Apply by May 23rd for Americans United’s Youth Organizing Fellowship—a paid opportunity to grow as a leader, build power with a national cohort of youth organizers, and advocate for religious freedom and the separation of religion and government.
The Americans United Youth Organizing Fellowship is an opportunity for young leaders from across the country to strengthen their organizing skills and lead the movement for separation of religion and government. We are now recruiting for the September 2021-August 2022 cohort. Americans United will select ten Fellows ages 18-25 who come from different backgrounds, work on a variety of issues that intersect with separation of religion and government, and have shared values of religious freedom and equality.
This Fellowship is right for you if you are already an activist in your community and want to dive deeper into activism for separation of religion and government. You should bring some knowledge and experience but also be excited to learn more. You should be a passionate advocate for the rights of LGBTQ people, religious minorities, the nonreligious, women, and communities of color. You might be advocating for campus, city, state, or federal policy change; building interfaith or cross-movement coalitions; or running programs to educate your peers. Maybe you run a faith-based or secular student group, work for an LGBTQ youth center, lead campaigns for social change, or play another leadership role in your community. Click here to learn more about the 2020-2021 Fellows.
If you’re applying for this paid Fellowship, you should be able to commit significant time to organizing with Americans United and be excited to work in collaboration with youth activists from across the country to lead AU’s strategy for youth engagement. Fellows will have ample opportunities for professional development, receive a $1,350 stipend, and gain access to support and resources to organize in your community. Fellows must be able to attend a convening in DC and commit to the full year-long program (details below), including reliable access to the internet and video (at home, at school, or elsewhere), such as a smartphone or computer.
The Fellowship kicks off with a virtual convening, during which Fellows will get to meet AU and each other, learn new skills, and begin planning for the coming year. Then Fellows will continue to meet twice per month by video for ongoing training and support. Fellows will meet in person in Washington, DC in March before AU’s National Advocacy Summit, which Fellows will also attend.
Fellows are expected to use the information and skills they gain to organize in their community, educate and recruit new supporters for AU, and host at least one educational or advocacy event in partnership with AU.
Skills you can expect to gain or strengthen during the Fellowship:
- Deep understanding of the separation of religion and government
- Advocacy and organizing skills, including power analysis, relational organizing, coalition building, and more
- Working with people of different faith traditions
- Effective communication and public speaking
People of color, LGBTQ people, religious minorities, low-income people, and others who are directly impacted and from communities disproportionately impacted by discrimination in the name of religious freedom are especially encouraged to apply.
- April 19, 2021: Applications open
- May 23, 2021: Applications close
- June 6-11, 2021: 90-minute group interviews on video with select applicants
- By July 9, 2021: Decisions announced to applicants
- August 30 -September 3, 2021: Convene virtually for community-building and training each day from 5-8 PM ET. First half of stipend provided.
- October 2021 – August 2022: Monthly virtual meetings with full cohort; monthly 1:1 meetings with Student Network Manager; Fellows lead events or campaigns in their communities
- March 24 or March 25, 2022: Travel to Washington, DC
- March 25-29, 2022: Attend a three-day convening for Fellows followed by a two-day National Advocacy Summit hosted by AU. Second half of stipend provided.
AU is committed to making the Fellowship accessible to all. If you would benefit from CART, an interpreter, or other accommodations during the application process, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also strive to accommodate all our Fellows’ needs to participate in virtual meetings and the in-person convening in DC.
Your Responsibilities as a Fellow
- Attend the virtual convening from Monday, August 30-Friday, September 3, 2021 from 5-8 PM ET each day
- Attend an in-person convening and the National Advocacy Summit from Friday, March 25-Tuesday, March 29, 2022
- Meet at least twice monthly on video calls, once as a full group and once 1:1 with the Student Network Manager. Fellows are expected to actively share, learn, and collaborate during semi-monthly group meetings, which will typically consist of collaborative work time and/or skill-building workshops.
- Be a self-starter, willing and able to organize and work remotely in your community in between meetings with AU.
- Serve as an ambassador for AU and church-state separation in your communities, at conferences, and in the media (such as talking to a local newspaper or sharing your story on Instagram).
- Host at least one event in your community aligned with AU’s mission and goals, for example, a webinar or panel about church-state separation or a workshop on policy advocacy.
- Contribute approximately 5-10 hours total to AU per month (this will be less in some months and more in others, such as when hosting an event).
Your Resources as a Fellow
- $1,350 stipend
- Full coverage of the cost of travel, housing, and meals to participate in the YOF convening and National Advocacy Summit in March 2022 in Washington, DC; breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be paid for by AU during travel and participation in the convening.
- Funding for travel, housing, and meals to participate in at least one other conference on behalf of AU, such as Creating Change or Netroots Nation.
- Mentorship, skills training, and support from AU staff and partners
- Access to platforms to share your writing (or other content) including AU’s blog and social media
- Messaging, petitions, and other organizing tools
- AU staff to speak, present, or run a training in your community (schedules allowing)
- Online tool (Basecamp) to communicate and collaborate with fellow AU leaders
- Age 18-25 at the start of the program (August 30, 2021)
- Living in the United States, including the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories, regardless of citizenship or work-permit status
- Experience working across difference and in coalition with diverse leaders
- Experience organizing in a campus or youth setting
- Demonstrated leadership. “Leadership is accepting responsibility to create conditions that enable others to achieve shared purpose in the face of uncertainty” – Marshall Ganz
- Knowledge of church/state separation
- Commitment to attend the YOF convening and National Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC from March 25-29 and participate in the full year-long program
- Access to the internet and video, such as a smartphone or computer
To apply to the Youth Organizing Fellowship, complete this application form and submit a resume and (optional) work sample via email. A work sample must be relevant to this role and may include, but is not limited to, a relevant piece of writing, a website, a video, or other document that demonstrates your experience as an organizer and/or a leader. Email your resume and work sample as attachments or links to email@example.com with the subject line “Your Full Name – Fellowship Application”.
The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, May 23, 2021.
If you have any questions about the application or the Fellowship, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.