Challenging Injustice, Advancing Human Rights

UUSC Human Rights Innovation Fellowship

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) invites applications for its 2018 Innovation Fellowship on the subject “Resisting Criminalization.” UUSC and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) are engaged in a joint campaign that aims to “resist the harm created by criminalization” and to “create more safe, just, welcoming, and sustainable communities.” The UUSC Human Rights Innovation Fellowship is a one-year $25,000 grant, awarded to an individual or non-governmental organization, designed to bring about systemic change by creating, nurturing, or spreading an innovation in human rights. For this year’s theme, UUSC invites applications from individuals or organizations working on projects that seek to combat the systemic criminalization of immigrant communities, communities of color, Muslims, and LGBTQI communities in the United States – and individuals and communities at the intersections.

These innovations may be legal strategies, methods of mobilization, methods of community outreach, technological or financial products or apps, path breaking applied research, advances in corporate accountability, or other new approaches. The successful proposal will be rights-based, align with UUSC’s values and approach, positively impact and engage at-risk communities, and provide a new, different, and timely solution.

Applications for our 2018 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship are now closed.

Learn more about Love Resists, our anti-criminalization campaign with the UUA:

Past winners of Human Rights Innovation Fellowship

The Lowlander Center 

The focus of the 2017 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship was climate-forced resettlement, and the winner was The Lowlander Center, a non-profit organization based in the bayous of Louisiana dedicated to finding community-based solutions for “living with an ever-changing coastline and land loss to climate change while visioning a future that builds capacity and resilience for place and people.” The fellowship was awarded to implement an adaptation tool developed for communities faced with the difficult decision to relocate in the face of climate-induced land erosion and other environmental challenges. Read more about this project.

National Domestic Workers Alliance

The focus of the 2016 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship was economic justice, and the winner was National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), in support of the launch of its “National Home Care Workers Hotline,” which serves as a resource for workers who assist the elderly and persons with disabilities and illness. The hotline provides “know your rights” information along with up-to-date tools and resources for workers education and training for self-advocacy. Read more about this project and the work NDWA is doing.

Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research

The focus of the 2015 Human Rights Innovation Fellowship was the human right to water, and the winner was Partners for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research (PUKAR). The grant funded a vital water access survey in Mumbai’s Mandala slum, coordinated by PUKAR’s Youth Fellowship Program. This independent youth-driven research collective focuses on issues of urbanization anchored in community-based participatory research. (In Hindi one meaning of pukaris “a clarion call.”) The PUKAR collective encourages disenfranchised youth in Mumbai to learn through training and experience about how to conduct valid social science research, followed by support in how to use that knowledge to produce meaningful environmental change in their community. Read more about the work PUKAR is doing through the innovation fellowship!