Galaxy Leader Fellowship

Program Rationale

At Galaxy Gives, we recognize that the struggle of our brothers and sisters traces back to 1968, 1865, 1776, and 1619. We also understand that individuals and communities most directly impacted by systems of oppression are uniquely suited both to challenge these systems and spearhead their overhaul. The Galaxy Leader Fellowship (GLF) was founded in 2019 to support directly impacted, visionary leaders – advocates, community organizers, lawyers, writers, and artists – dedicated to reforming and transforming the U.S. criminal justice system. Each year, the Galaxy Leader Fellowship supports a cohort of extraordinary individuals across the country and enables them to delve into their work, deepen their skills and connections, and maximize their impact in fellowship with others. At this critical moment in our history, we see an unprecedented opportunity to continue to support the movement to end mass incarceration in new and novel ways.

Program History

At Galaxy Gives, we believe that transformational change grows out of the strength, clarity, wellness, and wholeness of individuals that have been most directly affected by systems of oppression. Guided by this belief, we invest in directly impacted leaders across the U.S. who are well-positioned to take their work to a new level. Our cohort-based model encourages and fosters the cross-pollination of ideas, and supports the individual and collective power of directly-impacted leaders to stand at the forefront of the movement to end mass incarceration. With fellows working in communities across the country, the Galaxy Leader Fellowship will continue to support outstanding individuals through two tracks – Changemakers and Artmakers – which, together, recognize the unique vision and value that directly-impacted advocates, lawyers, community organizers, writers, and artists bring to the movement to end mass incarceration.

Call for Nominations

Galaxy Gives is inviting nominations for its 2024 Galaxy Leader Fellowship cohort. The Galaxy Leader Fellowship supports directly-impacted, visionary leaders through two tracks – Changemakers and Artmakers – which recognize the unique vision and value that directly-impacted advocates, lawyers, community organizers, and artists across disciplines bring to the movement to end mass incarceration.

With nearly 2 million people in prison across the U.S. the largest number per capita of any industrialized country in the world, directly impacted leaders are playing a critically important role in questioning, confronting, and providing alternate solutions to the overly punitive policies and degrading practices that drive and sustain mass incarceration.

We are seeking advocates, grassroots organizers, lawyers, faith-based and non-profit leaders, writers, and artists across disciplines who see their work – and themselves – as catalysts for change, and who have devoted themselves to reforming and transforming our criminal justice system.

Selected fellows will receive:

  • A two-year fellowship ($150,000 over two years) for the continuation of existing work or for the creation of new work;
  • Individual coaching, workshops, training, and access to a community of fellows and other professionals who may provide additional support over the course of the fellowship and beyond.

Galaxy Gives values diversity and does not discriminate against otherwise qualified applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or experssion.

Program Overview

The Galaxy Leader Fellowship (GLF) supports directly-impacted, visionary leaders working to end mass incarceration in the United States. The GLF program is an integral part of Galaxy Gives broader efforts to dismantle the U.S. criminal justice system and advocate for policies that address root causes of violence, social and economic inequality, racial injustice, and oppression.

The Galaxy Leader Fellowship is a cohort-centered initiative designed to holistically support emerging and historically under-represented leaders working towards criminal justice reform in the U.S. The Fellowship is two-years in duration and provides fellows with a one-time, unrestricted award of $150,000, along with a host of other resources and supports. Through two distinct tracks – Changemakers and Artmakers – the Galaxy Leader Fellowship provides directly-impacted advocates, lawyers, grassroots organizers, faith-based leaders, writers, and artists with the time, space, and resources to delve into their passion and purpose with greater freedom, fewer practical constraints, and a variety of opportunities to increase their effectiveness and advance their goals. The Fellowship provides on-going training and support through individual coaching, workshops, mentorship, and peer-to-peer learning to develop and hone new skills, increase capacity, and encourage personal reflection, healing, and restoration.  

