The Landecker Democracy Fellowship supports community leaders and young professionals in addressing systemic inequities in Europe and the United States through innovative grassroots projects. The thematic focus of this year’s fellowship is social cohesion, for which the Fellows developed compelling ideas for impactful initiatives. With our societies built on histories of structural injustice and violence, we asked the Fellows what a critical and inclusive path toward social cohesion could look like. How can peoples’ and communities’ diverging realities be seen and acknowledged in the process of building equitable societies? How can our societies address the dangerous forces that underpin today’s polarization and build trust? It is our goal to support young professionals in their quest to build inclusive bridges and form unique and lasting ties among those who are increasingly drifting apart. This program contributes to building a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and societal challenges bear the potential to become catalysts for shaping democracy and community.
The fellowship funds 30 carefully chosen individuals who were born in or after 1980 and whose goals range from empowering low-income renters who face barriers to affordable housing, amplifying the voices of youth through visual arts, to empowering structurally disadvantaged content moderators of social media platforms.
“Social polarization is poison for democracy. The pandemic has shown us how societies are drifting apart, which we and Humanity in Action are countering with the Landecker Democracy Fellowship,” said Dr. Andreas Eberhardt, CEO of the Alfred Landecker Foundation. “Through their work, the Democracy Fellows make an important contribution to strengthening social cohesion.”
Hailing from the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States, 30 community leaders and young professionals were selected through a rigorous admissions process from a pool of 90 finalists. The Fellows and their projects, each unique and innovative in their ambitions, aim to foster social justice and create inclusive societies. The Fellows’ propositions will be supported, including with a monthly stipend (10,000 Euros in total), seed funding of 5,000 Euros for their projects, guidance and intense training to increase their individual impact on political discourses, policy making and social realities.
“We want to support busy professionals in realizing part-time efforts that strengthen democracy and tackle social division head-on,” said Dr. Judith S. Goldstein, Founder and CEO of Humanity in Action. “We provide our Fellows with a community of inspiring peers, help them to nourish strong partnerships, and amplify their skills and voices in order for them to be able to develop a meaningful and sustained reach into society.”