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Civil Society Fellowship

Building common ground for a more united and vibrant American future.


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 organizations from which they come. To address this need, ADL and the Aspen Institute have launched the Civil Society Fellowship. Civil Society Fellows will engage deeply with each other, with outside experts and communities, and with various philosophies about leadership.   

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.


Our Mission
The Civil Society Fellowship engages the next generations of national leaders, across political ideology and other differences, to explore and forge solutions to the biggest issues facing our society.

The values below shape the mission and vision of our Fellowship:

Empower Future Influencers

Each class of Fellows will be comprised of 20-25 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. 

Key characteristics of our Fellows:  

  • Ages 25 - 50 

  • Reside within and work full-time in the United States

  • Civic/community leaders, problem-solvers, and organizers  

  • At an inflection point in their career, ready to step into their next level of leadership  

  • Contribute key element(s) to a diverse class mosaic (gender, geography, race, political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, and ideological perspective)

For more information on who is an ideal candidate and how to nominate, click here. 


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

Through collective and experiential learning, ADL and the Aspen Institute believe Civil Society Fellows can help shift the focus of American politics from partisanship to partnership.


Fellowship Details


General FAQs


Venture FAQs

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