Apply from the United States
Applications for the 2017 Humanity in Action Fellowships will open in late fall.
Please click here to be notified when 2017 applications are available.
Overview • Fellowship Focus • Curriculum • Eligibility • Successful Candidates • Selection • Costs • Academic Diversity • After the Fellowship
The Humanity in Action Fellowship programs will take place in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, Sarajevo and Warsaw in 2017. The 2017 European program dates for participants from the United States are May 26 through June 24, 2017. The American program, the John Lewis Fellowship, follows a different schedule.
Humanity in Action Fellowship programs in Europe
- May 26, 2017: U.S. Fellows arrive in Europe.
- May 26–June 24, 2017: Fellowship programs take place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, Sarajevo and Warsaw.
- June 24, 2017: Fellows depart from the program.
John Lewis Fellowship in the United States
- July 5-30, 2017: John Lewis Fellowship runs in Atlanta, Georgia.
Educate: Each Fellowship program is highly interdisciplinary and features lectures and discussions with renowned academics, journalists, politicians and activists, as well as site visits to government agencies, non-profit and community organizations, museums and memorials. The programs seek to highlight different models of action to remedy injustice. They also aim to instill a responsibility among Fellows to recognize and address the need to protect minorities and promote human rights—in their own communities and around the world.
Connect: The objective of the Humanity in Action Fellowship is to facilitate a collective exploration of the social and political roots of discrimination, as well as to create a forum where potential solutions can be considered and discussed. Within this forum, Fellows from diverse backgrounds connect with one another and with established leaders who serve as program speakers. Additionally, Senior Fellows, the alumni of the Humanity in Action Fellowship, participate in Humanity in Action's international network. Fellows have access to HIA Connect, an online platform where Humanity in Action's network of more than 1,500 Fellows and Senior Fellows connect, share information and remain active in the issues addressed during the Fellowship.
Inspire: After completing the Humanity in Action Fellowship, Fellows have one year to initiate Action Projects on important issues within their own communities. These Action Projects allow Fellows to apply the knowledge and skills they gained from their Fellowship experiences. To support the professional growth of its Fellows beyond their Fellowship experience, Humanity in Action also offers ongoing opportunities, including professional fellowships in the US Congress and European Parliament as well as annual international conferences and study trips.
Humanity in Action's programs concern human rights generally, but they focus specifically on the relationship between majority and minority groups in the countries in which the programs take place: Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland.
The John Lewis Fellowship, the American program, focuses on issues of diversity within the United States, with a particular emphases on Atlanta, the American South and the Civil Rights Movement.
Before applying, be sure to read our Fellowship Focus page.
The Humanity in Action Fellowship programs in Europe explore Europe’s unique history during the Second World War and the Holocaust along with present-day tensions related to minority groups in the continent. Key areas of inquiry include national identity, immigration, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, political extremism and discrimination of Roma -- all seen through the specific lens of each of the six countries.
The John Lewis Fellowship explores America’s unique history of diversity, immigration and civil rights along with present-day tensions related to minorities across the country. Key areas of inquiry include race and racism, immigration, national identity, Native American issues and the relationship between civil rights and human rights.
Before applying, be sure to read our Fellowship Curriculum page.
Applicants to the Humanity in Action Fellowship must be currently enrolled undergraduate students (sophomores, juniors and seniors) or recent graduates. For the 2017 Fellowship, we define recent graduates as individuals from the undergraduate classes of 2015 and 2016 at accredited, four-year undergraduate colleges or universities in the United States. Applicants of minority backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
If you are an American citizen studying at a foreign university, you are eligible to apply to the Humanity in Action Fellowship through the United States. If you are an American student studying at a university in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands or Poland, you may be eligible to apply through the Humanity in Action offices in those countries. Please contact those offices directly to confirm your eligibility.
If you are a non-US citizen studying at a university in the United States, you are eligible to apply to the Humanity in Action Fellowship through the US office.
Applicants may not apply to a program in a specific country and cannot choose their city of participation.
Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are passionate about active and responsible citizenship, diversity and human rights.