The Galaxy Leader Fellowship supports individuals through two tracks:

Changemaker Fellowship

The Galaxy Leader Changemaker Fellowship supports advocates, grassroots organizers, faith-based and non-profit leaders, and others with unique perspectives to undertake projects with the explicit goal of ending mass incarceration. The Changemaker Fellowship recognizes the vision and value that directly impacted leaders bring to the movement, and aims to enrich and elevate their leadership in the cause to end mass incarceration. The Changemaker Fellowship is two-years in duration and undertaken in formal partnership with a host organization. The Fellowship comes with a one-time, unrestricted award of $150,000, along with a host of additional resources and support. While up to two individuals can apply jointly for the Changemaker Fellowship, joint applications carry a single award only.

Artmaker Fellowship

The Galaxy Leader Artmaker Fellowship supports artists, curators, and cultural organizers working in the visual, literary, and performing arts to develop new work or creative experiences that engage and inform new audiences, and have the potential to move the needle on issues that go to the heart of our nation’s overreliance on incarceration. The Artmaker Fellowship aims to mitigate the constraints that often discourage artists from pursuing innovative work or bringing their creative vision and skills to more conventional advocacy efforts. The Artmaker Fellowship is two-years in duration, and is typically undertaken in formal partnership with a host organization. The Fellowship comes with a one-time, unrestricted award of $150,000, along with a host of additional resources and support. While up to three individuals can apply jointly for the Artmaker Fellowship, joint applications carry a single award only.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Eligibility

Fellowship candidates must meet all of the following criteria to be considered:

  • Lived experience with the criminal legal system (e.g. formerly incarcerated, survivor of harm, or others with a family member or loved one who has been incarcerated and whose work grows out of that experience);
  • Demonstrated, ongoing commitment to solutions-oriented approaches to ending mass incarceration;
  • Demonstrated interest in relationship-building and collaboration, and a desire to be part of an active community of like-minded peers;
  • Guided by and/or grounded in a liberation framework;
  • Permanent resident or citizen of the U.S.

Galaxy Gives values diversity and does not discriminate against otherwise qualified applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity or experssion.

CHANGEMAKERS AND ARTMAKERS Selection Process

Fellowship candidates are assessed for their ingenuity, demonstrated commitment to the cause, promise, and potential. A staple of the Galaxy Leader Fellowship is cohort-based engagement, so we work to discern candidates’ genuine interest in building relationships and identifying opportunities for synergistic collaboration. Through the cohort model, we are investing in a community of leaders and enabling them to most effectively address the interlocking issues that drive mass incarceration. Our goal: to support a diverse cohort of directly-impacted leaders whose work has real world potential to disrupt and transform the U.S. criminal justice system.  

There are three stages to the GLF selection process: Nomination, Application, and Finalist interviews.

  • Nomination: Over the course of the year, GLF program staff solicit fellowship nominations from current and past Galaxy Leader Fellows, grantee partners, colleague funders, and other stakeholders. GLF program staff review nomination materials and identify a pool of prospective candidates based on the selection criteria as well as factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, geography, ability, organization or project focus, goals, and past work.
  • Application: Fifty nominees will be invited to submit full applications for the Galaxy Leader Fellowship via email. Each candidate’s application is thoroughly reviewed by at least two Galaxy Gives staff members. Applications are evaluated and assigned points based on the stated selection criteria. This methodology allows us to have a focused, deliberative process from the outset.
  • Finalist interviews: Twenty Five finalists will be selected to interview with a committee comprised of Galaxy Gives board, staff and Galaxy Leader Fellows. Fellowship interviews are 40 minutes in length. Selected fellows will be notified by December 2023. Those who are not selected for the GLF will have an opportunity to receive feedback if they so choose.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2024 Galaxy Leader Fellowship cohort. At this time, we are not accepting any unsolicited applications.

contact us

If you have questions, please email GLFellowship@galaxygives.com

Timeline

  • August 1, 2023 Nomination deadline
  • August 15, 2023 Fifty (50) nominees will be invited to submit full applications
  • October 16, 2023 Application deadline
  • November 15, 2023 Twenty Five (25) finalists will be selected and invited for interviews
  • Nov 18 - Dec 5, 2023 Finalist interviews
  • December 15, 2023 Selected Fellows notified
  • February 15, 2024 Fellowship begins