Welcome Note

Since our founding in 1997, Humanity in Action has sought to inspire young people to engage in resistance. Resistance to injustice and inequality, resistance to totalitarianism, and resistance to fear and the forces that divide us. We have awarded over 1,700 young people with fellowships to study models of resistance and to develop projects that advance diversity, democracy and human rights.

Our Fellows – now in their 20s, 30s and 40s – form a vanguard of emerging leaders. They are convinced of the importance of liberal democratic values in an age of increasing nationalism, authoritarianism and inequality. And they are developing innovative strategies to fight for racial justice, reduce economic inequalities and support the rights of immigrants.

Over the past two decades, Humanity in Action Fellows have studied these issues and many others in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Berlin, Copenhagen, New York, Paris, Sarajevo, and Warsaw.

In our 20th anniversary year, Humanity in Action is proud to expand to Detroit. We are humbled to undertake this work in a city whose community members provide models of leadership for our Fellows. These leaders, many of whom are included in our program schedule, are engaged in the most critical issues of the day – economic exclusion, political and social polarization, and racial and ethnic inequities in urban and suburban America.

We want to express gratitude to our partners who have welcomed us to Detroit – the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Arab American National Museum and the University of Michigan Detroit Center. Their contributions to our program – and their leadership in Metropolitan Detroit – are immense.

The Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit is only possible because of supporters who believed in the idea of Humanity in Action making a meaningful contribution to Detroit. We are deeply thankful to the RNR Foundation, the Germeshausen Foundation, the Charles D. and Mary A. Bauer Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the Knight Fund of the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan.

The Detroit Fellowship has benefitted from the generosity and guidance of many friends of Humanity in Action. We would like to thank Heather Lord, Marsha Philpot, Annmarie Erickson, Malia Xie, Jennifer Czajkowski, Alex Hill, Juanita Moore, Charles Ferrell, Feodies Shipp, Amish Dave and Asha Shajahan, among many others.

At a time of great tension in local, national and international realms, we are proud to begin the Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit and to support the voices of democratic resistance who are working to advance social cohesion in this city and so many others.


Anthony Chase, Program Director
Humanity in Action