Launched in 2017, the fellowship program is designed to help innovators and risk-takers create and develop new ways of addressing racial disparity and discrimination. Each of the eighteen fellows named to this year's cohort will receive $100,000 over eighteen months to tackle systemic causes and symptoms of racial discrimination, as well as additional professional development support, including leadership training and networking opportunities.
This year's Equality Fellows include Yi Chen, who will use the funds to produce a feature-length documentary film about new Americans voting and participating in democracy for the first time; Maori Karmael Holmes, who is developing an online platform designed to foster the critical exploration of film and visual culture by global artists of color; Imara Jones, who is developing a multi-platform storytelling effort focused on the humanity and perspectives of trans people of color; Free Egunfemi, who will use the funds to design strategies that amplify the emerging commemorative justice movement as an essential component of the African-American creative economy; and Tamika D. Mallory, who will provide coaching to black churches and institutions that strengthen their capacity to use intersectional approaches in social justice advocacy.
"At a critical time in our history when hatred, racial discrimination, and disenfranchisement of whole communities are on the rise in America, the Soros Equality Fellows represent a new generation of ideas and strategies to strengthen our multiracial democracy and build justice for all," said Open Society-U.S. Equality team director Alvin Starks. "These fellows bring boundless creativity, intelligence, and drive to their work, provoking us to confront what is happening in this country today, and lighting up the path to a better tomorrow."
For a complete list of this year's Equality Fellows, see the Open Society Foundations website.