Deadline: June 26 2022
Bertha Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the fourth Bertha Challenge: an opportunity for activists and investigative journalists to spend a year working on one pressing social justice challenge and to deliver a body of work at the end of the Fellowship year. Successful applicants will receive non-residential paid fellowships and project budgets to work independently and together to:
- Investigate the causes and solutions to the annual Bertha Challenge question
- Amplify their findings to a wider targeted audience
- Connect with diverse stakeholders for information, support and sustainable impact
The fourth Bertha Challenge will begin in January 2023 with a focus on food, specifically supporting Bertha Fellows to answer the following question: How is the relationship between politics and corporate control of our food systems contributing to environmental devastation and hunger and how can food production centre people and nutrition rather than profit?
At Bertha, they know that many activists and investigative journalists are already doing ground-breaking work to investigate social justice issues, amplify their work and connect with audiences. The Bertha Challenge aims to support this by providing time to work exclusively on projects, the spaces in which to connect with a diverse global cohort of Bertha Fellows, and the resources to develop tangible products speaking directly to the Challenge question.
The Bertha Challenge will launch in January 2023, with an opening convening scheduled for early in the Fellowship year at one of Bertha’s partnered global retreat spaces, where Bertha Fellows will:
- Meet other Fellows in the Bertha Challenge 2023 cohort, spend dedicated time getting to know one another and get the opportunity to introduce individual work and perspectives
- Find opportunities to refine the design of each Fellow’s project work for the year within a supportive framework
- Discuss and frame possibilities for collaboration across the cohort
- Debate current developments and responses to the global food crisis.
Joint applications between activists and investigative journalists will be prioritized. Joint applicants must fill in individual application forms, but make reference to their partner applicant, including where and how their work will overlap and how they will support one another’s projects. Joint applicants have the option to pool each of their USD $10,000 Project Funds to work together on one larger project. Individual activist and investigative journalist applications will also be considered.
This is a full-time Fellowship. Bertha Fellows will spend their time working in their home countries and be required to:
- Attend an in-person global convening that will take place towards the beginning of the Challenge
- Develop and deliver a project that responds to the Bertha Challenge question
- Participate in two virtual meetings per month, and occasionally facilitate these meetings
- Develop local and global network relationships.
- Income for each Bertha Fellow for one year, not exceeding USD $64,900 and commensurate with the applicant’s current or equivalent salary at the host organization – ideally a media outlet for an investigative journalist and an NGO, community organization or social movement for an activist
- A Project Fund of up to USD $10,000 for each Bertha Fellow to produce their final projects that respond to the question posed by the Bertha Challenge, and that are directed towards a specific audience. This could be a series of articles, videos, podcasts, games or drama productions, for example. Join activist and journalist applicants will have the option to pool their project funding to produce projects on a larger scale
- Access to a Connect Fund of up to USD $5000 specifically designed to encourage collaboration between Fellows
- Regular online discussions with topics on a range of issues from current debates around food to methods of investigation, methods of communicating findings through news media, storytelling, popular education and more
- Peer and mentor support in the form of regular virtual check-ins with Bertha staff and a cohort of Bertha Fellows
- Network development through the global cohort of Bertha Fellows and exposure to relevant partners within and beyond the Bertha network, including our legal partners in the Bertha Justice Network
- A global convening of Bertha Fellows at the start of the Bertha Challenge, and invitations to join alumni convenings after the end of the Fellowship year.
- Bertha strives to select an inclusive and representative cohort of Bertha Fellows that celebrates diversity.
- Bertha Fellows will be selected on individual merit but also on their complementary skills to the cohort, their existing and/or proposed networks and prospects for the long-term impact of their work.
- Applicants may come from and work in any country, but to ensure that this cohort of Bertha
- Fellows are able to be fully participatory, they require all applicants to be proficient in spoken and written English and able to deliver their final work in English.
- At least five years’ experience working with activists, social movements, grassroots and community organizations, social justice organizations or campaigns.
- Strong connections to a diverse range of groups working in support of climate and ecological justice in the fellow’s city, country or region including with social movements, community organizations, NGOs, academics, journalists, progressive government officials etc.
- Experience in developing organizing tools or popular educational products and materials including training courses, publications, pamphlets, films, podcasts, arts, theatre productions, etc.
- Experience in using research, media and the law in advocacy.
- Affiliation to an appropriate host organization to amplify work produced during the Bertha Challenge.
For Investigative Journalist
- Mid-career journalists with at least five years’ experience, a track record and a passion for doing investigative journalism
- Strong interest and experience in producing work on the Bertha Challenge question and a proven ability to work with affected communities, social movements, community organizations, NGOs, academics, scientists etc.
- Investigative journalism and research ability, a comprehensive understanding of the political landscape concerning the subject matter, an understanding of the law(s) and political structures determining policy direction and power
- An ability to work independently
- Affiliation to an appropriate host media organization that will publish/broadcast work produced during the Bertha Challenge.
Eligible Regions: open to all
All applicants must submit:
- A completed online application form
- A brief resume/CV in English of no more than three pages
- A list of 2-4 referees including name, relationship to applicant and contact details
- A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from your prospective host organization – including commensurate salary and any benefits provided.
- Examples of previous work.