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Democracies are increasingly under attack as populist and racist ideologies as well as conspiracy myths and fake news are destabilizing societies in Europe and the United States. COVID-19 has further scaled social injustice and inequalities that have long existed. White supremacy, structural racism and other forms of hatred are among the forces that foster division and incite violence toward minoritized communities.

We invite 30 changemakers with inclusive and innovative ideas for social cohesion to join the Landecker Democracy Fellowship in 2021/2022. For this endeavor we look for young leaders of diverse backgrounds and support them in their quest to build bridges through projects that enable our societies to unpack and address historic and contemporary systems of inequality. Our intention is to support young professionals who have new ideas to form unique and lasting ties among communities that are increasingly drifting apart.

Urban crowd from above

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The Fellowship

In partnership with the Alfred Landecker Foundation, Humanity in Action launched the Landecker Democracy Fellowship in 2020. Each year, the Fellowship brings together 30 diverse leaders from the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States who spend one year on creating projects that reinvent democratic spaces, strengthen social cohesion and build connections across communities. With financial support, the second cohort of the #LandeckerFellows work together from November 7, 2021 to November 6, 2022. They build community and maintain close ties to the Alfred Landecker Foundation and the Humanity in Action alumni networks beyond their Fellowship.

The Objective

Our goal for this Fellowship is to build a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and societal challenges become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. We support them in their efforts to bring about societal change, to strengthen democracy and to strive toward an inclusive version of social cohesion. We task our Fellows with planning, designing and managing public spaces, on- and offline through local, national, regional or international civic engagement projects. By fostering strong partnerships, our intention is for our Fellows to develop a meaningful and sustained reach into society.

“We believe that all people have the right to live without fear, persecution and suffering. We want to secure the future of democratic and open societies in which citizens have the chance to participate and the space and knowledge to disagree. We are committed to helping to shape the debate on the key challenges of our generation.”

The Alfred Landecker Foundation

The Fellows

Our Landecker Fellows are young professionals with demonstrated leadership experience. Each of them designs, tests and implements a project that has a publicly visible impact. They have the vision, commitment, experience and networks it takes to shape society. They come from diverse backgrounds including politics, business, the arts, activism and academia. Landecker Fellows have vastly different identities and ideas, but share democratic values. They are collaborative, passionate, hands-on and empathic protagonists. They feel responsible for facilitating societal change. Born in or after 1980, they are based in the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Program

From November 7, 2021 to November 6, 2022, Fellows design and implement their projects. Humanity in Action provides guidance, programming and supervision through a virtual and on-site training program throughout the year, including a six-day in-person Action Academy in Berlin (March 15 – 20, 2022). Fellows draw upon their existing networks and the new connections they make to implement their projects. In the process, they build a unique and supportive community of changemakers.

The Projects

Addressing the forces behind dwindling social cohesion in Europe and the United States is the common denominator of the diverse projects by the next cohort of Fellows. The 2021/22 cohort will focus on strengthening democracy by building bridges and forming ties across communities and people who are drifting apart. Solidarity, bridge building and interconnectedness are key elements of an inclusive form of social cohesion in heterogeneous societies. Together and individually, Fellows explore an array of complex questions, develop responses and implement tangible actions that reach broad audiences. Project methodologies vary widely from Fellow to Fellow. And yet, in their own ways, all of them shape their societies by building ties across communities.

To read about the highlights of our Landecker Fellows’ work in their respective communities, visit the Landecker Democracy News Page.

The Support

As part of the program, each Landecker Fellow receives a stipend of a total of 10,000 Euro (paid out in monthly installments). Additionally, they receive 5,000 Euro in seed funding for the implementation of their project idea. All training expenses are covered, as are travel and accommodation costs for the Action Academy in Berlin.

Would you like to be notified when calls for applications for the Landecker Democracy Fellowship become available? Sign up here.

Our Values

As an incubator for democracy in the digital age, the Alfred Landecker Foundation promotes the development of open, democratic and discrimination-free societies via innovative and disruptive means. The Foundation creates networks, spaces and knowledge by supporting a range of interdisciplinary projects. By building a network of globally active partners, it makes knowledge and experience widely available and brings together diverse perspectives from academia and practice. Projects supported by the Foundation are guided by the conviction that a democratic society cannot be taken for granted, but can only be the result of courageous and coordinated cooperation. To this end, the Foundation makes expertise available to open societies and those involved in the fight for liberal democratic values. At the core of the Foundation is a contemporary culture of remembrance, driven by the collapse of European civilization under National Socialism. More information on ongoing projects can be found here.

We at Humanity in Action believe that an important test of a genuine democracy is how it advances social equity and pluralism. We bring carefully selected students, young professionals and established leaders of diverse backgrounds to the same tables and collectively look at the histories behind contemporary social justice headlines to develop responses to today’s challenges. We strengthen the commitment of our community to democratic values and foster Fellows’ knowledge around past and present human rights challenges. We intend to inspire civic engagement and connect an ever-growing international community committed to strengthening democracy, human rights and pluralism.

Our Community

The 2,500 Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows are deeply committed to social justice all around the globe. Our alumni are the vibrant heart of the organization. Beyond their Fellowship involvements, they remain engaged with each other and the Humanity in Action teams. To advance our common mission, we offer tailored educational, professional or entrepreneurial opportunities to them.

Our Partner

We are proud to partner with the Alfred Landecker Foundation on this new Fellowship program and thank the Foundation for its trust and generous support.