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The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) is launching the Child Defender Fellowship to offer community leaders and activists an opportunity to build skills, influence local systems impacting children, and build communities that will further social justice to ensure all American children have a fair start and equal opportunities in their lifetime. From October 2017 to June 2018, fellows will gain critical knowledge on policy and legislation, learn about the history and tactics of nonviolent organizing, and practice using these tools in your community. Fellows will meet in a virtual learning space over the course of nine months to participate in approximately 20 sessions covering six core themes.
Each bi-weekly session will run for 1 to 2 hours through an interactive web-video platform, where fellows will gain new information from organizing and policy staff, interact with other fellows, and receive an action assignment. Before the each session, fellows will be responsible for reporting their actions back to CDF in order to maintain accountability and track the impact fellows are making across the country. By the end of the fellowship, participants will have experience promoting local awareness, showing the local impact of policy, directly engaging with legislators, creating constructive programming, and building a team, among others. Training and supervision will be provided by CDF directors, expert community organizers, and national team members in Washington D.C., and fellows will be offered opportunities to deepen their involvement through CDF’s national organizing efforts at Haley Farm in Eastern Tennessee.