Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellowship 1361 views

Type of Funding





Open Society Foundations (OSF) is inviting emerging mid-career professionals who will become long-term innovative leaders impacting racial justice, to apply for The Soros Equality Fellowship 2020. Fellows will spend 18 months commencing Summer/Fall 2020, to produce a project with measurable impact. The fellowship seeks to produce new ideas, promote risk-taking, and develop different ways of thinking that provide considerable value to the racial justice field and inspire new approaches to address issues of structural inequities and discrimination.

Open Society Foundations Soros Equality Fellowship aims to provide promising leaders with the support they need to develop their ideas to more effectively combat racism in all its forms. Applicants should be from diverse fields, such as activists, lawyers,
artists, journalists, and organizers with unique perspectives. Applicants must produce projects with meaningful impact.

This year’s cohort are urged to consider their project within the current social and political moment, in terms of considering toxic narratives, racialized anxiety, economic insecurity, and an outright assault on civil rights protections. Applicants are asked to place their project within this context and explain how and why their project is necessary to counter these threats and move toward a new and inclusive multiracial democracy.

Up to 15 fellows will be selected for the 2020 cohort.


Fellows will receive a grant of US$100,000 over the 18-month fellowship period to support all expenses related to the production of an innovative racial justice project, including travel, conference fees, living stipend, and health insurance. Over the course of the 18-month fellowship, there may be additional OSF-sponsored opportunities. In addition, Fellows will be given opportunities for global networking and engagement with relevant Open Society Foundations staff and grantees.

As the purpose of the fellowship is to support individual fellows, the program will only cover individual expenses. The fellowship does not fund enrollment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research.


Applicants must devote at least 35 hours per week to the project, and the project must be the applicant’s only full-time work during the course of the Fellowship. Fellows cannot be full-time students concurrently. Applicants may be based outside the United States, but their work must directly pertain to a U.S. racial justice issue. They have to be proficient in English.

Applicants must be available to attend the following activities during the fellowship term: New Fellows Orientation in New York (tentatively set for July 2020); the Soros Equality Fellowship retreat (tentatively set for fall of 2020); fellowship class network calls; and a Rockwood Leadership Institute training.

Up to 2 individuals can apply jointly for a Soros Equality Fellowship; but they will share the fellowship award of US$100,000 over the 18 months. A joint application should be completed together as a single submission. For joint applicants, the full-time work requirement does not apply to each applicant.

The program does not fund the following:

  • Enrollment for degree or non-degree study at academic institutions, including dissertation research
  • Projects that address racial justice issues outside the United States
  • Projects that serve as proxy for an organizational grant and
  • Electioneering, lobbying or political activities.

Each application will be considered based on critical need, competitiveness, ability to influence the racial justice field, innovation, and the leadership qualities of the applicant.


Applications are to be done online by 13 February 2020.

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