Racial Justice Fellows Program
Launched in August 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter protests, the Racial Justice Fellows Program is a joint initiative between the Colin Powell School and CCNY’s Black Studies Program, based in the Division of Humanities and the Arts. As it embarks upon its second year, the Racial Justice Fellows Program will continue to place students at the center of efforts to create systemic change, creating a pipeline for students to become deeply involved in antiracist movements. By supporting fellows financially and programmatically, we will cultivate a new generation of leaders who can help build a more just and equitable society.
Application Deadline: Extended to March 26, 2021
All applications must be emailed to the Colin Powell School Office of Fellowships at email@example.com by 5 pm on Mar. 26, 2021.
Please submit all your materials in one email. We will confirm that we have received your application two to four weeks after submission.
Contact Akasha Solis, Program Manager, Colin Powell School Office of Fellowships, firstname.lastname@example.org
APPLICATIONS AND DEADLINES
In order to apply, please respond to the following three questions in a separate document. Your combined responses should not exceed two single-spaced pages.
1. How do your educational and professional experiences so far shape your long-term interest in working at a senior level on racial justice and equity issues?
2. How would you like to see your career develop over the next decade or two?
3. What are three questions you would like to see addressed as part of the program?
We welcome applications from undergraduate students in all CCNY schools and divisions. There is no GPA requirement. However, you must be a full-time undergraduate at CCNY during the 2021-2022 school year, have at least 36 credits, and plan to graduate in May 2022 or later. Applicants must be available to pursue and participate in full-time racial justice internships in Summer 2022.
Fellows will receive a $5,000 stipend for approved summer internships.
Four intensive workshops will take place over the course of the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters. They will feature speakers who are activists, policy makers, academics, and more. Topics may include efforts to reform the criminal justice system; fight voter suppression; empower Black communities; address environmental justice concerns; and close the racial education gap. The workshops will also provide professional development to assist fellows with their job applications.
In addition to the workshops, fellows will be expected to attend CCNY public events focused on racial justice.
Students will be supported in their applications to summer internships at nonprofit organizations and government agencies working on racial justice and equity. They will not be assigned to organizations, but will be guided through the application process and connected with partner organizations. Fellows are encouraged to think about the particular issues that they want to tackle and the organizations where they would like to intern.
Completed applications must include the following:
• This applicant information form; click here to download
• Responses to the three questions;
• A resume; and
• A transcript (can be the unofficial version from CUNYfirst).
Amagla Ange is a first-generation Ivorian CCNY junior pursuing a double major in Political Science and International Relations and a double minor in Sociology and Public Policy. Her interest in the social sciences began in her junior year of high school, where she took her first constitutional law class. During the course, Ange discovered that she was interested in learning about the developments and functions of society and social relationships. Her core beliefs have always included standing against racial oppression and injustices, as well as looking for progressive change and alternatives. Joining a youth-led nonprofit organization that prepares young people to become the next generation of activists in the movement for social and economic justice aided her in realizing her passion for social justice but also coached her in organizing and workshop development and facilitation. She hopes to continue her journey in learning more about the prevalent struggles in the Black community and expects the lifelong skills and lessons learned in the Racial Justice Fellowship to be a major tool on this path. Outside of her studies, Ange carries her passion for social justice into her entrepreneurial endeavors with her up-and-coming business ForeSee Miracles, which strives to provide natural and vegan products that cater to underrepresented Black people with afro-textured hair.
Edouard Augustin was born and raised in New York by parents of Haitian descent. He is currently a third-year student in the Sophie Davis Biomedical Program at The City College of New York. He wants to become a physician to help as many people as possible experience the uplifting effects of quality healthcare and discover the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. As a member of the City College soccer team, his interest in health and wellness stems from his passion for fitness and athletics. It has also been strengthened by witnessing multiple family members live with chronic illnesses. His college education has added depth to his interest in health by providing him with an extensive understanding of systemic racial inequities, particularly in terms of the variety of adverse health outcomes that disproportionately affect communities of color. Through his involvement in campus organizations such as CCNY NAACP and the Sophie Davis Black Male Initiative, Edouard has been able to take part in combating these health disparities, as well as disparities in other aspects of society such as education and incarceration. He appreciates the Racial Justice Fellowship as an opportunity for him to continue to advocate for racial equity as he furthers his education and career. He also aims to start a lifestyle brand focused on instructing others on how to maintain healthy lifestyle habits despite limited health resources.
