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Civil Society Fellowship.

At this extraordinary moment in U.S. history, the Civil Society Fellowship steps up its commitment to bridging differences by announcing TWO new classes of Fellows: the Classes of 2020 and 2021! 

Fellows Share Their Experiences of the Civil Society Fellowship

Build the Next Generation of Leaders

In this time of rising hate and extreme partisanship, we believe our nation’s next generation of community leaders and problem-solvers would greatly benefit from the opportunity to refine and hone their leadership skills while building relationships across the issue areas and movements from which they come. To address this need, ADL and the Aspen Institute have launched the Civil Society Fellowship.

The Civil Society Fellowship is modeled on the Henry Crown Fellowship, the premier leadership development program at the Aspen Institute that moves leaders from “success to significance.” The Civil Society Fellowship builds on the Henry Crown approach of recruiting a “mosaic” of participants that represent the breadth of our country’s diversity and commit them to intense introspection and dialog. Each emerging Civil Society Fellowship class of leaders will have the opportunity to engage with one another through experiential learning and informed dialogue, building trust based on shared insights and mutual respect.

Civil Society Fellowship launched a blog on Medium. Read insights from Managing Director Nike Irvin and the Fellows.

Gain a deeper understanding of everyday American communities following the 2022 mid-term elections by viewing the Towards a More Civil Society: Town Hall 2.0 recorded on December 2 at 12 PM EST/9 AM PT. The Fellows engaged in a series of short conversations with people from across the political spectrum and across the country on the state of the nation. View the recording of the event here.

Empower Future Influencers

Candidates for the Civil Society Fellowship are at an inflection point in their career between the ages of 25 and 45. The ideal Fellow would be would be an individual who has demonstrated a capacity to build a community, movement or organization. Each class of Fellows will be comprised of 20-23 individuals who represent a range of attributes including gender, geography, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, ideology and political affiliation. ADL and the Aspen Institute expect and encourage Fellows to challenge one another’s ideas respectfully in conjunction with our commitment toward engaging a multitude of perspectives. However, the Fellowship will not accept nominees who express hate or intolerance toward others based on their particular ideas or identities.

Expand their Horizons

Like other Aspen Institute Fellowship programs, the Civil Society Fellowship is structured around a series of seminars. Each class will participate in five seminars over a period of two-and-a-half to three years, with seminar experiences based on the classic Aspen Institute model. These destination-based seminars will be designed to provide experiential learning for the participants that combines text-based learning with on-site visits. They will be created and curated by Aspen Institute and ADL and will take place in specific locations in North America, Western Europe and the Middle East. A venture in the tradition of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), will also be completed by each Fellow to allow them to develop their existing work in the incubator created by the Fellowship. 

Join Our Journey

ADL and the Aspen Institute believe the Civil Society Fellowship can amplify the work of its Fellows to generate a lasting impact on American Society. Through a series of deep investments in the mind and spirit, Fellows will cultivate their leadership skills while building avenues of communication with their peers. By engaging through collective learning and experience, these leaders can catalyze the paradigm shift our country so sorely needs. 

The Civil Society Fellowship: A Partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute


Fellowship Details


General FAQs


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