Launched in 2017, the fellowship program helps incubate innovators and risk-takers who are focused on advancing racial justice and equality in the United States. Drawn from different fields — including the arts, law, and community organizing — the thirteen individuals will receive stipends of $100,000 over eighteen months as well as leadership development training, networking support, and other professional opportunities aimed at building and nurturing the racial justice ecosystem in the United States.
This year's fellows include Hisham Aidi, who will use his fellowship to create a Web documentary series and book project focused on the rise of Afro-Arab and Amazigh migration and activism in the United States over the last twenty-five years; Nausheen Dadabhoy, who will direct a feature-length documentary, An Act of Worship, that follows the lives of three Muslim women as they find their place in community activism at a time when Islamophobia is on the rise; and Anasa Troutman, who is developing a cultural framework aimed at shifting the narrative and mechanics of local economies, with a focus on African-American communities in Southern cities.
"We are at a transformative juncture in American history," said Alvin Starks, director of the Open Society-U.S. Equality team at OSF. "Millions have taken to the streets to support racial justice in the United States and around the world. And public opinion has shifted dramatically. It's an incredible honor to be able to support the work of these leaders to seize the moment and do their part to affect real and lasting change."