10 Fellowships in Environmental Justice

Jan 11, 2024
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This list of 10 environmental justice fellowships includes opportunities across a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, both in academia and professional fields.

In the current moment of accelerating anthropogenic climate change and a rise in environmental problems worldwide, environmental justice is increasingly important in both academic and professional settings. This list of 10 fellowships in environmental justice includes opportunities for young activists, college students, graduate students, researchers, and professionals of various backgrounds who are interested in making an impact and gaining relevant skills in terms of environmental justice.

More specifically, these fellowships run the gamut from Indigenous affairs to water engineering, capacity building, journalism, public health, environmental science, and much more. Whatever your background, if you are interested in environmental justice, one of these fellowships could be a great fit for you!

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1. Colorado Water Center Student Fellowship

The Colorado Water Center Student Fellowship program at Colorado State University aims to uplift and serve groups that have been historically marginalized and underserved in the water sector. Each cohort of CoWC Student Fellows collaborates with CSU faculty, staff, and community members to explore topics centered on water sustainability, environmental justice, and equity. The Fellows collaborate with local communities to execute projects promoting environmental well-being and enhancing people’s livelihoods. The CoWC Student Fellowship provides a platform for previously excluded voices in conversations and decision-making concerning water. Fellows receive a stipend of $ 1,000 per academic year.

2. EJ Disrupt Design Fellowship

The EJ Disrupt Design Fellowship is a two-year program focusing on design and collective leadership. It is specifically aimed at supporting frontline Environmental Justice (EJ) Leaders. The program encourages self-formed core groups of 3-4 leaders to work collaboratively and iteratively to contextualize problems and create, test, and scale climate justice solutions rooted in their community. The focus areas are Climate Justice, Environmental Health, Energy Democracy, and Just Transition. The Fellowship has supported design, research, and prototyping solutions for 2+ years. A total of 4-5 groups will be selected to participate in a cohort. Fellows will receive individual stipends of $28,000, and groups will receive up to $60,000 to support their prototypes.

3. Environmental Justice Climate Equity Fellowship

MobilizeGreen is looking for passionate and motivated college/graduate students or recent graduates to join their innovative Environmental Justice Climate Equity Fellowship Program. This paid 10-week virtual fellowship aims to empower future leaders of color to advance equity and environmental justice in their communities. As part of this program, Fellows will collaborate, document their findings, and recommend strategies to expand, leverage, and build capacity through project-based climate justice internships in different communities nationwide. The program focuses on five concentrations: Green Infrastructure and Community Development, Workforce Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Public Health, and Urban Forestry. The paid virtual learning opportunity provides an excellent chance for individuals to gain knowledge and experience while making a positive difference in their communities.

4. Grist Fellowship Programs

The Grist Fellowship Program provides an excellent opportunity for young journalists to enhance their skills at a national news outlet. The program also offers a chance to understand environmental issues better. Grist, an independent nonprofit media organization, plays a vital role in shaping the country’s ecological conversations and making green thinking a natural part of the readers’ lives. The program invites applicants for six fellowships, including news, environmental justice, Indigenous affairs, data, climate solutions, and Midwest. All fellowships are for a year and include a salary of $55,000 plus medical benefits. All the programs can be done remotely except for the Midwest one, as residency in that region is required. The applicants should be eligible to work in the U.S.

5. Merlyn Climate Grants

Merlyn Climate Grants is currently accepting grant applications from individuals between the ages of 13 and 30 with a clear and impactful vision for promoting climate and environmental justice, supporting scientific research, and a free press. The primary focus of the grants is to encourage leadership in climate action. Applicants based in New England or New York may apply for grants ranging from $500 to $3,000. The applicants do not need to be affiliated with a 501c3 to be eligible for the grants. The grants support activities that positively impact the applicant’s community, such as reducing carbon footprint, community action, artistic and dramatic productions, organizing, training, and outreach.

6. Planet Reimagined Climate Active Fellowship

The Planet Reimagined Climate Active Fellowship aims to recruit talented early-career researchers to work with academic or institutional partners on climate and environmental projects. The current research challenge is understanding how artists and live show entertainment can be leveraged for campaigning for sustainability. The aim is to build a Fan-based climate movement that combines research and advocacy. The program is open to post-graduate-level scholar-advocates worldwide passionate about environmental issues and science communications. The fellowship program will provide them with training in state-of-the-art data analysis.

7. Rachel Carson Council Fellowship Program

The Rachel Carson Council Fellowship Program provides a 12-month salary and travel expenses to exceptional students with a passion for environmental education, organizing, and advocacy. The program seeks to identify talented students who can carry out valuable projects or campaigns on behalf of the RCC. As part of the program, students are required to propose projects focused on sustainability and environmental justice that they wish to carry out on their campus or in their community. RCC Fellows will receive a $2,000 stipend for their work during the program.

8. Smithsonian Environmental Justice Fellowship

The Smithsonian Environmental Justice Fellowship offers a 2-year research program for individuals to develop their writing, advocacy, and organizing skills. The fellowship awards 2 to 5 recipients a stipend of $62,000 per year, and a maximum research allowance of up to $10,000 is also available. Fellows can access the Smithsonian’s vast resources and expertise to study environmental injustice and propose solutions. The stipends are prorated for periods of less than 24 months. Applicants who are currently enrolled or have completed a degree program are encouraged to apply.

9. Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program

Students interested in pursuing a master’s degree program are encouraged to apply for the Switzer Environmental Fellowship Program. The program supports exceptional New England and California graduate students dedicated to improving environmental quality through research and community-based engagement. Applicants with relevant research experience and leadership potential will be given preference. The Fellowship provides a cash award of $15,000 for graduate study, networking, and leadership opportunities. 20 annual awards are given to students studying environmental policy, economics, land use, and other related fields.

10. Voqal Fellowship

The Voqal Fellowship invests in socially conscious visionaries. It nurtures both personal and organizational growth for those with innovative ideas to foster community transformation and equitable social change. The program places particular emphasis on those who’ve traditionally been marginalized from opportunities to drive their initiatives. It seeks candidates in the early stages of idea development who are self-motivated change-makers.

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