Program Details

Detailed information on our programs in Warsaw, Sarajevo, Berlin and Atlanta

Warsaw: 12th Fellowship Program: "Ideas Incubator"

When: May 26 - June 25, 2017

Where: Warsaw, Poland

What makes Humanity in Action fellowship special is that it is focused on people – their unique experiences, passion for taking action and readiness to engage in a global network of activists! 

The program is not only an opportunity to engage in a vigorous and multidimensional debate as well as to share experiences and knowledge with people from variety of disciplines and different countries, but also it is a gateway to new skills, networks and new potential for making a difference. In addition to cooperating with their peers and human rights trainers, the fellows will deepen their knowledge and skills by engaging in an dialogue with experienced human rights activists, NGO leaders, NGOs, renowned academics and policy experts, journalists, and representatives of public administration. During the site visits to various human rights oriented institutions and organization, the fellows will also get to see how they operate on daily basis.

So far, over 200 participants from all over the world took part in the Warsaw fellowships. The experience of the fellowship for many of them happened to be a turning point in their lives. According to the newest study on Humanity in Action alumni, the senior fellow community is personally and professionally profitable to fellows: approximately half of fellows consider someone within the Humanity in Action community to be a role model. One in four Fellows has found a job through a Humanity in Action connection.

Please refer to the program of the 2016 fellowship in Warsaw for more details.

Thematic scope

As it is the case with all Humanity in Action fellowships, the Polish program called, “Ideas Incubator,” deals with the question of how the Polish state and society have been dealing with human rights challenges in historical and contemporary perspectives. Special attention will be drawn to histories of discrimination and resistance - especially in the context of World War II, the Holocaust and National Socialism, relationships between majority and minorities, civil society, societal (in)justice, activism, and solidarity. Those important and complex issues will be tackled through the Polish perspective so that they're not analyzed solely in an ‘abstract’ vacuum, but in a given socio-political-economic and historical context. In other words, Poland’s past-present-future will be treated as a case study in order to look for certain universal and particular patterns/mechanisms that influence how a showcased society is functioning at a given time and the role of individuals to make ‘things work better’. Special attention will be given to present cases of contemporary human rights violations from the perspective of various categories of discriminated or excluded members of the Polish society.
Since after World War II, Poland has been a rather homogenous country. The society lacked an exposure to ‘the other’ and, as a consequence, Polish society was polarized in debates on diversity. Nowadays, the political and social debate is divided to even a greater extent due the swift rise of populist and xenophobic rhetoric following dominant European trends, and hostile attitudes towards refugees and migrants. In many instances, free speech turns into hate speech. That is why this year’s fellowship will be focused on the issue of hate speech, hate crime and discrimination - how it manifests, what kinds of threats it poses to a democratic society, and how it could be counteracted. Throughout the program, the participants will have a chance to come up with ideas/best practices regarding what kind of initiatives young activists could undertake to try to counteract discrimination in on-line and off-line realities, and - by that - make at least some difference.
Participants will take part in trainings on how to raise awareness on human and minority rights - with a special focus on community organizing using social campaigns and various kinds of social action. The overall goal for participants will be to develop and implement social campaigns on social media. The task would be first to reach out and research problems and needs of selected groups facing discrimination within the society and developing innovative strategies for counteracting these human rights infringements.

"Humanity in Action has fundamentally changed my perspective on foreign policy, international relations, minority rights, and human rights, among many other things. I have come to look at these issues in a more critical and sophisticated manner. A great network of friends from Poland, the US, and Ukraine, which I developed in the program, is a great asset for my future. Humanity in Action was instrumental for me to narrow down my passion within the field of human rights, and to develop a global understanding of transnational conflicts and global affairs.“- Sudip, USA, social activist and 2014 Fellow


The fellowship consists of ‘input’ and ‘output’ sessions, which complement each other. In the ‘input’ sessions, the stress will be more on developing knowledge and exchanging ideas in debates, whereas the ‘output’ activities will be more focused on enhancing skills essential in human rights activism by completing a given task. In other words, throughout the fellowship, thanks to applying active learning methods and with the help of experienced trainers, the participants will have a chance to effectively combine theory with practice and to ‘learn by doing’.
An important note to prospective applicants: The fellowship is intensive and time-consuming. Participants are expected to be prepared for the daily active participation and to make time for meeting with participants after the organized program. We therefore kindly inform potential participants that there will NO be time for tourist excursions, university, work, meeting family, friends and partners etc. during the fellowship.


The Humanity in Action Fellowships in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Germany and in the United States are free of charge. 

Humanity in Action Poland, thanks to generous support of the Foundation "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future", and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (concerning Greek Fellows’ participation), covers the costs of participation, accommodation (housing costs are covered for those fellows who reside outside the Warsaw area), public transportation, entrance fees and relevant guided site-visits. Additionally, Humanity in Action provides a meal stipend. However as it will cover some but not all the meals, fellows should also bring spending money for food and social activities during the program (depending on personal needs the estimated amount might range from ca. 800-2300 PLN/200-550 EUR in the Warsaw Program, ca. 400 EUR in the Sarajevo Program, ca. 450 EUR in the Berlin Program, and ca. 700 EUR in the Atlanta Program ) 

Important: all the fellows will be responsible for financing the cost of transportation to and from the fellowship programs. Please note however, that Humanity in Action might cover this cost for fellows with documented need.

The transportation to the venue of the Humanity in Action International Conference in Berlin (June 22 - June 25, 2017) will be provided by Humanity in Action. 

