Deadline: January 28, 2022

Are you a changemaker passionate about racial equity? Apply to join the 2022 AFRE Fellowship.

Based at New York’s Columbia University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, the Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity (AFRE) is a fellowship programme that brings together accomplished changemakers from diverse backgrounds to fuel new strategies for racial equity in South Africa and the United States. Our mission is to build an enduring transnational network of leaders across issues, approaches and geographies to challenge anti-Black racism and build the policies, institutions and narratives needed for a more equitable future.


South Africa and the United States are shaped by and connected to a complex legacy of anti-Black racism and racialised exploitation and violence. Over the last two centuries, advocates in the two countries have learned from and inspired each other in the struggle to achieve full equality. AFRE builds upon—and reinvigorates— this rich history of exchange by creating a transnational space for leaders to come together to explore, imagine, experiment and build long-term solutions for impactful change.

Fellowship in AFRE is grounded in deep respect and appreciation for diverse experiences and perspectives and what we can build collectively. Each year we accept 20 high-impact change-makers from South Africa and the United States into the fellowship, which consists of an 18 months-long, a non-residential experience that builds knowledge and capacity to effectively address the causes of racial inequality and to imagine more equitable futures.

The experience is immersive and dialogue-based, with virtual participation and some international travel. It is designed to support Fellows personal growth as leaders who are rooted in deep self-awareness, resilience, mutual support and collective accountability, while also facilitating new understandings and solidarities to emerge across the sector, identity, and nationality. Projects are used as a tool to cultivate innovation, collaboration and creative problem-solving. The fellowship is led by a transnational team of staff and facilitators from Columbia University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Opportunity is About
Human Rights Society

Candidates should be from:
South Africa United States of America
Description of Ideal Candidate


This programme is for individuals who are committed to achieving equity, have a track record of significant impact, and deeply value dialogue with, and learning from, diverse perspectives and voices as a critical step towards achieving societal transformation. There are no academic qualifications required to apply.

Our Fellows share the following characteristics. They are:

Experienced in their field of work with a track record of impact in furthering racial equity

Proposing work with the potential to significantly advance the development of new policy, institutions and/or narratives for greater equity

Willing and able to navigate and learn from diversity and complexity on a local and global scale

Committed to working with and supporting others to achieve individual and collective impact.

Successful applicants share our values of justice, ubuntu, integrity, imagination and transformation. They are individuals who are seeking spaces safe enough for meaningful and effective negotiation of sustainable solutions to critical social problems. They bring interest and openness to deep listening and disruption of presuppositions and perspectives. They are willing to engage in building connections, vision and strategy with others from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and who have different political perspectives and beliefs regarding how to advance social change. They are solutions-oriented.

Cost/funding for participants
Fully Funded


AFRE supports Fellows’ participation and leadership development through:

  • International travel and accommodations in South Africa and the United States
  • Technological equipment to facilitate participation in virtual programming
  • Professional coaching, networking and financial resources to advance racial equity projects
  • Communications services for public identity development, including a headshot, bio, and media training
  • USD 10,000 in funding to cover personal costs associated with participation
  • Access to Columbia University coursework upon graduation
  • Connection to a global community of Atlantic Fellows working for change.


Check Here To Apply