Humanity in Action Fellowship Focus



Note: This page includes information about the focus of the European programs of the Humanity in Action Fellowship. For information about the focus of the John Lewis Fellowship, Humanity in Action's American program, click here

Humanity in Action's programs concern human rights activities generally, but they focus specifically on the relationship between majority and minority populations in the five European countries where the programs take place: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. The programs address a carefully selected range of subjects intended to give the Fellows analytical and intercultural skills and perspectives that will aid in their work on a broad range of human rights issues in the future. 

Humanity in Action's programs in Europe use the legacy of the Second World War and the Holocaust as the main historical foundation for examining contemporary issues.

Humanity in Action's programs in Europe use the legacy of the Second World War and the Holocaust as the main historical foundation for examining contemporary issues. These issues include the relationships among European immigrant communities and their host societies or current notions of solidarity, especially in Poland. We are particularly concerned with the contemporary causes and consequences of xenophobia as well as religious, ethnic, racial, gender and national identities present in Europe and especially the five Humanity in Action European countries.

The fellowship programs explore national diversity issues in regard to their economic, educational, political, social, cultural, religious and environmental ramifications. We use a national perspective to explore the international implications and repercussions of the treatment of minorities in those countries. It is important for applicants to recognize that these issues are central to Humanity in Action's educational activities during the five-week fellowship programs. While we recognize the importance of transnational problems and the impact of global issues, the Humanity in Action Fellowship concentrates almost exclusively on issues and problems within specific countries in continental Europe. For five weeks, the five Humanity in Action European countries serve as case studies to broaden and challenge Fellows’ understanding of human rights issues. For these weeks, the United States will serve as case studies to broaden and challenge Fellows’ understanding of human rights issues.

For five weeks, the five Humanity in Action European countries serve as case studies to broaden and challenge Fellows’ understanding of human rights issues. Fellows apply the knowledge and skills gained from their Fellowship experience to strengthen their work in their own communities around the world. 

The European Fellowship programs discuss other international tensions, but they do so primarily through the lens of how they affect domestic issues in the five European countries.The American program discusses other international tensions, but they do so primarily through the lens of how they affect domestic issues within the United States. A wide range of international topics, conflicts and crises are addressed in follow-up conferences, study trips and fellowship opportunities for Senior Fellows. The Fellowships themselves, however, adheres to a strong national focus. Issues specific to Iraq, Iran, Darfur, China, Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine and global issues such as climate change are not the principal focus of the Humanity in Action Fellowship.

This is the Humanity in Action method, refined over more than a dozen years of programmatic development. Those who are primarily interested in universal or global issues are encouraged to focus on the specific scope and purpose of the Humanity in Action Fellowship programs—and extract learning from the European experience for broader international and human rights considerations and applications through subsequent Humanity in Action activities. Those who prefer instead to study international conflicts should carefully consider whether the Humanity in Action Fellowship is right for them.