The application period for the next cohort of the Beyond the Bars Fellowship is now open! Please help us spread the word to anyone you think might be a good fit.
About the Beyond the Bars Fellowship
Thank you for your interest in the 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 identity, analysis, skills and networks towards ending mass criminalization, incarceration and to create a more just and safe world. The Fellowship holds space for a balance of students, community members, formerly incarcerated and directly impacted people. The Fellowship will meet weekly for approximately eight months. Through seminars, workshops and guest lecturers, Fellows explore their own experiences in the movement as they work toward social change and gain a theoretical and practical understanding of the criminal legal system. They are introduced to various models of social change including community organizing, legislative advocacy, communications as well as approaches to interpersonal and political transformation like restorative practices, human and healing justice, as well as transformative justice.
Additionally, Fellows identify advocacy issues and existing organizing efforts for social and political change and then work in small groups to further support these efforts. The primary goal is to support Fellows in finding their place in the movement, while offering knowledge, skills, experience and community to sustain their work.
This Fellowship is for people based in the greater New York City area and will meet in person at Columbia University in the School of Social Work. In the event of any changes, we will follow the protocols taken by the university.
For more information about the Fellowship click here
To apply, please complete this form. If you have questions you can email: [email protected]
Is the Fellowship Right for me?
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. Please note that extensive experience is not a requirement. You must reside in New York City or the surrounding areas to participate in the Fellowship.
What will you gain?
- Leadership Development: Fellows participate in weekly seminars, workshops and hear from guest lecturers to deepen their understanding of self, develop understanding of justice issues and their 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
All applicants should meet the following:
- Have a desire to be a part of group learning environment
- Be able to work collaboratively in a team setting
- Demonstrate enthusiasm for social justice
- Commit to fulfill all requirements of the Fellowship
- Attend all sessions and workshops
Columbia Fellows that are students must be enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate or graduate program.
Community Fellows are not enrolled at Columbia University. We encourage applicants who are not students or have not attended college to apply. Students from other colleges and universities in New York City are also welcome to apply.
The deadline to apply is Friday, August 18th.
Application Dates 2023 -24
- July 18th- Application Period Opens
- August 18th- Application Period Closes
- August 28th - September 8th – Group Interviews
- September 15th - Accepted Applicants are Notified
- October 3rd - Fellowship starts
Fall 2023 Dates
** We will meet in person unless Columbia University indicates otherwise**
- October 3rd - Seminar 1 - Introductions
- October 10th - Seminar 2 - Social Justice Starts with Self
- October 17th - Seminar 3 - Understanding Power, Privilege and Oppression
- October 21st - Saturday - One Day Retreat - Building the Foundation (10-5)
- October 24th - Solidarity Project Introduction
- October 31st - Seminar 4 - History and Causes of Mass Incarceration and Criminalization
- November 7th - No Class - Election Day
- November 14th- Seminar 5 - Understanding the Carceral Continuum
- November 21st - No Class - Indigenous People’s Week
- November 28th - Solidarity Project Workshop #1
- December 5th - Seminar 6 - Paradigms of Justice
- December 12th - Solidarity Project Workshop #2
Spring 2024 Dates
Note: We will meet in person. Some dates are subject to change based on Beyond the Bars conference dates
- Saturday January 13th – Restorative Justice Training (10-5)
- January 16th - Solidarity Project Workshop #3
- January 23rd - Seminar 7 - Introduction to the Movement: Reform to Abolition
- January 30th - Solidarity Project Workshop #4
- February 6th - Seminar 8 - Movement Ecology: Strategies for Change
- February 13th - Seminar 9 - Community Organizing
- February 20th - Solidarity Project Workshop #5
- February 27th - Seminar 10 - Legislative Advocacy
- March - Beyond the Bars Conference (TBD)
- March 5th - Solidarity Project Workshop #6 (Presentation Dates Solidified)
- March 12th - Seminar 11 - Non Traditional Approaches to Human and Healing Justice - (Pt.1)
- March 19th - No Class (Spring Break)
- March 26th - Seminar 12 - Non Traditional Approaches to Human and Healing Justice - (Pt. 2)
- April - Solidarity Project Presentations (April 2, 9, 16, 23)
- April 27th - 28th - Closing Retreat (overnight) Location TBD
Reflections, Awards, Certificate Presentations and Talent Show