About the Fellowship Programs

Every Fellowship program takes themes that are timeless and global and looks at them through a lens that is timely and local.

Our Fellowship Program Dates in 2021

 

Amsterdam, Berlin, Sarajevo and Warsaw Fellowships (virtual):
June 1 – June 23, 2021 (virtual)


Copenhagen Fellowship (virtual & in person):
June 1 – June 4 and June 21 – June 23, 2021 (virtual)
August 9 – August 28, 2021 (in person in Copenhagen)


Application Deadline: February 14, 2021

 

Humanity in Action Fellowship programs look at the ways in which communities co-exist to create a society. Each program investigates human rights, democracy, and structural injustice. Each bridges the international and the domestic, the theoretical and the practical, the political and the personal.

In any program, Fellows will (virtually) go on local site visits; they will engage in practice-oriented workshops; and they will hear from local politicians, journalists, activists, and representatives from civil society organizations. Above all, Fellows will learn to reflect on their own internalized prejudices, to think from the perspective of identity groups different from their own, and to advance change in their own communities.

But just as every society is different, so is every Fellowship program: the local history and communities offer different lessons and guide each program’s focus.

The Amsterdam Fellowship

Accepting applications from

June 1 – June 23, 2021 (virtual)


The Netherlands has a reputation for being liberal and tolerant: a model nation for the protection of minority rights. The Humanity in Action Fellowship in Amsterdam offers an opportunity to consider where that reputation is deserved and where there is deeper work to do. Fellows look at the nation’s history—Dutch colonialism and slavery, the Second World War and the Holocaust—to understand how democracy breaks down when minority groups are denied rights.

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the backdrops for this exploration of Dutch histories. The Hague, as an international city of peace and justice, offers unique opportunities to connect national to global dynamics. Home to a very diverse population, the Netherlands is a fascinating and complex case study in identity construction in a liberal pluralistic Western democracy.

The Berlin Fellowship

Accepting applications from

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2017 Berlin Fellows discussing after a visit to the Bundestag

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June 1 – 23, 2021 (virtual)


For historical lessons in catastrophic human rights violations, there are few more powerful case studies than Germany. The Berlin Fellowship looks at the country’s past to better see its present. As a city of enormous historical significance, Berlin has served as the capital of German colonialism, the Weimar Republic, and National Socialism. It has also been a focal point in the Cold War. Berlin continues to be a pivotal point for contemporary social justice struggles including the reception of asylum seekers fleeing recent atrocities.

Home to a diverse range of communities in a city that never sleeps, Berlin is one of Europe’s largest and most vibrant metropolitan cities. It offers a unique landscape to view the social, cultural, and historical clashes taking place across European democracies. Berlin Fellows examine contemporary questions around identity formation and societal pluralism seen through the lens of those individuals affected.

The 2021 Berlin Fellowship takes place in partnership with Goethe University Frankfurt/Main.

The Copenhagen Fellowship

Accepting applications from

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Photo by Johan Mouchet on Unsplash

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June 1 – 4 and June 21 – 23 (virtual) & August 9 – 28, 2021 in Copenhagen, Denmark


The Humanity in Action Copenhagen Fellowship centers around a pivotal example of civil society acting in defense of human rights: the rescue of the Danish Jews by the larger public during World War II. Today, Denmark is still seen as a paragon of the successful progressive society: a beacon of wealth, happiness, and equality. The Copenhagen Fellowship investigates these narratives to reveal more complicated truths.

In a country lauded for its egalitarian healthcare, education, and welfare systems, political rhetoric against minority groups is on the rise, and nationalist sentiments simmering. The nation’s history has its darker sides, too. Copenhagen Fellows will dig into Denmark’s displacement of its own colonial history; its complicated historical control over Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland; and the ways in which historical notions of cultural and ethnic homogeneity affect contemporary Danish approaches to pluralism.

The Sarajevo Fellowship

Accepting applications from

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© Senior Fellow Senad Karcic

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June 1 – 23, 2021 (virtual)


The City of Sarajevo and its surrounding region provides a unique case study in how groups with different identities coexist. It is one of just a few truly “multiconfessional” cities in the world: Muslims, Catholics, and the Serbian Orthodox share power. It also has one of the bloodiest and most tumultuous recent histories of any country in Europe.

The Sarajevo Fellowship delves into nuanced discussion of transitional justice, post-conflict identity politics, and peacebuilding. It uses both the urban and rural landscapes around the capital to help Fellows connect the unique diversity of Bosnia and Herzegovina to international issues of ethnic nationalism, right-wing extremism, and the crafting of pluralistic democracies.

The Warsaw Fellowship

Accepting applications from

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© Tarik GOK Adobe Stock

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June 1 – 23, 2021 (virtual)


Women*s rights have recently become the number one issue in Poland. In the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic the Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling, which effectively limits the right to legal and safe abortion even on the ground of fatal or severe fetal impairment. This decision mobilized many Poles not only to nationwide protests over several weeks, but also to a movement against such an unprecedented power grab. Reproductive rights – intentionally framed by many politicians and conservative opinion leaders as a niche issue – demonstrated yet again how the decisions are made in an allegedly democratic state: on women* without women*. In other words, over 50% of citizens are denied their voice and choice.

With this background in mind, HIA Poland Fellowship 2021 will unpack the frequently erased, ignored and diminished role of women* throughout Polish history – WW2, socialism, the Solidarity Movement and post 1989. It will focus on examining Poland’s challenges with diversity, especially hate speech and hate crime. Moreover, it will offer an opportunity to engage in well-informed activism and ‘doing the right thing’ while learning from the bravest, most determined and most innovative changemakers in Poland. Thus, we invite ALL who dare to be pro-active – who want to join forces, skills, and inspiration in the current vibrant movement for reclaiming human rights culture and equality for all!