Child Defender Fellowship
The Child Defender Fellowship is an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to make a positive impact on children and take concrete steps to dismantle the Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline©. We invite people from all sectors and at any stage in life to become a Child Defender and gain critical knowledge of policy, learn about the history and tactics of nonviolent organizing and practice using these tools in your community. The learning format of the Fellowship is interactive and web-based. Each year, we create a virtual Fellowship community underpinned by servant leadership and passion to drive change for children on the ground.
Core Values of the Fellowship
Join us: become a Child Defender Fellow
Learn with a Dynamic Group of Fellows
Our fellows come from all different walks of life. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with and work alongside a diverse group of people who want to step up for children. Check out some of our current fellows’ stories:
Meghana founded Just For Kidz, an organization seeking equity for children across the United States and internationally. She joined the fellowship to become a more effective team leader.
Mina is an education organizer in Miami. She currently organizes parents to advocate for their children. She joined the fellowship to strengthen herself and share her knowledge with her community.
Aramis is working on the U.S.-Mexico border as a law clerk to ensure families can stay together. He joined the fellowship to become a more effective organizer for immigrants seeking refuge.
Kristen is an organizer with Leadership for Educational Equity. She joined the fellowship because of her passion for nonviolent organizing and the opportunity to learn from gifted organizers and advocates.
Learn from Leaders in the Field
Each year we have diverse group of leaders from around the world share their expertise in subjects including leadership development, nonviolent organizing and policy analysis.
Dr. Max Klau is the Chief Program Officer at New Politics Leadership Academy and the author of Race and Social Change: A Quest, A Study, A Call to Action. Dr. Klau walked our fellows through developing their Servant Leadership Mission Statement.
Natalie Collier is the Founder and Director of The Lighthouse|Black Girl Projects where she uplifts the social, emotional and political needs of Black women and girls. Natalie coached fellows on building relationships and harnessing passion.
Jamila Raqib is an international nonviolence expert and the Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution. Jamila presented the basics of strategic nonviolence to the fellows and coached them on their campaign plans.
Michael Nagler is an international leader in nonviolence and movement building. Michael has was critical in introducing the concept of constructive program to the fellows.
Dylan Sellers is an organizer with the Campus Vote Project and a product of CDF Freedom Schools® and CDF’s organizing work. He shared his experiences as an organizer with our fellows and stressed the importance of relationships and follow-through.
Liz King is the Director of Education Policy for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Liz walked the fellows through all the facets of federal advocacy including the makeup of the federal government and it’s agencies.
Dr. Timothy Tyson is a best-selling author and a movement-builder with the New Poor People’s Campaign. Tim talked to the fellows about the importance of state and local advocacy and how to build momentum in their communities.
May Losloso is a senior organizer with Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. May taught the fellows how state laws affect the lives of children and the importance of teaching local communities how their government works.
Stephanie Van Hook is the Executive Director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and the host of Nonviolence Radio. Stephanie talked with fellows about the importance of constructive programs throughout a nonviolent campaign.
Michelle Castillo is a youth organizer with Children’s Defense Fund-Texas. Michelle shared with the fellows the importance of centering youth voices and allowing them to lead our movements.
Ren Flanders is a young organizer and product of CDF Freedom Schools® and CDF’s organizing work. Ren spoke with fellows about her personal experiences organizing for children and how to bring communities together around a singular cause.
Dr. Barbara Peterson is a professor at Granite State College. She founded Nonviolent Citizen Action and educates individuals and organizations about strategy and coalition-building in people-powered movements.
Grow Your Ability to be a #ChildDefender
All that is required of a Child Defender Fellow is a passion to improve the odds for all children in America. Join our team and become an agent for the change you wish to see in your community. Sign up now to receive early access to the 2019-2020 Fellowship application.
Child Defender Fellowship graduates have gone on to work in their communities and change the world for children. We hope you’ll join them.
Learn More about the Fellowship
Our Fellowship is distilled into six themes to guide you on your way to becoming a Child Defender. Each theme is tied to specific goals for learning key concepts and skills.
Our webinars are designed to be interactive and a great environment for learning. We promote interaction to build relationship with other fellows in these sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fellows will gain…
- knowledge on key issues that impact children on the local, state and national level
- best practices in nonviolent organizing that can make you a more effective advocate for change in the community
- experience independently implementing nonviolent actions in your own community
- a network of young leaders across the nation that are passionate about social justice
- a partnership with a prestigious organization that is nationally recognized for leadership in child advocacy
Contact Joseph Worthy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Learn more about the Children’s Defense Fund at childrensdefense.org.
Sign up today!
To receive updates about the 2019-2020 Fellowship, fill out the interest form below. Filling out the interest form now will grant you access to the Fellowship application before the general public. You will also receive invitations to information sessions throughout the year where you’ll have the opportunity to get your questions answered about the Fellowship.