About the Unum Fellows Program

During E Pluribus Unum’s foundational research journey in 2018, we found that people placed a greater deal of hope in their local political leadership and better embraced the concept of racial equity when local leadership actively sought to advance it. Through UNUM Fellows, a signature program of E Pluribus Unum, leaders will gain or expand upon their understanding of how to address racial and economic equity within their communities. Each UNUM Fellow will learn from nationally-recognized experts, consult with peers across the South, and design and implement an equity-based project that will create sustainable, meaningful change in their communties.

While success will look different in each community, Fellows will leave the program equipped to:

  • Foster meaningful participation among key community partners and leaders to drive the advancement of equity goals and projects.
  • Advance initiatives—beginning with their Fellowship project—that address racial and economic disparities in communities.
  • Cultivate long-term visions for equity within their communities that outlive any single term or administration.
  • Talk about racial and economic equity in ways that advance discourse, with a common language and understanding.
  • Act with urgency with the support of a strong peer network and community.

Cohort I: Municipal Elected Officials

Class of 2020

UNUM Fellows’ first cohort includes a diverse set of Southern elected leaders, from rural mayors to suburban school board members to county commissioners and big-city mayors. This select group will embark on a year-long journey to address inequitable and discriminatory policies and practices within their communities. Uniquely positioned to redesign broken systems, they begin this signature program amidst a renewed national movement towards racial and economic justice.

Cohort II: State Legislators

Class of 2021

The select cohort of Southern state legislators will participate in a year-long program to advance racial and economic equity in their states through sustainable change and collaboration. They are uniquely positioned to redesign broken systems and begin this signature program amidst a renewed national movement toward racial and economic justice.

Cohort III: Youth     Fellows

Class of 2022

The Youth Cohort of the Unum Fellowship program consists of twenty 18-24-year old college students from sixteen southern academic institutions. The Fellowship program will equip the young leaders with resources, training, and technical expertise to develop and execute a project addressing racial and/or economic disparities on their school campuses or within their broader community.

Cohort IV: Environmental Fellows

Class of 2023

The Climate and Environmental Justice Cohort of Unum Fellows (Class of 2023) will continue EPU’s mission to increase dialogue and advance racial equity in the South. The selected Fellows were chosen from a large pool of applicants located in the following Southern states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, and West Virginia.