Beyond the Bars Fellowship

The Beyond the Bars Fellowship is a certificate-based program through the Center for Justice at Columbia University that offers interdisciplinary leadership to develop and deepen your identity, analysis, skills and network towards ending mass criminalization and incarceration, and creating a more just and safe world. It meets weekly for approximately eight months. Through seminars, workshops and guest lectures, Fellows explore their own experiences and identities as people working for social change; gain a theoretical and practical understanding of mass incarceration; and are introduced to various models of social change including community organizing, legislative advocacy, restorative and transformative justice, communications and more. In addition, Fellows identify issues and existing efforts for change and then work together to develop advocacy and / or organizing projects to further support those efforts. A primary goal of the Fellowship is to support Fellows’ in finding their place in the movement, while offering them the knowledge, skills, experience and community to sustain their work. The Fellowship is made up of students, community members, and formerly incarcerated and directly impacted people. Our aim is to work collaboratively with the university and the community towards social change.

We aim to bring together Columbia University students with the larger NYC community to create a diverse and rich learning environment that can be mutually beneficial to all Fellows. We encourage people impacted (directly and indirectly) by mass criminalization and incarceration to apply. This Fellowship is for people based in the greater New York City area. 

Beyond the Bars Fellows gain:

  • Leadership Development: Participate in regular seminars, workshops, and guest lectures to deepen your understanding of yourself, as well as develop your understanding of justice issues and your capacity to enact change
  • Organizing Experience: Work collaboratively with other Fellows on advocacy and organizing projects
  • A Community of Mentors and Colleagues: The Fellowship is an intentional and experiential learning community that will support your growth as a social justice advocate
  • A Stipend of $1000


Meet Our 2023-2024 Beyond the Bars Fellows

Past Beyond the Bars Fellows