2022 Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity (AFRE) Fellowship Program for Changemakers from South Africa and the U.S.

Deadline: January 28, 2022.

Each year we accept 20 high-impact change-makers from South Africa and the United States into the fellowship, which consists of an 18 months-long, non-residential experience that builds new knowledge, relationships and capacity to effectively address the causes of racial inequality and to imagine more equitable futures.

The experience is immersive and dialogue-based. It is designed to support Fellows personal growth as leaders who are rooted in deep self-awareness, resilience, mutual support and collective accountability, while also facilitating new understandings and solidarities to emerge across sector, identity, and nationality.

Projects are used as a tool to cultivate innovation, collaboration and creative problem solving. The fellowship is led by a transnational team of staff and facilitators from Columbia University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.


This programme is for individuals who are committed to achieving equity, have a track record of significant impact, and deeply value dialogue with, and learning from, diverse perspectives and voices as a critical step towards achieving societal transformation. There are no academic qualifications required to apply.

Their Fellows share the following characteristics. They are:

  1. Experienced in their field of work with a track record of impact in furthering racial equity
  2. Proposing work with the potential to significantly advance the development of new policy, institutions and/or narratives for greater equity
  3. Willing and able to navigate and learn from diversity and complexity on a local and global scale
  4. Committed to working with and supporting others to achieve individual and collective impact


Fellows gain:     

  • A deeper understanding of complexities and trends in racial equity work
  • Insights and practices for impactful leadership
  • Ideas, tools, and strategies for social change
  • A network of relationships to support a lifetime of leadership and service
  • Membership in the Atlantic Fellows community, both transnationally and globally


AFRE supports Fellows’ participation and leadership development through:

  • Technology to facilitate participation in virtual programming
  • Opportunities for international travel to South Africa and the United States
  • Professional coaching, networking and financial resources to advance racial equity projects
  • Narrative and strategic communications support for public-identity and thought-leadership development, including media training and narrative strategy consultation
  • USD $10,000 in funding to cover personal costs associated with participation
  • Access to Columbia University courses upon graduation
  • Connection to a global community of Atlantic Fellows working for change


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