This week, we announced the launch of UNUM Fellows, a signature initiative aimed at equipping local elected leaders in the South with resources, training and technical expertise to advance racial and economic equity in their communities.

The program is a unique, non-partisan fellowship that aims to ensure local elected leaders in the South can act on the issues of racial and economic equity – driving sustainable change in their communities. It will push leaders towards these issues and support them in generating an ambitious project with the tools to effectively work towards equity in their communities. Learn more about the fellows program.

UNUM Fellows will:

  • Gain perspective on and learn how to talk about the systemic and structural nature of racism in a way that moves people forward; 

  • Build skills to create equitable organizations and systems; 

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the economic benefits of equity; 

  • Learn how to design and implement effective equity-driven policy; 

  • Learn how to use data and research to develop strategies for equitable organizations and systems change;

  • Identify and engage core stakeholders from multiple sectors to craft solutions;

  • Develop strategies to build public will for equitable policy & practice; 

  • Examine successful strategies to navigate political levers at both the local and state levels; and,

  • Enhance communications opportunities to advance new narratives.

Learn how to apply to become an UNUM Fellow below.

The core elements of the program include skill-building to support the development of a project that will identify a concrete opportunity in a cohort member’s community that specifically addresses racial and/or economic disparities and to develop a responsive initiative for implementation (e.g., policy reform, organizational change, public art project) at the conclusion of the fellowship. UNUM Fellows will receive project funding, along with ongoing technical support, to implement their resulting projects.

UNUM Fellows participants will gain access to a wide range of nationally recognized partner organizations and individuals that will provide valuable and actionable learning around racial and economic equity. Program partners include:

  • PolicyLink;

  • What Works Cities;

  • Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program;

  • National League of Cities University; and,

  • The Center for Law and Social Policy.

Over the course of the 16-month program, cohort members must be available to participate in monthly activities during the initial 10-month program term, including the Unum Fellows Opening and Capstone Convenings, webinars, cohort calls, and on-site technical assistance visits. A second, six-month phase of the program is focused on project implementation.

The application period closes on April 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST.

Learn more about the UNUM Fellows program.

Become an UNUM Fellow.