Thursday, March 26, 2015

Accepting Applications: Maya Wiley Fellowship

The Center for Social Inclusion's Maya Wiley Fellowship Program celebrates and supports grassroots leaders seeking to achieve racial equity through structurally transformative policy strategies and campaigns. In 2015, three Fellows will be selected for the one-year fellowship program providing a $25,000 stipend. Learn about the nomination process below, including the upcoming deadline of March 30!

The fellowship provides a wonderful opportunity to connect the local work to a national community of activist and policy makers who share your vision and your values.Creating those types of connections helps to build visibility and power for our movement work.
~ Linda Campbell, CSI Fellow 2014


The Maya Wiley Fellowship program celebrates and supports grassroots leaders seeking to achieve racial equity through structurally transformative policy strategies and campaigns.
The inaugural Maya Wiley Fellowship will afford the opportunity for fellows to:
  • Expand or deepen their work in the field, to advance a specific policy or strategy for creating community change at a local level;
  • Build their capacity in areas that fellows identify as a desire for growth; and
  • Leverage local, regional, and national networks to elevate their work and ideas.
This is a one-year fellowship program that provides a $25,000 stipend.   Key responsibilities of the Maya Wiley Fellowship include but are not limited to the following areas:
  • Expand or deepen a current racial equity policy or strategy idea in a way that would not otherwise be possible given current limitation on resources;
  • Utilize one or more of the following approaches: organizing/base-building work; popular education; applied research; strategic communications; project development; online organizing/activism; alternative financing practices; political, legislative, judicial, or regulatory practices.
  • Produce materials (i.e., blogs, reports, visuals, interviews) that help shape the conversation on structural racial inequity and/or implicit bias at a national level.
  • Represent CSI and CSI’s methodologies in local, regional, and national networks.


  • Fellow’s work must be related to CSI’s program areas (broadband equity, transportation equity, food equity, energy democracy/climate change, and race communications). An intersectional approach is highly welcomed;
  • Fellows must work within an existing community-based organization;
  • Fellows must demonstrate an applied structural racial equity analysis;
  • Fellows must demonstrate commitment to communities of color;
  • Fellows must be rooted in grassroots (on the ground and/or online) work that is accountable to community;
  • Fellows may be located anywhere within the United States. Traditionally, CSI’s work has been rooted in the Gulf Coast, New York, Midwest, California and Pacific Northwest.
  • Former Alston Bannerman and Racial Equity Fellows are ineligible for the Maya Wiley Fellowship.
Please note: The program is designed to support a Fellow’s existing work or expand an idea or project related to that work.


Applications are open by nomination. CSI will screen nominations and invite potential fellows to submit applications, which will be screened by committee.  We will choose a total of three Maya Wiley Fellows.
Nomination process: To nominate a potential fellow, please submit a 1-2 page letter to with the subject “Maya Wiley Fellowship”.  Please include in the letter:
  • Credentials of nominator’s experience and history in racial equity movement;
  • Nominator’s relationship to the candidate;
  • How the candidate has demonstrated leadership in their field of work and meets the fellowship criteria.
  • How the candidate brings a structural race and policy lens to assessing opportunities and challenges to achieve social justice;
  • How a CSI fellowship would effectively impact and support this candidate’s work.
Application process: Once invited to apply, potential fellows will submit an application that details the project idea or goal for their fellowship, identify how the fellowship will support their capacity to advance their work, identify areas for growth and development, and provide CSI with the skills and capacities they can bring to the fellowship program.


  • Monday, March 30: Nominations due
  • Monday, April 20th: Finalists invited to apply
  • Monday, May 5th: Deadline for final applications
  • Monday, May 25th: Final decisions and notifications
  • Monday, June 1: Announcement
Questions?  Please contact Dennis Chin at


Photo-Maya-Wiley-2009Maya Wiley is the founder and former President of the Center for Social Inclusion. Maya’s vision and commitment to communities of color and to shifting policies to address structural racial inequities paved the way for the ongoing work and vision of CSI. A civil rights attorney and policy advocate, Maya has litigated, lobbied the U.S. Congress, and developed programs to transform structural racism in the U.S. and in South Africa. Prior to founding the Center for Social Inclusion, Maya was a senior advisor on race and poverty to the Director of U.S. Programs of the Open Society Institute and helped develop and implement the Open Society Foundation – South Africa’s Criminal Justice Initiative. Maya holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Dartmouth College. She is currently counsel to the Mayor of New York City.

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