The Social Justice Fellowship supports outstanding undergraduate students to participate in social justice reform projects at the state level.  Projects may range from nonprofit management operations, legal support to public education to coalition-building to grassroots mobilization to policy-driven research.  Social Justice Fellowships are 12 months in duration and begins May 2019 through April 2020.  There are two Social Justice Fellowship tracks:  Track I is dedicated to the Legal Department and Track II is dedicated to Nonprofit Management and Operations.  Selected fellows will receive the following incentives:

  • HSSU Housing
  • HSSU Internship/Fellowship Course Credit
  • Federal Work-study Compensation (Value: $8.00/hour)
  • ACLU-MO Monthly Parking Pass (Value: $1320.00/12 months)
  • ACLU-MO End-of-Semester Stipend (Value: $500.00/per semester = $1500.00/12 months)
  • HSSU/ACLU-MO Social Justice Fellowship Certificate of Completion
  • ACLU-MO Letter of Recommendation


Fellowship Projects

We do not have a defined list of topics or issues that we’ll consider.  Instead, we expect applicants themselves to make the case that participation in the Fellowship will afford them the opportunity, through experiential learning, to substantively gain valuable and transferable knowledge as well as skill-sets to support future professional goals.  In this way, the fellowships are designed to be flexible and open — a space for acquiring an understanding of the inner-workings of a social justice organization as well as contributing to building effectively on work that has come before, that explores new space and creative ways of doing things, that takes risks, that offer new insights and perspectives on what we thought we knew, and that teaches us about what we don’t know but should. 

It is also our belief that the Fellowship be viewed as a useful platform for supporting individuals with an interest in pushing boundaries, challenging convention, exploring elaborate and novel ways of approaching deeply entrenched and intractable problems, identifying emerging issues, or seizing upon particular opportunities in creative ways; and that when exposed to these types of strategies through the Fellowship can, over time and in conjunction with others, influence the broader field of social justice reform.


Track 1: May - July Aug. - Sept. Oct. - Dec. Jan. - Mar.
Legal Deparment









Track 2: May June July - Dec. Jan. - Mar. 
Nonprofit Mgmt. & Operations

















Note: For both tracks, the month of April will be utilized as a close-out month dedicated to exit interviews, evaluations, fellows developing an Impact Report documenting lessons learned, observations, and recommendations, etc.  


Strategies Supported by the Social Justice Fellowship and “Reform” Requirement  

Applicants can expect to be significantly involved in any number of strategies.  These strategies include but are not limited to: impact litigation, public education, strategic communications, policy advocacy, coalition-building, grassroots organizing and mobilization, and policy-driven research and analysis.

Regardless of the strategy employed, all fellows must, during the term of the Fellowship itself, actively seek some measure of reform.  We generally define “reform” as a change to a policy or practice, whether formalized by law or not, that has a particular effect on individuals, families, or communities.  Reform can promote or create good policies or practices, as well as change or lessen the harmful effects of bad ones.  Moreover, reform should involve more than simply achieving a specific result for a specific person; instead, groups of people defined by certain characteristics or circumstances who will benefit from achieving a particular change.


Applicants must choose only 1 track

  • Social Justice Track I: Legal Department
  • Social Justice Track II: Nonprofit Operations and Management


Social Justice Track I: Legal Department

 Directly Affected Individuals

We, in particular, welcome applications from individuals directly affected by, or with significant direct personal experience with the policies and practices of the criminal justice system.  This includes but is not limited to applicants who have themselves been incarcerated; applicants who have a family member or loved one who has been incarcerated and whose fellowship interest emerges from that experience; and applicants who are survivors of violence and crime.  It also includes people with entrenched/rooted ties and connections to underserved communities and/or constituencies of color.

Social Justice Track II: Nonprofit Administration, Operations, and Management

We welcome applications from individuals passionate about social justice and reform issues.  Applicants should have an expressed interest in nonprofit management, civil liberties, leadership management, strategic planning, human resources, and general office operations.


All applicants must be a rising college junior with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and have;

  • Outstanding organizational skills
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Passionate about and dedicated to social justice issues
  • Exemplary administrative and project skills
  • Substantive research abilities
  • Knowledgeable about social justice and reform issues
  • Computer literate

Time Commitment

Fellowships are 12 months in duration and beginning May 2019 and ending April 2020.  Applicants must devote a minimum of 20 hours per week between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 



How to Apply

To apply, please submit your resume, a professional goal statement, and 3 references to:  Please keep in mind professional goal statements are limited to no more than three pages answering the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in the HSSU/ACLU-MO fellowship? [Please indicate specific track for which you are applying]
  • What do you hope to gain from the Fellowship?
  • How will your participation in the Fellowship benefit your future professional goals?


DUE DATE: February 14, 2019 (11:59 pm EST) to: We will begin accepting submissions on January 14, 2019.  


Application and Selection Timeline

Application Due Date: February 14, 2019 (11:59 pm EST)

Finalists Notified: Early-March 2019

Finalist Interviews: March 2019 (all finalist interviews will be held on the same day, to be determined, at the ACLU of MO offices located at 906 Olive Street, Suite 1130, St. Louis, MO 63101

Selected Fellows Notified: Mid-March 2019   

Fellowships Duration: May 2019 – April 2020