Racial Justice Fellowship

CoFED’s Racial Justice Fellowship is a 6-month opportunity for young cooperators of color working to close the racial wealth gap by advancing community ownership of land and the food system. We are looking to support emerging leaders who can demonstrate a solid and progressive track record of creating change — and who are ready to take their vision, leadership and impact to the next level. Successful applicants will have big visions, bigger hearts, and an undeniable calling to create beauty, love, joy, and justice in the world. There are so many bright and beautiful pathways towards liberation. We want to learn how you are shining the light that only you have and support you to grow, transform, and become your ancestors’ most vibrant and bold dreams.

Applications are closed for the 2020 Racial Justice Fellowship


We encourage you to apply if you:

  • Are between the ages of 18 and 30 
  • Identify as Black, Brown, Indigenous or person of color (PoC) – explicitly including folx of African, Latinx, Asian and/or Pacific Islander heritage
  • Have been in the food, land, or racial justice movement for at least 2 years
  • Belong to a co-op, collective, or other organized group that is excited to support your Fellowship project
  • Live in the U.S. or tribal territories

Expectations for Fellows

  • Complete an impactful Fellowship project and reflection blog post by March 2021
    • Including 3 progress reports
  • Participate and co-facilitate at the 2020 cooperative education program – BUD (Build, Unlearn, Decolonize) September 14 – October 19, 2020, in virtual space (~3 hours).
  • Participate in:
    • Monthly project check-in
    • Monthly all-fellows’ meeting
    • 4 virtual trainings
  • Serve as a thought partner and spokesperson for CoFED
  • Model and uphold our core values:
    • Cooperation
    • Joy
    • Love
    • Impact
    • Accountability
  • Be accountable to your emotional, physical and psychological impact
  • Have the space and desire to relationship-build with a small national organization
  • And post-fellowship, participate on a panel to choose the next year’s Fellows

Offerings from CoFED

  • Fellows will receive a range of support customized to their un/learning styles to make their cooperative vision a reality. Our ideal applicant is excited about their vision and is ready to develop their skills to reshape food in their communities. CoFED is eager to build relationships of support and care well beyond the 6-month duration of this project, we hope you will keep building with us.

    • $5,000 stipend
    • Full scholarship to Build, Unlearn, Decolonize (worth an estimated $3,200) that includes:
      • Intentional programming to support the nourishment of cooperatives and collectives in the cooperative food and land economy
    • Healing resources
    • Technical assistance
    • Intentional mentorship & training; potential areas include:
      • Financial resilience
      • Storytelling and communications
      • Grassroots fundraising
      • Trauma-informed conflict resolution strategies 
      • Tools for collective accountability and governance
    • (Un)learning and political education 
    • Networking opportunities
    • Access to CoFED’s cooperative tools and resources

    Fellowship Projects may be completed anywhere in the US or tribal territories within the 6-month term of the Fellowship. CoFED does not require or expect Fellows to use this Fellowship to replace full-time work. The $5,000 stipend is meant to be generative, and give some financial breathing room to folx who often don’t have it, or the means to acquire it.

Application Process & Criteria

  • Applications open July 1st and are due by July 27th 2020, 11:59pm PST. Those chosen for the first round of video interviews will be notified by mid-August. From there, a small group may be chosen for a second round of interviews. All applicants will be notified of their status by the beginning of September. The two chosen Fellows will be asked to sign a fellowship agreement detailing responsibilities.

    Applications will be read and applicants will be chosen by a 5-person ad-hoc committee of previous Fellows, program alumni, network and CoFED Board members based upon the following selection criteria:

    1. Commitment to ending racism and injustice in the food system
    2. Alignment with CoFED’s values, vision, and theory of change
    3. Feasibility to implement the project you are proposing
    4. Potential impact and contribution of proposed project to racial justice and cooperative movements
    5. Track record of transformative leadership
    6. Personal and direct stake in the issues being addressed by the proposed project

    To apply, please answer the questions below in a PDF no more than 3 pages long, single space. The PDF name should include your own name (for example, DallasRobinson.pdf), and please have your contact information clearly stated at the top of the intro page. Email your application, and two letters of support: one from a member of your co-op/organization and another from a community member, to dallas@cofed.org with subject line “Racial Justice Fellowship”. Letters of support should be no longer than a page and should include:

    • Contact information for the writer (name, phone number, and email)
    • Their relationship to you; how they know you and/or work with you
    • Why they believe you are the best person for this fellowship
    • For support organizations: How they hope/plan to support you and your project

    We do accept supplemental information (such as resumes, portfolios, or links), but they are certainly not necessary and there is absolutely no penalty for not including them. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

    1. Who are you? Who are your people? If you prefer, you can answer this question in other mediums, including poems, photos or links to videos, music, websites, dances or other things you’ve created. 400 words max.
    2. What does racial justice and community ownership of food and land mean to you and your co-op or collective? 400 words max.
    3. Tell us about your proposed Fellowship project. What is your plan to impact racial justice within our food system? How will you implement your project within the 6-month timeframe? 500 words max.
    4. Can your project happen successfully without CoFED’s support? What support already exists for this project? 400 words max.
    5. How are you directly impacted by the issue(s) you are addressing? 400 words max.

    Through your application, please convey what you stand for, and how you embody your values in your work. All applications will be considered carefully, with some applicants invited to interview. If you are not invited to interview or selected, we will do our best to provide feedback upon request.

Fellowship Timeline

July 1stApplications open
July 27thApplication deadline
August 7thFirst round interview invitations sent out
August 21stSecond round interview invitations sent out
September 1stFellowship notifications sent out
September 2020
  • Virtual Fellowship Orientation 
  • Attend BUD September 14 – October 19, 2020, in virtual space
  • Final project plan due
October 2020 – February 2021
  • Complete Fellowship projects and progress reports
  • Monthly web meetings 
  • Virtual trainings
  • Leadership coaching sessions
  • Stipends issued in 5 installments
March 2021
  • Celebration and wrap up!
  • Reflection for CoFED’s blog
  • Final project report
  • Exit survey

Explore our previous Fellowship projects! And check out our Fellows’ blog posts, here &  here.