Soros Equality Fellowship
The Open Society Foundations seek applicants for their Soros Equality Fellowship, which aims to support long-term leaders influencing the racial justice field. The fellowship award typically provides individuals with $100,000 to support the production of an innovative racial justice project over the course of 18 months. (Final award amounts to be included in updated call for proposals and guidelines, once released.)
We invite applicants to be innovative and audacious in their submissions. The aim of the fellowship is to incubate new ideas, promote risk-taking, and develop different ways of thinking that challenge and expand our existing assumptions. The proposed project must provide considerable value to the racial justice field and inspire new approaches to address issues of structural inequities and discrimination.
We encourage this year’s cohort to consider their project within the current social and political moment. We know toxic narratives, racialized anxiety, economic insecurity, and an outright assault on civil rights protections have reinforced divisions and the systems that perpetuate inequities. It is in this context that we ask applicants to place their project and explain how and why their project is necessary to counter these threats and move toward a new and inclusive multiracial democracy.
An entrepreneurial spirit guides Open Society’s approach to seemingly intractable problems like structural racism and xenophobia. Through this fellowship, we aim to provide promising leaders with the support they need to more effectively combat racism in all its forms. We seek a diverse and dynamic cohort of applicants, including but not limited to activists, lawyers, artists, journalists, and organizers with unique perspectives, to produce projects with meaningful impact.
Fellowship Term and Time Commitment
Applicants must be able to devote at least 35 hours per week to the project if awarded a fellowship; and the project must be the applicant’s only full-time work during the course of the fellowship. Fellows cannot be full-time students during their fellowship. In addition, if awarded a fellowship, applicants must be available to attend a set of activities during the fellowship term. Exact dates and locations will be confirmed upon fellowship selection.
Projects Based Outside the United States
Applicants may be based outside the United States, provided their work directly pertains to a U.S. racial justice issue and are able to demonstrate a proficiency in spoken and written English.
Up to two individuals can apply jointly for a Soros Equality Fellowship. However, joint applications will share one fellowship award. A joint application should be completed together as a single submission. For joint applicants, the full-time work requirement does not apply to each applicant. All other restrictions associated with an individual application still apply. Be sure to explain why this particular partnership is necessary to fulfill the objectives of the project and how responsibilities will be distributed.
Projects that include electioneering, lobbying, or other activity that does not fall within IRS 501(c)(3) guidelines will not be funded. Please carefully review the Tax Law Lobbying Rules before submitting an application. If awarded a fellowship, applicants are required to attend a training session on the tax law lobbying rules, conducted by the Open Society Foundations’ General Counsel’s Office; and must agree to refrain from engaging in restricted lobbying and political activities during the term of the fellowship.
The program does not fund the following:
- enrollment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research
- projects that address racial justice issues outside the United States (applicants themselves, however, can be based outside the United States, as long as their work directly relates to a U.S. issue)
- projects that serve as proxy for an organizational grant
- lobbying or political activities
Full guidelines and application materials will be released on or before December 1, 2020.
Simran Singh2020Simran Singh will write a book titled, More of This Please: Self-Care for the Soul from Sikh Wisdom, highlighting the marginalization and racialized violence experienced by Sikhs in the United States.
Solana Rice2020Solana Rice will build a movement support project centering the economic liberation of people of color, so that within one generation, the United States has an economy where all people of color belong and have equal opportunity.
Virgilio Bravo2020Virgilio Bravo will produce a documentary that chronicles and disseminates a blueprint for a new model of democracy through the lens of the 2020 Chilean revolution.
Zaheer Ali2020Zaheer Ali will create “Make It Plain: Storytelling and Listening for Social Change,” a Muslim community-based participatory storytelling and listening narrative project that is scalable and can be replicated around the country.
Alex T. Tom2019Alex T. Tom will develop an organizing toolkit to support Asian American communities combating the rising Chinese conservatives in the United States.
Barbara Mumby-Huerta2019Barbara Mumby-Huerta will examine efforts to remove California-based frontier memorials through the development of a toolkit that will support indigenous peoples in asserting their rights to respectful public representation.
Bernadette Atuahene2019Bernadette Atuahene will build on her academic research by creating a comprehensive guide and interactive information hub that communities can use to fight back against racially discriminatory property tax administration.
Cara Page2019Cara Page will develop a digital timeline of the medical-industrial complex in the United States that has participated in the scientific experimentation, exploitation, and surveillance of minorities.
Cathy Dang-Santa Anna2019Cathy Dang-Santa Anna will develop an organizing toolkit to support Asian American communities combating the rising Chinese conservatives in the United States.