Lesly Calle is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Macaulay Honors Program at The City College of New York pursuing a BA in Economics with a minor in Public Policy. She was born and raised in New York City and is a first-generation college student. Lesly is interested in social justice, economic inequality, and environmental policy and is looking to understand how economics can serve as a bridge for equality. As a junior, she was selected to the inaugural cohort of Climate Policy Fellows at the Colin Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership, where she co-authored a policy brief on single-use plastic mitigation and its effects on climate change. Through the fellowship, she had the opportunity to intern with the World Resources Institute, a global research organization working to scale ideas on environmental action. As a research intern for the US Climate team, Lesly performed research on carbon pricing initiatives and learned of the disproportionate impacts carbon emissions have on low-income communities and communities of color. For the 2020-2021 academic year, Lesly was selected for the Edward I. Koch Fellowship in Public Service at CCNY, which helped her develop a partnership with the CUNY School for Labor and Urban Studies and the Community and Worker Ownership Project where she is helping to develop and enhance communications strategies. In the coming months, she will help to promote the understanding of cooperatives and economic democracy as part of the solution for our current economic injustices.
Gadil Ceballos is a first-generation college student who is pursuing an Economics degree. Born in the Dominican Republic, he immigrated with his parents to the United States when he was a few months old. Throughout his life, living between his native country and New York, he saw many injustices that have motivated him to want to attend law school when he graduates. Interested in issues of immigration and the inequality within this country, particularly for Black and African American communities, he hopes to eventually work at the federal level to bring the change that he hopes can be achieved in this country. Gadil was drawn to the fellowship because he wanted to learn how he could contribute to fighting against racial inequity. He is also a scholar in the Skadden Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies.
Kira Charles is a Political Science major, with a Legal Studies minor. She chose to attend CCNY because of the Skadden Arps Program in Legal Studies. She knew that the Skadden Arps program would help her to accomplish her dream of becoming a civil rights and criminal defense attorney. Kira was drawn to the CCNY Racial Justice Fellowship Program for similar reasons. The Racial Justice Fellows Program will provide her with a broader understanding of issues that affect the African American community and enable her to be an effective, yet benevolent advocate. Kira wants to serve and offer support to her community and other communities of color. She is interested in working on criminal justice, policing, and legislative reform. There are acute differences in the quality of food, housing, education, creative outlets, and mental health services between neighborhoods of color and their white counterparts. Kira’s goal is to work with community members and leaders, non-profits, and legislators to empower Black and Brown neighborhoods so that they can provide these services for themselves. Her grandmother always insisted that, because of the color of her skin, Kira would have to work harder and ensure that she received a good education, to compete in a world of white privilege. At age 29, Kira still agrees with her grandmother’s lesson, but she now knows that it’s not just hard work and education that produce change. It is also community building, advocacy, and dedication to fostering development that will ensure that all people of color gain the opportunities they need to thrive.
Raquel is a senior attending The City College of New York, majoring in International Studies and minoring in Theatre. Her parents are both from Caribbean countries, Guyana and Grenada. She was raised primarily by her mother in Queens, New York while maintaining a strong relationship with her father in Texas. Her parents came to the United States from their homes in the 1970s. They worked very hard to provide her the best lifestyle that was enriched with culture. Her parents have traveled with her since she was an infant in which her love for traveling and exploring new cultures emerged. It was crucial for her that her career allowed her to travel and help those in need. This influenced her choice of major, International Studies. City College was ideal because of its connections with the United Nations and the Colin Powell School. Raquel is interested in the accessibility to higher education for people of color and the autonomy of young women in Caribbean countries. She enjoys painting and often rides her bike with her painting supplies to the beach. She loves making art there and uses her surroundings as inspiration.
Another hobby of hers is writing poetry. In her junior year, she realized her artistic side was not being nourished, and that led her to become a Theatre minor. She was drawn to this fellowship
because of the political climate and she was looking for an opportunity to be the change that she wants to see.
Max Garcia was born in Washington Heights to Dominican immigrants. His family arrived in New York in 1996 looking for a better life. The issues that have always interested him have been racial/social justice-oriented just based on the experiences he felt firsthand growing up in a Black immigrant family. He had witnessed discrimination against both of his parents due to color and a language barrier, and later experienced it himself, so he knew that he wanted to learn how to bring about racial/social justice. His hobbies include acting, creative writing, rapping, and playing music and video games for fun (not necessarily in that order). He came to CCNY because his guidance counselor told him that it was the best public college in the city. He chose to major in Political Science in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the American political system and how it directly impacts his community in turn. He wants to work for racial justice, and it was in the title of the fellowship, so it caught his attention immediately.
Alia Medina is a junior pursuing a double major in Psychology and Childhood Education. A lifetime NYCHA resident, she has always been acutely aware of the disparities among races. Having such a mindset made Alia want to pursue a career where she could positively impact students with similar backgrounds. She started small by working with St. Nick’s Alliance’s
afterschool program to give back to the organization that was a crucial part of her childhood. Initially, Alia wanted to major in secondary education; however, she realized that her true calling
was to teach young students through her time with the organization. Working with a public school opened her eyes to the glaring problems with the education system. Alia believes that education should be equal for all students regardless of race. She aspires to stand alongside her future colleagues and bring in a new era of the education system. Though her decision to major
in childhood education was sudden, she always knew she wanted to major in psychology. Within her community, she noticed a lack of understanding towards mental health. She hopes to use her platform as an educator to share her knowledge of mental health so that parents and children will be aware of the support systems in place to help them. Outside of CCNY, Alia likes to go rock climbing and ziplining.
