Ford Foundation Launches Global Fellows Network to Tackle Inequality Worldwide

Human Rights – “Equality”

News 1 June 2020
Ford Foundation Launches Global Fellows Network to Tackle Inequality Worldwide
Foundation commits $50 million investment to support the development of 240 global fellows over 10 years, introduces inaugural cohort of 24 emerging social change leaders.

NEW YORK — The Ford Foundation today announced the launch of a 10-year Global Fellowship program, which aims to identify, connect, and support the next generation of social justice leaders who are advancing innovative solutions to end inequality in communities most affected around the globe. The program is a $50 million investment over the next decade in a robust network of 240 global fellows. The inaugural fellows cohort is comprised of 24 promising global leaders who have demonstrated meaningful impact in their communities and are well-positioned to benefit from individualized global learning and leadership support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the crisis of inequality and created new urgency to fix it. The Ford Foundation believes new global leadership is therefore more important than ever to meet these challenges and bring new ideas and energy to solving problems exposed or exacerbated by the pandemic. The Ford Global Fellowship is an investment to build a global network of leaders to fight inequality, is critical at this moment.

The first group of Ford Global Fellows represents a broad range of backgrounds, fields, and approaches to addressing inequality–with areas of focus that range from restoring voting rights for formerly incarcerated people, to advancing LGBTQ+ rights, to increasing political and economic power of people with disabilities, and more. Many are from directly impacted communities and emerged as leaders drawing from their own lived experience with the challenges of inequality. The cohort draws from four regions: Brazil, the United States, East Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa.

“The Ford Global Fellowship builds on the Ford Foundation’s long standing commitment to investing in the ideas, individuals, and institutions that drive meaningful, systemic change,” said Hilary Pennington, Ford Foundation executive vice president of programs. “We are proud to introduce our inaugural cohort of Ford Global Fellows, which includes some of the world’s most innovative and promising social change leaders committed to tackling inequality — the defining challenge of our time, now more than ever. We cannot go back to the old normal that existed before the pandemic, and this program is an investment in reimagining solutions to global challenges that respect no borders. By connecting fellows to each other and to the broader Ford network, we hope to create a catalytic effect that accelerates the impact of their individual and collective work, to address challenges during the pandemic and beyond.”

The Ford Global Fellowship program will be led by Adria Goodson, a recognized leader with a proven track record in the design and stewardship of fellowship programs, some of which have produced the most prominent social justice leaders of our day…