Program Details

Quickly jump to the description of the Fellowship in Europe: WarsawBerlin, and in the United States: Atlanta, Detroit.



When: June 8 - July 8, 2018

Where: Warsaw, Poland + Strasbourg, France

Inspiration, knowledge & skills, empowerment are the keywords of the Warsaw Fellowship Program and crucial components for the education of young people interested to make a social impact.

We focus on YOU - your unique experiences, your drive for social change, passion for taking action and readiness to engage in the global HIA network of activists. The program is a gateway to new skills, networks and new platform for making a difference. 

In addition to cooperating with your peers and human rights trainers, you will deepen your knowledge and skills by engaging in a 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, you will also get a chance to see how they operate on daily basis. 

Fellows of the Warsaw Program

Warsaw Fellows include university students and recent graduates from Poland, USA, Germany, Greece and Ukraine. So far, over 200 participants from all over the world took part in Warsaw fellowships. The experience of the Fellowship for many of them was a turning point in their lives. According to the study on Humanity in Action alumni engagement, the Senior Fellow community is personally and professionally valuable to fellows: approximately half of fellows consider someone within the Humanity in Action community to be a role model and one in four Fellows has found a job through a Humanity in Action connection.

Thematic scope

Poland’s past-present-future will serve as a point of departure to discuss both universal and particular patterns and mechanisms that influence how the society functions at a given time and the role of individuals in making ‘things work better’. Special attention will be given to debate cases of contemporary violations of human and minorities’ rights from the perspective of discriminated or excluded members of the Polish society.
In other words, the Polish program deals with the question of how the Polish state and society have been dealing with human rights challenges in historical and contemporary perspectives. Especially scrutinized will be histories of discrimination, oppression and resistance - primarily in the context of World War II, the Holocaust and National Socialism, as well as in the contemporary outlook, the relationships between majority and minorities, civil society, societal (in)justice, activism, and solidarity.
Due to the situation of almost complete ethnic and religious homogeneity, the aftermath of the WW II, the Polish society has lacked exposure to ‘the Other’ and, it is 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, and hostile attitudes towards refugees and migrants.
In many instances, free speech turns into hate speech. That is why the 2018 fellowship will be focused on the issue of hate speech, radicalism and discrimination - how they manifest, what kinds of threats they pose to a democratic society, and how they could be counteracted. Throughout the program, the participants will have a chance to create a solution kit for young activists to counteract discrimination both online and offline.
Fellows will take part in trainings on how to address social challenges and raise awareness on human and minority rights by drawing from social entrepreneurship tools and methods. The overall goal for the Fellows, while working in small groups, will be to develop and implement answers or innovative strategies to a human rights challenge of choice. Potential answers may include creating workshops scenarios, social campaign, designing a product and other tailored formats.  
Please refer to the agenda of the 2017 Fellowship in Warsaw for more details.

Coming from the global studies and human rights legal background, this experience was not just another step on the way, but rather an entire harbor of new ideas and possibilities. Coming together from the United States, Ukraine, Germany, and Poland, with our energized attitudes and strive to make the difference, I can state immodestly that we have done something outstanding (…) I have not seen such brave idea for action before…” - Ɓukasz, law student, Warsaw Fellow  


The Fellowship consists of ‘input’ and ‘output’ sessions, which complement each other. In the ‘input’ sessions, the emphasis will be on developing knowledge and exchanging ideas in debates, whereas the ‘output’ activities will be 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: The fellowship is intensive and time-consuming. Fellows are expected to be prepared for a daily active participation and to make time for scheduled meetings after the formal  program. So, please note that there will almost NO be time for tourist excursions, university, work, meeting family, friends and partners etc. during the fellowship. This is all meant for you to take out as much as possible from the Fellowship and enjoy it a great deal!  

All Humanity in Action Fellowships are free of charge. For more details please click here.

For more details about the fellowship in Poland, please contact poland(at)

The Berlin Program

When: : June 8 - July 8, 2018

Where: : Berlin, Germany + Strasbourg, France

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 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 2017 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Berlin.

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

All Humanity in Action Fellowships are free of charge. For more details please click here.

The Atlanta Program

When: July 10 - August 05, 2018

Where: Atlanta, Georgia

The John Lewis Fellowship focuses on issues of diversity within the United States, with a particular emphasis on Georgia and the American South. In partnership with The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Inc., Humanity in Action brings together a group of 30 American and European university students and recent graduates for an intensive program about pluralism, diversity and civil rights in America. The program honors Congressman John Lewis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement. 

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 United States and Atlanta will 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.

In addition to fluency in English and a proven interest and commitment for human rights-related matters, candidates will need to demonstrate a solid understanding of the above mentioned issues in the context of the United States.

To find out more about the 2018 Lewis Fellowship in Atlanta and to see previous years' schedules, please click here. Additional information on this program can be found here.

All Humanity in Action Fellowships are free of charge. For more details please click here.

The Detroit Program

When: July 10 - August 05, 2018

Where: Detroit, Michigan

The Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit explores the biography of Detroit –– a city deeply emblematic of the tensions of massive urban, economic and cultural change in 20th and 21st century America.

The Detroit Fellowship brings together a group of 22 university students and young professionals from Detroit, elsewhere in Michigan, the United States and Europe. Over four weeks, the Fellows take part in an immersive educational program that examines the promise, failure and possibilities of social and economic progress in Detroit.

The Fellows meet with community leaders and expert observers to discuss the most critical issues in Detroit, including equitable development, labor and employment, racism and diversity, social entrepreneurship, immigration, health disparities and transportation. Humanity in Action tasks the Fellows to challenge their assumptions about race, class, development, health and equity among other fundamental issues.

The 2017 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit was launched on a monumental anniversary for the city – the 50th anniversary of the 1967 rebellion. The anniversary provided an important opportunity for the Fellows to observe how a city confronts its history and charters a path toward greater equality.

The Fellows spend several days at three of Metropolitan Detroit’s landmark cultural institutions –– the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Arab American National Museum. The three institutions are modeling institutional leadership for the Fellows by confronting the history of 1967 and by reimagining their roles and responsibility in city of great need.

The Detroit Fellowship was built upon the model the organization developed for the Philanthropy and Social Enterprise Fellowship, a 2015 research program for Humanity in Action Senior Fellows. It joins Humanity in Action’s John Lewis Fellowship in Atlanta as the second U.S.-based annual program, along with annual European programs in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sarajevo and Warsaw.

For mor details, please see previous years' schedule, please click here

All Humanity in Action Fellowships are free of charge. For more details please click here.