Racial Justice Fellows Program

Program Details

Logos from the institutions participating in the program
Racial Justice Fellows flyer

Click to view PDF

The St. Petersburg Racial Justice Fellows Program is a joint initiative among Eckerd College, St. Petersburg College (SPC), Stetson University College of Law, University of South Florida (USF) St. Petersburg campus, and the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg (FHSP), who have been collaborating since Fall 2020 to create a consortium of higher education institutions in Pinellas County, Florida focused on racial justice. See background information on the St. Petersburg Consortium for Racial Justice here

Thanks to a grant from the FHSP, eight students will be selected to participate in this pilot program and will receive up to $2,000 each during the 2021-2022 Academic Year to participate in this fellowship. Future years will be contingent on securing funding. 

The purpose of the St. Petersburg Racial Justice Fellows Program is to place students at the center of efforts to create systemic change, creating a pipeline for students to become involved in work related to antiracist policy and movements, and racial healing and transformation. By supporting fellows financially and programmatically, we will cultivate a new generation of leaders who can help build a more just and equitable society.

For more information, see the news article: Pinellas County higher education consortium creates Racial Justice Fellows program


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This fellowship program aims to support the efforts by higher education institutions in Pinellas County to create a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Center (TRHT) Center in St. Petersburg, FL. You may visit these sites for background on the TRHT Framework:  https://healourcommunities.org and https://www.aacu.org/trht-campus-centers

Students will participate in opportunities to learn about shaping policy and systems through a racial justice lens. They will learn about mechanisms that enable racial healing, and they will work on projects that support racial healing and transformation in our communities. The program requires up to 60 hours of time per semester and up to 120 hours for a part-time six-week summer internship.


Responsibilities 

  • Fellows will participate in biweekly planning meetings with consortium institution (USF, SPC, Eckerd and Stetson) representatives that are intended to shape the vision, goals and activities of a TRHT Center.  They may also be invited to participate in other meetings at the student’s home institution as well as meetings or convenings with community members.
  • Over the course of the academic year, students will participate in events or discussions related to race equity and racial justice. Students should be available to participate in virtual meetings Thursday, September 30, 12 – 1 pm, Saturday, October 9 10-12:30, Thursday, October 14, 12-1pm, Thursday, October 21, 12-1pm, and Thursday, October 28, 12 – 1 pm, and Saturday, October 30, 10-12:30pm. Additionally, students will be invited to participate in a 1.5 day Virtual Courageous Conversation training on October 12-13.  
  • Students will participate in Rx Racial Healing Circles. Students will also be supported to find and complete a 6-week summer internship in Summer 2022 that focuses on deepening their understanding of the impact of systemic racism and influential opportunities to drive healing and transformation. 
  • Finally, each institution may offer institution-specific opportunities:

    • Eckerd College: Students will serve on a campus wide diversity committee and help implement strategic plan initiatives.
    • Stetson University College of Law: Students will assist the Student Activities Office in designing a cultural humility/cultural competence component to our Student Leadership Development Council and our general 1L Orientation program.  They will also assist the Consortium by identifying potential Racial Justice internships with community organizations in the St Petersburg area.  And assist us in designing a reading and video resource list on the racial history of St. Petersburg. 
    • St. Petersburg College - Focus: Economic Development. We will provide opportunities for our students to be prepared for high-wage, high-need careers and professional growth, which will contribute to their economic success and improve the quality of life within our community. Students will assist with our goal of building an inclusive community that drives economic development. 
    • University of South Florida: Students will participate on a student advisory board and or support multi-cultural programming and initiatives.

Summer Internship

Students will be supported in their applications to summer internships at nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government agencies in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County 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. Internships should be at least 6 weeks and include 120 hours. 


SUPPORT

Fellows will receive a $500 stipend for Fall 2021 semester and a $500 stipend for Spring 2022 semester. Students will also receive a $1,000 stipend for an approved summer internship in Summer 2022.


ELIGIBILITY

We welcome applications from students attending USF St. Petersburg campus, Eckerd College, Stetson College of Law and St. Petersburg College who have a demonstrated interest in working on issues of racial justice and healing. There is no GPA requirement. However, you must be a full-time student during the 2021-2022 school year, and plan to graduate in May 2022 or later. Applicants should be available to pursue and participate in racial justice internships in Summer 2022.


HOW TO APPLY

Application Deadline is: September 13, 2021

To apply, students should complete this digital application form, and email a transcript and resume to carynn@usf.edu by midnight on September 13, 2021 with the subject line stating: LAST NAME: Racial Justice Fellows Program Application. 

Completed applications include the following:

  • Response to application form questions

  • Responses to the three essay questions within the application form. It is recommended that you prepare the responses in a separate document and paste them into the application form.  Answers to each question should not exceed 500 words each.
    1. How do your life experiences, education and social identities shape your interest in working on racial justice and equity?
    2. How can students lead systemic change and antiracist policy movements on their campus and in their communities? Include the issues relevant to your campus or community that you would like to see addressed as part of this program?
    3. Why and how you believe this fellowship will shape your leadership journey and/or career?

  • A resume (emailed)

Finalists will be invited for a short virtual conversation about the program via Microsoft Teams.

For questions, contact Caryn Nesmith carynn@usf.edu