For more details about the fellowship in Poland, please contact us via email: poland(at) 


The Sarajevo Program

When: May 26 - June 25, 2017

Where: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Humanity in Action Fellowship in Sarajevo will delve deep into the topics of transitional justice, post-conflict identity politics, peacebuilding and socioeconomic transformation in marginalized local communities. The City of Sarajevo, and other important historical sites in its surrounding, will serve as a unique case study of the rich history of multi-confessional urban living in Europe.

Academically well-rounded, the program will add diversity to the educational experiences and broaden the Humanity in Action program scope beyond Western Europe and the United States. It will provide Fellows with an intellectual framework that connects issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina to both past and current global issues. It will combine intense site visits, insightful lecture-style sessions with high level speakers and workshop-based learning units, which focus more on discussions and Fellow interactions. This combination of learning methods will allow Fellows to develop interpersonal relationships that solidify and strengthen the program itself.

By challenging Fellows’ perspectives on human rights issues, the program will aim to interrogate their own assumptions and encourage them to question their scope and depth of knowledge of multiculturalism; economic inequality; interfaith dialogue; post-conflict social apathy, social unrests, divided communities and social exclusions; growing trends of Islamophobia, Antisemitism and anti-outsider sentiments in the Balkans; resistance movements before, during and after the Second World War in Bosnia and in Yugoslavia; minority experiences and representations; progressive grassroots movements; the role of media and culture in a post-conflict setting; and civic resistance to various forms of institutionalized human rights violations. 

Please refer to the program of the 2016 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Sarajevo.

For more details about the fellowship in Bosnia and Herzegovina, please contact bosnia(at) 

The Berlin Program

When: May 26 - June 25, 2017

Where: Berlin, Germany 

Against the historical background of Germany’s colonial history, the Second World War and the Holocaust, 22 carefully chosen participants from at least five different countries will examine contemporary questions around identity formation and societal pluralism in Germany.

Germany's past and present serve as case studies for the Humanity in Action Berlin Fellowship. On this basis, Fellows will examine patterns and mechanisms that underpin human rights related challenges today by learning from historic examples. Particular attention is given to the relationships between minority and the majority populations, the role of civil society, and phenomena of social injustice, including for example the concept of group-focused hostility. Fellows will visit historic sites of remembrance and speak with experts from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. The Berlin Fellowship’s main platform of inquiry lies in the personal exchange with renowned policy-makers, activists, academics and artists, as well as among the Fellows. 

The program will explore Germany’s approaches to its own histories, Germany’s remembrance culture and Germany’s human rights situations today. More specifically, it addresses the neglected colonial past of the country and its impact on German society today; the Holocaust; forced labor during the Nazi era and forms of modern forms of labor exploitation; Nazi ideology and current right-wing extremism; as well as immigration and integration policy. A variety of issues related to minorities belonging in Germany, including their marginalization and contemporary mechanisms of discrimination – often with a view to their historical origins, will form part of the Berlin Fellowship. Among these issues are racism, Antisemitism, Islamophobia, Antiziganism, trans- and homophobia, classism, the devaluation of people with disabilities but also feminism and gender-related identity questions. 

To be equipped with tools to translate their own ideas into action, Fellows will engage in practice-oriented skills workshops. To be inspired by ideas already turned into action, Fellows will meet with representatives of successful civil society initiatives in a variety of the above-mentioned realms. To ensure their own future impact, Fellows will start developing their ideas for projects in their own communities during this Fellowship program. 

Please refer to the program of the 2016 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Berlin.

For more details about the fellowship in Germany, please contact germany(at) 

The Atlanta Program

When: July 5 - July 30, 2017

Where: Atlanta, Georgia

After two successful years examining diversity and civil rights in America through the lens of the American South, in its third year the John Lewis Fellowship is expanding its thematic focus to restorative justice in Atlanta, Georgia. In partnership with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Humanity in Action intends to refocus the Atlanta program around the way one city is dealing with histories of division, discrimination and racism. As such, Fellows will explore what restorative justice would mean in Atlanta in the coming years; how to build a community that encourages knowledge of and responsibility for past injustices and looks toward greater unity through both a common understanding of the past and rectifications in the future. 

The four-week inquiry and resulting blueprint for restorative justice will involve a multidisciplinary approach. Fellows, speakers and staff will produce a blueprint – "An Appeal for Human Rights and Restorative Justice" for the city. Fellows will look at this concept from many different perspectives as the issues infuse both public life and individual attitudes and responsibilities: education, health, the law, residential patterns, police practices, urban planning, local and state government, religious institutions, the arts and restoration of historic sites and areas. Consequently, the program will draw upon informed and inspiring academics from many disciplines as well as those in journalism, urban affairs, religion, government, public health, the law and NGOs.

The goal of Humanity in Action and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is to create a program for emerging leaders to learn, engage in intellectual discourse, propose solutions and develop the skill-sets needed to bring forth effective social, political and economic changes that improves the lives within and beyond the United States. In the past two years, the curriculum of the John Lewis program focused on the history and global impact of the Civil Rights Movement, immigration reform and Native American issues. Fellows participated in discussions with renowned scholars, activists and political leaders who have dedicated themselves to advancing civil and human rights in the United States and beyond. In 2016, Fellows also produced a collection of reflections about their experiences in the John Lewis program, delving into personal aspects of their own identities – such as national, ethnic, gender, racial, or religious – and ways in which participation in the program has shaped their personal outlooks and perspectives on democracy and diversity. 

To find out more about the 2017 Lewis Fellowship in Atlanta and to see previous years' schedules, please click here. Additional information on this program can be found here.