Kimberly Pereyra Monero
Kimberly Pereyra Monero is a sophomore majoring in Political Science. As a minority, Kimberly has seen the struggles that her society faces as a result of gun and domestic violence. She believes that in the face of these issues, minorities do not depend on the system and when they do, it fails to do them justice. As the daughter of two immigrants, Kimberly has fought hard to not only make them proud but to also use her story as fuel for her interests and desires. Seeing the beauty in diversity, Kimberly decided to attend CCNY hoping to not only meet people as passionate as her but to also connect with others through their personal struggles as minorities. Kimberly applied to this fellowship to be part of those who strike for change and fight to dismantle a system that is not competent and reliable enough to support communities that are in serious need, and that deserves much more than what is currently being given to them. Besides advocacy, Kimberly loves her Dominican culture and enjoys Spanish literature. When she is not advocating for change or reading, she is spending time with her parents who recently moved to the United States to support her dream of one day becoming a lawyer.
Gabriel is a first-generation SEEK student majoring in Political Science and double minoring in Community Change Studies and Black Studies. He is Puerto Rican and Dominican and was born and raised in the Bronx. Being from the Bronx and having volunteered for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Gabriel was inspired to engage in grassroots politics to fight for social justice. After a life-changing experience volunteering with CUNY Service Corps in Puerto Rico during the summer of 2019 doing hurricane disaster relief, Gabriel developed a deep love for and interest in Afro-Latin culture, which led him to minor in Black studies. He later completed the Spring 2020 semester in DC program where he interned for a nonprofit organization, Education Trust, that advocates ending racial education gaps and opportunity gaps for low-income students of color. This experience, along with completing the PPIA program this summer, fueled Gabriel’s interest in policy advocacy at a grassroots level. The ongoing police brutality further grounded Gabriel in his dedication and commitment to fighting for racial justice and equity. Going forward, as a Racial Justice Fellow, Gabriel wants to build on his experience in community change and policy advocacy through a racial and grassroots lens by interning at an organization that advocates for a racially-just socioeconomic agenda. In the future, he also wants to obtain a Master’s degree in public policy or community change studies to continue his work on racial justice and equity as a professional.
Ronald Riddick is a senior majoring in Political Science at The City College of New York. He grew in Baltimore, Maryland where he witnessed and experienced many issues facing the Black community including poverty, police brutality, underfunded schools, and food deserts. After taking a year off from school after his high school graduation, he decided to enroll back in school after being inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and felt he could contribute to creating solutions necessary to address the problems that affect the Black community. When he found out about the Racial Justice Fellowship, he was immediately interested because of its stated goal of creating a pipeline for students to become a part of the fight against systemic oppression by connecting them with activists and policymakers who will educate them on issues such as police brutality, issues within the criminal justice system, environmental racism, and voter suppression. With the information learned during the fellowship, he wants to be a civil rights attorney that represents clients who are fighting against racial discrimination in all forms. In addition to that, he wants to build solidarity with local communities and organizations that are fighting for systemic change on the ground and use litigation as one of their strategies to sway public opinion and advocate for their causes. In his spare time, he likes to lift weights, go on hikes, ride his bike, take pictures of New York’s urban and natural landscapes, and read books on history, philosophy, and psychology.
Chioma Uruakpa (They/She) is a first-generation senior majoring in International Studies and minoring in Sociology. They are the child of Nigerian and Jamaican immigrants. As a proud Colin Powell School student, they have learned to use their major and minor to investigate cultural influences that are often taken for granted. Their degree has given them tools to examine issues critically and thoroughly, and their studies have empowered them to understand the impact of Western hegemony both domestically and abroad. Being an International Studies major has inspired them to learn how to pragmatically structure imaginative thinking in order to build upon and further the work of changemakers that came before them. They have participated in campus clubs such as the LGBT+ Open Alliance and the Young Democratic Socialists of America. Chioma is passionate about pursuing liberation, equity and wellness in all its forms, and is looking forward to using their time as a Racial Justice Fellow to learn how to utilize wellness as a means of resistance, and to learn how to heal trauma caused by racial inequity. As a transfer to CCNY, Chioma appreciates the rich history City College has in Harlem, as well as the diversity of the student body. The sheer cultural wealth that is unique to CCNY has deepened their educational experience tenfold, and they are proud to be graduating this spring. Post-graduation and pandemic willing, they look forward to traveling and working with Americorps.