The twelve fellows hail from Brazil, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Oregon, and Washington, D.C., and represent a range of ethnic and racial communities. Fellows will receive a stipend of $100,000 over eighteen months in support of their efforts to advance racial justice, as well as leadership development training, networking opportunities, and other professional support designed to connect their energy and ideas with the wisdom and experience of veteran leaders in the racial justice field.
The 2018 Soros Equality Fellows include Douglas Belchior, who will develop networks of Afro-Brazilian and African-American organizations and individuals ready to mobilize against racism in the Americas; Khaled Beydoun, who will build on his academic research to develop trainings aimed at educating and empowering over-policed and under-protected Muslim communities; Michelle Cook, whose Divest, Invest and Protect project will encourage financial institutions to invest in companies that safeguard indigenous people's rights; Michelle Garcia, whose nonfiction book Anima Sola: The Unmaking of the Frontier will explore the United States' entrenched frontier culture and how it shapes prevailing immigrant and Latinx narratives; Michelle Morse, whose Social Medicine Consortium will engage various stakeholders in the fight for health equity; and Michael Premo, who will produce a documentary film that explores questions of race and culture in the United States.
"We are living in a time of enormous racial and ethnic tension, fueled by policies that actively promote xenophobia and fear of the 'other,'" said Leslie Gross-Davis, director of the Equality team within U.S. Programs at Open Society. "I can't think of a better antidote to this climate than the incoming class of Soros Equality Fellows. They are the racial justice superheroes of tomorrow, bringing a diverse toolkit to bear in exposing the root causes of bias in our society and pointing us toward a brighter future. I am enormously proud of this, our second class of fellows, and incredibly excited to see their work unfold."