Soros Equality Fellowship
Open Society-U.S.’s Soros Equality Fellowship seeks to support individuals whom we believe will become long-term innovative leaders impacting racial justice.
The Soros Equality Fellowship seeks to support individual leaders influencing the racial justice field. We understand the unique role an individual can play in rejecting old paradigms and presenting an affirmative vision for an inclusive multiracial democracy. We invite applicants to be bold, innovative, and audacious in their submissions. The aim of the Fellowship is to be flexible and open—a space to incubate new ideas, promote risk-taking, and develop different ways of thinking that challenge and expand our existing assumptions. A successful project should identify a challenge and propose a critical intervention that will meaningfully address the systems that reinforce inequities and discrimination in the United States.
Through this Fellowship, Open Society aims to provide a network of leaders, representing the diversity of experiences, with the resources to address racial inequality and the space they need to imagine a more equitable future.
We are living in unprecedented times in the United States. As such, we believe this year’s cohort should consider their project within the current social and political moment. We know toxic narratives, racialized anxiety, economic insecurity, and an ongoing health pandemic 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 towards the United States we hope to become.
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.
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 is 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.
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
There are three stages to the application and selection process. First, all applicants must submit a full and completed application by the deadline of January 31, 2023. Second, each application will be reviewed for critical need, competitiveness, ability to influence the racial justice field, innovation, and the leadership qualities of the applicant. Applications will be evaluated on the extent to which the applicant possesses the vision, drive, and skills needed to broaden understanding, spur debate, or catalyze change on the issues at the heart of the Open Society Foundations’ racial justice priorities. We will then select a group of finalists who will be invited to interview with a selection committee consisting of Open Society Foundations staff and outside social justice experts. Finally, after each finalist is interviewed, we will select up to 12 individuals to receive a Fellowship award.
Applicants who are uncertain about the parameters of the fellowship guidelines may submit a brief email inquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not submit an email inquiry before reviewing the appropriate documents. Additional technical guidance for your submission can be found here.Apply Here
Download the complete guidelines and application.
Download a list of frequently asked questions.
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Glenn Magpantay2021Glenn Magpantay will create a curriculum and manuscript surveying the history of queer Asian organizing over the past 20 years to build a sustainable and robust queer Asian movement for racial justice.
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Loira Limbal2021Loira Limbal will direct a feature-length documentary, Sacrificial Care, that will explore the historical reasons why care work is so undervalued in the United States, from slavery to the present day.
Octaviana Trujillo2021Octaviana Trujillo will create a publicly accessible toolkit for Native American and Indigenous Peoples to protect and maintain access to sacred sites at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Sahar Aziz2021Sahar Aziz seeks to support a diverse set of academics and advocates working to better understand and combat racialized national security narratives that disproportionately impact communities of color.
Tamara Toles O’Laughlin2021Tamara Toles O’Laughlin seeks to support the long-term sustainability of environmental efforts by investing in succession strategies for people of color through leadership development, mentorship, and narrative interventions.
Zachary Norris2021Zachary Norris will write a book and other written materials examining and offering solutions to the root causes and impact of family separation within communities of color.
Ana Maria Archila2022Ana Maria Archila will catalog and disseminate effective practices by leading Latinx organizations to foster belonging, cohesion, and the formation of collective identity that is culturally authentic and politically honest.
Anjali Vats2022Anjali Vats will focus on race and equity in intellectual property law, by developing multimedia educational resources designed to reach a range of audiences, including teachers, lawyers, policymakers, creators, and activists.
Arjun Singh Sethi2022Arjun Singh Sethi will co-direct a documentary that tells the stories of survivors of hate violence, based on his book, American Hate: Survivors Speak Out.
Daresha Kyi2022Daresha Kyi will make a documentary about the co-founders of the Black Voters Matter Fund, Cliff Albright and LaTosha Brown, their work to empower African American communities, and their role in flipping Georgia from red to blue in 2020.
Hannah Drake2022Hannah Drake and Josh Miller will expand (Un)Known Project to a national initiative featuring sites that use arts installations and experiences to honor the names and tell stories of Black enslaved people in the United States.
Josh Miller2022Josh Miller and Hannah Drake will expand (Un)Known Project to a national initiative featuring sites that use arts installations and experiences to honor the names and tell stories of Black enslaved people in the United States.
Karim Ahmad2022Karim Ahmad will advance the work of Restoring the Future, build on the report published with a network of arts organizations, and seek to design, prototype, and proliferate restorative practices across our media arts system.
Marissel Hernández Romero2022Marissel Hernández Romero’s project, Black and Afro-Boricua Collective Knowledge Repository, will build an archive that seeks to retrieve lived experiences, culture, and knowledge of Black and Afrodescendant Puerto Rican as a route to racial justice.
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