The Open Society Foundations has announced the initial cohort of Young Feminist Leaders Fellows.
Launched earlier this year to support emerging feminist activists between the ages of 22 and 30, the fellowship program will provide six individuals with a stipend of $40,000 over a year, including funds for project-related expenses. In addition, Open Society's Women's Rights Program and Youth Exchange are collaborating with three organizations in Latin America, the Association for Women's Rights in Development, Equipo Latinoamericano de Género y Justicia, and Instituto Liderazgo Simone de Beauvoir, to host the fellows and provide them with mentoring, support, and other resources.
The inaugural fellows include Maytik Avirama, who will use the funds to produce a podcast featuring Latin American ecofeminist narratives; Gabriela Ferreiro, who is focused on documenting the stories of girls and young women who have survived sexual abuse in her Buenos Aires community; Al Vallejo Galeana, who will document the struggles of young lesbian and non-heterosexual women in Latin America and the Caribbean; Valentina Vargas Ricca, who will lead an action-research process in Guatemala to explore how women with disabilities experience and resist violence; Nabil Yanai Salazar Sánchez, who will produce a series of podcasts focused on sharing the human and labor rights movements of domestic workers in Mexico City; and Verónica Cristancho Segura, who will work to create a safe space for Afro-Colombian queer people in Colombia and promote the use of art as both activism and an expression of identity.
"Around the world, feminist, queer, and youth movements are on the front lines pushing back against patriarchal, authoritarian governments. In Latin America, some of the most audacious ideas for social change are coming from the hearts and minds of young people," said Women’s Rights Program director Kavita N. Ramdas. "These dynamic feminist fellows are just getting started, and we are proud to support their growth in the movement."
(Photo credit: Open Society Foundations)