The Roddenberry Foundation is pledging $1 million towards activism through its inaugural Roddenberry Fellowship — a year-long program for 20 individuals from across the United States — who will each receive $50,000 to pursue a project or initiative in one of four fields:
• Civil Rights
• Climate Change and Environmental Justice
• Immigration and Refugee Rights
• LGBTQIA and Women’s Rights
The Fellowship includes tailored support for each activist as they launch a new initiative or amplify an existing early-stage project. “It became clear to us that we wanted to support the increase in civic engagement and activism we’ve been seeing across the country,” says Lior Ipp, CEO of the Roddenberry Foundation. “In an era in which more and more people are fighting for what they believe in, we don’t have the luxury to be bystanders. In fact, we have an obligation to help.”
Five fellows will be selected in each of the issue areas, and together they will form a year-long cohort who will receive tailored support to build and scale their initiatives.
“My father, Gene Roddenberry, believed deeply in the principles of inclusivity and equality,” says Rod Roddenberry, Foundation board member. “He would have been appalled by the current rhetoric and ugliness in which we are attacking each other for the differences in our faith, race, place of birth, or choice in life partner.”
The Foundation has recruited extraordinary judges — writers, academics, journalists, activists, and community leaders — to select this year’s Fellows, including Michael Eric Dyson, Susan Herman, Bill McKibben, Soledad O'Brien, Melissa Harris-Perry, Tricia Rose, Rhea Suh, and Neera Tanden.
“While the issues we’re facing today aren’t new, they are indeed urgent and I’m thrilled to be playing a role in helping identify those activists who are addressing them on a daily basis,” says judge Melissa Harris-Perry.
Applications are due by August 22, 2017. First-round applicants who are successful will be invited to submit second-round applications in September. Fellows will be announced in December 2017, and the one-year program will begin in January 2018.
More information: www.roddenberryfellowship.org.