Intensive and demanding, the Humanity in Action Fellowship brings together international groups of university students and recent graduates to explore national histories of discrimination and resistance, as well as examples of issues affecting different minority groups today.
Each program is highly interdisciplinary and features daily 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.
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 provide a forum where potential solutions to some of today's most challenging issues can be considered and discussed. The programs are also intended to instill a responsibility among Humanity in Action Fellows to recognize and address the need to protect minorities and promote human rights—in their own communities and around the world.
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Why Choose the HIA Fellowship?
A global education experience
The diversity of our Fellows deeply enriches HIA programs by bringing together participants who represent many different nationalities, perspectives and personal experiences with human and minority rights issues.
Meet world class thinkers and activists
Our curriculum offers an opportunity for Fellows to interact with with leading thinkers and activists on the cutting edge of human rights, historical inquiry and social innovation in their societies.
Produce original research
Fellows share the knowledge they gain in their HIA program by creating in-depth, published articles and teaching tools that draw attention to issues and action that are explored during the Fellowship.
The HIA Fellowship is just the starting point for lifelong opportunities to learn, collaborate and take action through the HIA Senior Fellows network.
HIA Fellowship Testimonials
"The Hia 2010 program in Lyon has been an enjoyable, intense and rewarding experience. Meeting great academics or organization members, debating…"
"The Hia 2010 program in Lyon has been an enjoyable, intense and rewarding experience. Meeting great academics or organization members, debating with the other fellows and meeting people who were directly concerned by the “minority rights” we were talking about, helped me to gain insights in a society in which I’ve lived since I was born but which I didn’t always understand. I came into this program at a moment when I was wondering if I should continue to commit myself in minority rights so as to make it my work later, or if I should go back to a more classic path. This tremendous experience demonstrated me that there are many people committed to protect minority rights at a professional level, and that I should carry on this way. "
"Humanity In Action was an amazing experience that challenged and taught me so much and I am incredibly grateful for the experience. Like so…"
"Humanity In Action was an amazing experience that challenged and taught me so much and I am incredibly grateful for the experience.
Like so many, I joined Humanity In Action because I wanted to learn about human rights and it was refreshing to dialogue and engage with my peers over pressing human rights issues. However what was more useful was the critical self-reflection and personal growth I encountered. Through late night conversations, and sometimes in the quiet as I took in the beautiful and tragic sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was reminded why I joined the fight for human rights in the first place. I begun to question the hypocrisy of defending some rights over others. More importantly I was reminded of our shared humanity, one that tramps ethnicity, religion or other man made divisions that distract us from this. We hypocritically say never again but are too quick to forget our shared humanity. However as one speaker reminded me, “You don’t have to stop a tank to be a hero”. We can in our own way become catalysts of change and foster a mindset of peace but first we have to have the courage to stand up not just for our family and friends but for everyone who needs us. Humanity In action didn’t tell me where I would get the courage to stand up but it showed me numerous examples of people who did and I gained allies, young people passionate about making a difference in their own way, the very same people that have pursued the most unique initiatives and each in their own way an authority on something. Knowing that I have this network of people willing to support me emboldens me as I seek out to make the world a better place.
Months after the fellowship, it is still difficult for me to fully describe it. How can I explain the feeling that I had when I sat in the very same warehouse where UN peace keepers gave up women and children to die or how I felt as I debated about human rights in the very house Anne Frank hid in during the holocaust or when a shop keeper in Sarajevo gave me a wooden bullet as a gift. Until today, when I try to list all I have learned, words fail me and the list I attempt to make doesn’t seem quite as complete. Each day I seem to draw a different lesson, to comprehend a statement someone else said better. But maybe this is the point. Humanity In Action has started a journey for me, and rather than the end of the fellowship, it was the beginning of something else. It reawakened a passion for social change and reminded me I was not merely being idealistic in my desire to fight for human rights."
"I was lured to the Humanity in Action Fellowship by its insightful philosophy that “an important test of a genuine democracy is how it treats…"
"I was lured to the Humanity in Action Fellowship by its insightful philosophy that “an important test of a genuine democracy is how it treats its minority populations,” yet I could not have anticipated how transformative the five-week program could be. From exploring histories of resistance to national narratives to the intersections of art and activism, I was exposed to a wide array of human rights abuses and was challenged to think deeply about my theory of change. My peers and I reflected about how we could direct our passions toward realizing a more peaceful and accepting world, often finding that the answer was through supporting each other through making collective contributions. Despite long, exhausting days, I was introduced to a brilliant array of young scholars spanning urban planners and community organizers who encouraged me to contest the status quo, ask questions, and examine power relationships in society. We focused on the people who are not at the table where decisions are made, and exchanged ideas as to how the voices of the marginalized can be amplified. Being in another country enabled me to expand my American-centric perspective to understand the nuances of culture and the complexities of political institutions. I cherished the conversations I had with my peers who were all passionate about dismantling structures that oppress society’s most vulnerable, and look forward to my future with the HIA family. "