Do you want to get paid to build your organizing and leadership skills with Americans United and lead the movement for separation of religion and government? Are you 18-25 years old and an advocate in your community? If yes, then apply for the 2021-2022 Youth Organizing Fellowship!
The Youth Organizing Fellowship is a year-long leadership development program for a nation-wide cohort of ten young people (ages 18-25) to strengthen their organizing skills and lead the movement for separation of religion and government. Fellows will come from different backgrounds, be working on a variety of issues that intersect with the separation of religion and government, and have shared values of religious freedom and equality. Fellows meet virtually throughout the year (and once in person) for ongoing training and support while organizing events and campaigns in their local communities.
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.
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
- $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 leader
- 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).
- 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
For more information, visit https://www.au.org/tags/youth-organizing-fellowship