Fellowship Focus

The civil rights exhibition at The Center for Civil and Human Rights. Photo: Albert Vecerka / ESTO

Humanity in Action's programs concern human rights activities generally, but they focus specifically on the relationship between majority and minority groups in the countries in which the programs take place. The John Lewis Fellowship will focus on issues of diversity within the United States, with a particular emphasis on restorative justice in Georgia. The Fellowship's restorative justice framework grounds the program and directs the Fellows’ to address specific, substantive, civil and human rights issues, such as education, public health, urban development, and policing. In 2017, the Fellowship will place a greater emphasis on community engagement and the impact of the fellowship programming on the public at large in Atlanta.  

For four weeks, 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. 

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

This is the Humanity in Action method, refined over more than a dozen years of programmatic development in Europe and the United States. Those who are primarily interested in universal or global human rights issues are encouraged to focus on the specific scope and purpose of the Humanity in Action Fellowship programs—and extract learning from the American 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 Humanity in Action’s program are right for them.