The Humanity in Action Fellowship programs provide opportunities for collaborative learning. They are not designed nor are they suitable for those who restrict themselves to a narrow and dogmatic vision and have no intention to enrich or broaden their knowledge and skills with various perspectives. The programs are a testing ground for thinking anew with others about complex issues of diversity in historical and contemporary terms. The programs focus, through educational seminars and site visits, on vulnerable populations and the unfulfilled goals of just democratic societies. The programs do not engage in on-the-ground training for political activism although some programs emphasize campaigns to fight prejudice through social media.
Applicants should know that the programs are intensely challenging on intellectual, social and emotional levels. Full-time commitment is required from every participant during the four weeks of the program. The Humanity in Action groups in each country represent, on a small scale, the larger societies to which individuals belong. We expect respectful debate and dissent as minority opinions are aired. To probe these matters and engage in learning and growth, the programs expect and require maturity, openness, hard work and a generosity of spirit from each of the Fellows.
Successful Humanity in Action candidates and Fellows possess the following characteristics:
Intellectual Curiosity: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are eager to discuss a range of historical and contemporary topics that drive, challenge and impact diverse societies. This means that Fellows should be eager to stretch their understanding of these issues beyond their own national contexts and specific fields of study.
Collaborative Spirit: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who thrive in collaborative settings and enjoy discussing challenging issues in culturally and internationally diverse groups. Humanity in Action’s pedagogy is based upon collective and intellectually demanding discussion with speakers, peers and host families. Fellows must possess the social maturity and skills to discuss sensitive topics.
Open-Mindedness: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are open to challenging their personal convictions. The Humanity in Action Fellowship is not a program that serves to confirm the assumptions of beliefs already held by its Fellows. Instead, the program intends to broaden and stretch the Fellows’ understanding of complex human rights issues.
Entrepreneurial Drive: Humanity in Action seeks candidates who are entrepreneurial and innovative in developing Action Projects and careers as active and responsible citizens.
Admissions to the Humanity in Action and John Lewis Fellowship programs are highly competitive. In 2015, Humanity in Action received more than 800 applications from the United States and selected 63 Fellows.
The selection process involves two phases. In the first phase, a panel of Humanity in Action Board members and Senior Fellows reads all applications and selects a pool of finalists for further review by a Selection Committee. During the second phase, the Selection Committee reads and evaluates all finalist applications, and one of its members interviews each finalist. The final selections are based on this second reading and the interview.
Humanity in Action does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity, religion, political party, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or financial ability.
Humanity in Action covers the costs of participation and accommodation during the fellowship programs. However, all Fellows will be responsible for financing the cost of round-trip airfare from the United States to their program city. Humanity in Action will cover this cost for Fellows with documented need.
Although Humanity in Action provides a modest stipend for meals, Fellows should also plan to bring spending money of approximately $750 for food and social activities during the fellowship program.
For the John Lewis program, Fellows will be responsible for financing the cost of round-trip airfare to and from Atlanta.
Humanity in Action encourages individuals from all academic disciplines to apply. The Humanity in Action Fellowship’s academically diverse setting enriches discussion and offers Fellows the opportunity to engage in perspectives outside their own disciplines. Humanity in Action encourages applicants who aspire to careers in business, government, medicine, academia, activism, the non-profit sector, the arts and more.
The Humanity in Action Fellowship lasts one month, but its impact on the lives of Fellows and their communities lasts for many years to come.
Action Projects: After completing the Humanity in Action Fellowship, Fellows have one year to initiate Action Projects on important issues within their own communities. These Action Projects allow Fellows to apply the knowledge and skills they gained from their Fellowship experiences.
Senior Fellow Network: Fellows are invited to participate in the Humanity in Action Senior Fellow Network. Fellows have access to HIA Connect, an online platform where Humanity in Action's network of more than 1,500 Fellows and Senior Fellows share information and remain active in the issues addressed during the Fellowship.
Ongoing Professional Opportunities: To support the professional growth of Fellows beyond the Fellowship, Humanity in Action offers ongoing opportunities, including professional fellowships in the United States Congress and the European Parliament as well as annual international conferences and study trips.
Follow this link to learn more about the obligations and opportunities after the Humanity in Action Fellowship.