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Who We Are

Humanity in Action is a collaborative, international learning community of individuals from or based in Europe and the United States committed to the values of pluralism, liberal democracy, social justice, and human rights, particularly in the transatlantic context. We seek to promote these values through different forms of civic engagement shaped by the specific historical and cultural contexts in which we live.

  • We educate to encourage critical exploration of liberal democracy and pluralism, within the specific national historical and present contexts of our Fellowship programs.
  • We connect an ever growing transatlantic community to promote continual learning and collaboration.
  • We inspire action for advancing social justice and equity.

Given the ever growing challenges to the values of equality, liberal democracy and pluralism in Europe and the United States today, our work is more complex, relevant, and demanding than ever before.

The intellectual touchstone for Humanity in Action, founded in 1997, is the study of acts of resistance--and lack thereof--during the Second World War and the Holocaust. These events raise critical questions which relate to the past and present: Why do some people resist while others remain bystanders? What bonds those who recognize the need to resist? How are acts of resistance influenced by national and historical contexts?

Since the beginning of our program in Denmark to study the flight and rescue of Jews in Denmark, Humanity in Action has grown conceptually, intellectually and geographically. Its scope has expanded to include topics as diverse as the legacies of American slavery and the Jim Crow era; colonialism and migration; conflict resolution in the Balkans; transitions from authoritarian to democratic forms of government; and other social justice issues in Europe and the United States. Humanity in Action has continued to evolve and will do so in the future.

What We Do


Humanity in Action provides educational programming designed to bridge theoretical and pragmatic approaches to advancing human rights and social justice. We encourage our Fellows and Senior Fellows to deepen their knowledge of the complex social fabrics in the sites where our programs are located as well as their own home communities. We ask our Fellows to question and navigate the tensions inherent in heterogeneous societies with diverse ethnic, racial, religious, gender and socioeconomic compositions.

Humanity in Action partners with US-based organizations such as the ACLU, NAACP, the Bertelsmann Foundation North America or the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta; and Europe-based institutions such as Amnesty International in Amsterdam, Democracy & Media Foundation, Johan Borups Højskole, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, or the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” (EVZ). Each program offers a site-specific and highly interdisciplinary curriculum featuring lectures and discussions with renowned researchers, journalists, politicians, activists, and artists as well as site visits to government agencies, non-profit and community organizations, museums, and memorial sites. Our aim is to facilitate a respectful, stimulating, immersive, and inclusive learning experience.


Humanity in Action is a community. The network and Fellowship cohorts are characterized by deep personal connections, mutual respect and appreciation. Fellows become Senior Fellows by invitation upon the completion over one year of the four-week program and the post-program Action Project, at which time they are also invited to attend our annual International Conference. Senior Fellows enjoy the opportunities of participating in international conferences, internships, study trips and professional as well as executive educational programs. These activities are dedicated to the ongoing collaborative learning experience and professional development of our Senior Fellows.

Inspire Action

Following the four-week on-site educational component of the Humanity in Action Fellowship program, Fellows return to their home communities to initiate a project of their own design. These projects promote individual civic engagement and social responsibility. Action Projects enable our Fellows to incorporate their experiences from the Fellowship and apply them to their daily lives and communities. For Senior Fellows, Humanity in Action also offers opportunities to receive funding for further Action Projects through its grant competitions.

Where Our Programs Take Place

The Humanity in Action Fellowship, currently hosted in six cities across Europe and the United States, serves as the entry point into a long-term involvement in a vibrant network of Senior Fellows.