About the Fellowship

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 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit was launched on a monumental anniversary for the city – the 50th anniversary of the 1967 rebellion. The anniversary provides 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 2017 Humanity in Action Fellowship in Detroit was built upon the model of 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.