In honor of its 75th anniversary UUSC announces the launch of the Human Rights Innovation Fellowship to support innovations with the potential to affect systemic change in the field of human rights. The fellowship award is a grant of up to $25,000 that will be awarded to the individual or organization with the most innovative project. These innovations may be technological or financial products or apps, path-breaking applied research, advances in corporate accountability, legal arguments, methods of mobilization, or methods of community outreach.
Applications for the 2016 UUSC Human Rights Innovation Fellowship are now closed.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a non-sectarian human rights organization with a 75-year history promoting human rights and social justice around the globe. UUSC currently works in over a dozen countries supporting grassroots collaborations to secure economic justice, environmental justice, and the rights of communities most at risk of human rights violations. The organization’s work is guided by the conviction that all people have inherent power, dignity, and rights. It seeks innovative approaches to realizing those rights, especially for populations who face oppression due to such factors as race, ethnicity, class, gender, or disability.
Economic justice is essential for securing basic human rights, alleviating local and global poverty, and achieving a more peaceful and just world. UUSC recognizes that workers' rights are human rights and works to improve the lives of the world's most marginalized and vulnerable workers. UUSC's Economic Justice Program develops strategic partnerships and networks, builds movements, and influences local, statewide, and national policy on workers' rights and living wages. To this effort UUSC brings staff advocacy, a faith-based activist constituency, and educational tools.
The fellowship should address a major challenge in realizing economic justice. In particular, it should contribute to UUSC’s goal of ensuring all people have access to economic opportunities as well as the ability to work in safe conditions that are free from harrassment and discrimination and promote their economic rights and well-being.
UUSC is seeking innovations that:
- Align with UUSC’s mission and vision;
- Address human rights violations with a focus on the most marginalized populations;
- Use a systems-thinking, legal, technical, or other relevant approach for framing, analyzing, and addressing the problem;
- Produce a tangible new product, service, model or approach applicable to economic justice;
- Have a demonstrable, direct impact on low-income rural or urban communities, indigenous people, racial, ethnic, or religious minorities, women, children, people living with disabilities, displaced persons, or the elderly.
November 9, 2015: 2016 fellowship begins accepting applications.
February 19, 2016, 12:00 p.m. EST: applications due.
June 2016: fellowship winner chosen and announced.
UUSC Work on Economic Justice
Some examples of UUSC’s work and previously funded partner projects include:
- Support to the Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT) to support the expansion of a rotating loan fund to nine additional communities. UUSC’s support to KENASVIT also helped to provide trainings in advocacy and skills development, which is directly benefit 18,000 individuals, and indirectly benefit a further 50,000 people.
- Support to Food Chain Workers Alliance for the creation of a comic book on food chain workers. The comic book was designed to educate youth and adults about food chain workers, and their stories, in the United States. To date the comic book has sold 563 print editions and connected with 1,432 individuals through promotional events and online purchases.
- Support to Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) for the expansion of their COLORS co-op academy, which is designed to provide training and mentorship to restaurant workers so that they can create their own worker owned food businesses.