Black Interfaith Fellowship

Overview

The Black Interfaith Fellowship aims to cultivate and support emerging Black leaders from diverse religious identities. Fellows will be selected from Georgetown’s undergraduate student body to engage the resources of Campus Ministry and the broader university community and leverage the strengths of interfaith organizing and community-building. Fellows will be provided opportunities to study, reflect, and engage together on issues of racial diversity and inclusion in their own and other religious traditions with an interfaith network of peers and advisors. They will develop a professional network with mentors in Campus Ministry and other departments from their own and other traditions through site visits, interviews, and pastoral conversations. At the end of the year, fellows will complete a project — either individually or in partnership — that reflects their learning over the course of the year, whether a written or creative project, or an educational, advocacy, dialogue, or other program for Georgetown students.

This fellowship is being established in recognition of the systemic obstacles to Black leadership formation in many American religious communities, including Georgetown’s. It reflects Campus Ministry’s commitment to work together across our religious differences for racial justice, and its desire to uphold Black voices in leading our communities forward.

Students do not need to hold a formal leadership position in a religious community to apply. The fellowship endorses a broad definition of leadership and is mindful of the way that race, gender, sexual identity, and other modes of marginalization can impede access to formal leadership roles for some and in some traditions. Students do not need to have formal affiliation in a religious tradition, but will be asked to focus their learning within the scope of a tradition throughout the fellowship. In lieu of a written reference, candidates will be asked to identify a religious leader (clergy or otherwise) willing to endorse their application. The ideal candidate for this position is a Black undergraduate student seeking to acquire a deeper understanding of the intersections of religion, spirituality and race, as well as leadership skills and to build a professional network by which to foster racial inclusion and equity in religious communities. 

Students who apply must commit to being on campus for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters (barring COVID-19 restrictions.) This fellowship takes place over a full academic year and is not compatible with plans to graduate early or study abroad.

Outcomes

Fellows will gain:

  1. Skills in leveraging the unique capacity of faith and spirituality to promote individual and societal transformation around issues of race and racial justice.
  2. A deeper understanding of the history and systems of racial exclusion and inclusion in one’s own and other faith communities, theological constraints and opportunities for overcoming racism, and the current status of this work in their communities.
  3. An interfaith network of students from other traditions, contacts from different departments on campus, and Black faith leaders in the DC area.
  4. A mentor/mentee relationship with a Campus Ministry staff member and a current leader in one’s faith community.

Structure

Participants will commit to three to five hours per week (up to 100 hours total).

The fellowship will generally be structured on a two-week rotating schedule, designed according to the interests and availability of participants.

Specific learning experiences and individual deliverables will be negotiated at the start of the fellowship. These may include presentations, articles, film, designed experiences, or other projects that serve to lead a community forward toward racial justice and inclusion.

Application Requirements

  • Complete the application form by the deadline, Sunday, April 18.
  • Statement of interest (750 words or less) that addresses these questions:
    • What draws you to this fellowship? 
    • What do you see as a faith community’s role in advancing racial justice?
  • Resume (Single page preferred)
  • Name and contact info of a religious or spiritual mentor (clergy or otherwise) for an endorsement (This is in lieu of a standard recommendation letter).
  • Interview to be scheduled.

Questions? Please email campusministry@georgetown.edu