Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit


When: July 10 – August 5, 2018

Where: Detroit, Michigan, USA

Who's eligible: Young professionals and university students from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine and the U.S. U.S. Senior Fellows are also eligible to apply.

Humanity in Action’s Detroit Fellowship is an immersive educational program about inequality, development and opportunity in Detroit. Each year, the fellowship brings together 22 emerging leaders who are committed to social justice and equitable economic progress. As one of Humanity in Action’s seven annual fellowships, the Detroit Fellowship introduces university students and young professionals to the Humanity in Action network of more than 2,000 established and emerging leaders. 

The fellowship explores the biography of Detroit –– a city deeply emblematic of the tensions of economic change in 20th and 21st century America. The 2017 fellowship focused on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 rebellion in Detroit. In 2018, the fellowship is exploring the course of progress and regression in equitable education, employment, housing and policing in Detroit since the 1968 Kerner Commission Report. The fellowship examines intersections with the critical issues of transportation, food, public health and business development in the changing city. 

Each year, Humanity in Action selects a group of 22 Fellows –– university students, recent graduates and young professionals –– through a competitive international selection process. The Fellows come from Detroit, elsewhere in Michigan and the United States and from Europe. 

Alongside the John Lewis Fellowship in Atlanta, the Detroit Fellowship is Humanity in Action's second U.S.-based annual fellowship program. The European programs take place in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sarajevo and Warsaw



Graphic Design

The program’s graphic design depicts the Monument to Joe Louis (1986), also known as The Fist. The monument represents the fight that boxer Joe Louis won against German boxer Max Schmelling in 1938 – a moral victory against Nazism. Louis, a Detroiter, also fought tirelessly against Jim Crow laws and racial injustice. Commissioned by Sports Illustrated magazine, the sculpture was designed by Mexican-American sculptor Robert Graham. It sits near Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. To Humanity in Action, The Fist represents brave resistance to injustice.


The 2018 Detroit Fellowship is generously supported by the RNR Foundation, the Germeshausen Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The participation of Greek Fellows in Humanity in Action Fellowship programs is generously supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.