What is the Divest Ed Organizing Fellowship?
The Divest Ed Organizing Fellowship is a leadership development program for college student fossil fuel divestment organizers in the United States who want to grow their organizing skills, deepen their commitment to climate justice, and cultivate connections with other students across the country. This is Divest Ed's second year running a national fellowship.
Fellows spend the summer building deep relationships, gaining organizing skills, helping coordinate and strategize for the national student divestment movement, and receiving mentorship and campaign coaching. The Fellowship is intended for students who are newer to organizing and who may not have leadership positions in their campaigns yet, but are ready to become more involved.
We view climate justice through the lens of race, gender, class, and the colonial and imperialist history of the United States. We aim to center anti-oppression in both our movement and campus organizing.
What would I gain from participating in the fellowship?
- Training in fundamental campaign, organizing, and leadership skills
- Relationships with other campus climate organizers across the country
- Individualized mentorship opportunities and guidance on your campaign and your growth as an organizer
- Connections with professionals working in the climate justice movement
Who is the fellowship for?
- Current students attending college in the United States who will still be in school in Fall 2020.
Students involved in fossil fuel divestment campaigns on their campuses.
- Are you involved in a different divestment campaign and interested in the Fellowship? We may be able to accommodate you! Please contact Rachel Schlueter at email@example.com. While the focus is on fossil fuel divestment campaigns, many of the skills are applicable to other divestment campaigns.
- Students who are new to organizing and may not have leadership positions in their campaign yet, but are ready to become more involved. First- and second-years are especially encouraged to apply!
- Students who are passionate about developing a national climate movement through mentorship and relationship building.
- The Fellowship will intentionally prioritize students of backgrounds that need to be centered in the divestment movement, including black, indigenous, and people of color, poor and working class people, people from communities directly impacted by climate change, environmental injustice, and fossil fuel extraction, people with disabilities, immigrants, and women, trans, and nonbinary folks.
What are the fellowship requirements?
Fellows must attend the entire Kickoff Training Retreat from June 15th-19th. Fellows must work in our office for 3 days a week (7 hours/day), which may include evening events or meetings. Time commitment is about 21 hours per week. Exceptions to the work schedule may be made rarely on a case-by-case basis. The exact hours are subject to change, but are likely to be Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 10am-5pm.
Where is the fellowship located?
Fellows work out of our office in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Kickoff Training Retreat from June 15th-19th will be held at the Rowe Center in western Massachusetts.
What are the selection criteria?
We will select applicants based on the following (these are not strict requirements):
- Commitment to all dates and program requirements
- Quality of application
- Demonstrated enthusiasm for the divestment movement
- Commitment to working on campus organizing beyond the Fellowship
I do not fulfill all of the eligibility or fellowship requirements. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply. However, we will prioritize applicants who do fulfill all of the requirements.
How do I apply to the fellowship, and how soon will I find out if I am accepted?
The application form can be found at the bottom of this page. Submission of this form is the entirety of the application and takes between 20-30 minutes. You do not need to provide a resume or cover letter. You may be asked for a phone interview.
● Final application deadline: End of Sunday, March 1st
● Applicants notified of status: Friday, March 6th
● Financial Assistance application deadline: End of Sunday, March 8th
● Accepted fellows notified of financial assistance: By end of Monday, March 9th
● Deadline for accepted applicants to confirm participation: Friday, March 13th
Does it cost money to participate in the fellowship?
No, there is no fee to participate. Food and lodging for the Kickoff Training Retreat will be provided for free, and Divest Ed will coordinate transportation. Divest Ed will support students with access to campus grants to apply for funds from their schools for travel costs or for internship funding.
Is the Divest Ed Fellowship a job? Will I be paid?
The Divest Ed Fellowship is not considered a job but a leadership development program. This is because a significant portion of the work days is devoted to trainings and relationship-building activities, and fellows receive extensive training and mentorship throughout the program. We offer all fellows up to $250/week for the 8 weeks they are in Boston for the fellowship (starting after the retreat until August 14th) for a maximum total of $2,000. This stipend is intended to help pay for food, transportation, and other living costs.
We have some funding available to provide additional financial assistance for anyone who needs more than the weekly stipend (i.e. more than $2,000). We will do our best to accommodate all requests, based on need.
Participating in the fellowship would be a financial hardship for me. Is there a way I can get support to participate?
We want all students to be able to participate in the fellowship without financial hardship. If participating in the fellowship will cause financial burden because of having to work less or choosing not to take a part-time job, you can apply for additional financial assistance from us. If you have any questions about this, you can, contact Rachel Schlueter at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Do you really provide free housing?
Yes! We try our best to arrange free housing for any fellow who is not local, with gratitude to 350 Mass and other supportive community members who have offered an open room in their homes within a 1-hour commute to our office in Harvard Square (similar to travel abroad host families). After we finalize our summer fellows in early March, we will begin the process of matching fellows with housing. Keep in mind that our housing options might be limited if demand is high, so if you have relatives or other ways to arrange housing in Boston, we ask you to pursue those. In the event that we are not able to provide housing with 350 Mass members, we can provide financial assistance for rent and help you find a sublet for the summer.
What would I work on in the fellowship?
Fellows will spend their time planning coordination and strategy for the national student fossil fuel divestment movement. There are two national projects that fellows will choose to work on: Reinvestment and 2020 Escalation. Possible tasks include:
➢ planning actions and trainings for fall 2020 escalation or reinvestment, attending community meetings, having strategy sessions, doing online/phone outreach, making digital content (social media posts, newsletters, graphics, website, etc.), planning and facilitating webinars, organizing events, and making relationships with student divestment organizers across the country and local community organizers.
In the 2019 Fellowship, fellows drafted the 2020 Escalation Principles, made the Fossil Fuel Divestment Day Action Toolkit, facilitated a national webinar on Mass Escalation, drafted an informational toolkit on Reinvestment, and put on a local fundraiser for the Just Reinvestment Fund to benefit organizations advancing community, safety, and self-determination in Boston (and raised $2,300!).
What makes this fellowship different from other summer programs?
This program is a mix of leadership development and firsthand experience. As you are being trained and coached, you will also have the chance to experience community organizing with our partners.
You will not be working in isolation. You will have the benefit of learning and working with a cohort of peers who share your interest in grassroots climate action. Our past participants have continued to hold deep relationships and share knowledge with each other long after the program’s end.
In addition to providing a resume boost, our priority is to create a rich and fun experience. We invest in a weeklong training retreat to make sure that we start the program with relationship building and great memories.
Unlike other youth leadership development programs, this program is at no cost to you! We also offer stipends and additional financial assistance.
Can I attend classes or have another job during the program?
Yes, you can attend classes or have another job as long as you are still able to fulfill the program requirements. If you plan to do so, we will ask you to note that in your application.