receive more information about this portion of the program at a later date.
The curriculum is organized using eight key themes:
Building Social Change Movements
Media Influence and Engagement
Lessons in Systemic Racism
Building a Plan for Public Office
The Power of Narrative & Storytelling Work
Self-Care in the Midst of the Movement
Politics and Social Movements
Promote the principles and purpose for modern day social justice movements;
Develop emerging leaders to reinforce the growing pipeline of young adult leaders on the issues of equity and justice in America;
Provide a pathway to acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate local activism, public policy challenges, as well as legislative and congressional engagement;
Strengthen individual capacity for leading in community organizing, mobilizing, and narrative change; and
Build strong frameworks for assessing the effectiveness and efficacy of social justice movements.