This fellowship program is designed to train outstanding high school sophomores, juniors and seniors—15-18 fellows total annually—from Greater Boston to serve as interreligious and cross-cultural leaders, with the capacity to engage the diversity of our city (and broader society) with thoughtfulness, skill, and care. In constructing this intentionally diverse group, we will recruit a passionate cohort of young people from different spiritual and ethical backgrounds, including those who identify as “religious” and “secular.” We will also pay careful attention to other axes of difference, including race, class, and gender. In developing this initiative, we are working collaboratively with leaders and educators from various houses of worship, schools, and civic organizations throughout the city.
The overarching goal of the initiative is to cultivate a network of thoughtful and skilled young leaders able to build bridges of understanding and cooperation, and to stand up to bigotry and hate. The ethical/spiritual foundation for the project is the ancient and enduring notion that every human being is of inestimable worth, and that a society thrives when people learn to honor each other’s similarities and differences. In this moment of increased polarization and resurgent intolerance, we need to help young people develop the ability and sensibility to find common ground when possible, and to engage in dignified discourse and debate when necessary. This is particularly important for our target audience, as these teens move closer to adulthood, preparing to leave home for college, university, and work life.
The fellowship runs from late August 2021 through January 2022, and each selected fellow will receive a $1000 stipend for their commitment and contribution. Applications are due June 15.
If interested, please follow up by contacting the Program Director, Shelton Oakley Hersey (firstname.lastname@example.org), or directly filling out the Google Form application. Thank you!