NREI John R Lewis Social Justice Policy Fellowship Program 2022 (Paid position)

The NREI John R Lewis Social Justice Policy Fellowship Program 2022 is now accepting applications.

Social Justice Policy Fellowship program

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) established the NREI John R. Lewis Social Justice Policy Fellowship to provide young Black professionals with the opportunity to work in Congress and with the Foundation to address social justice and racial equity issues that affect the Black community.

Social Justice Fellows will spend a total of 12 months in the United States Congress, working with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the CBCF’s Center for Policy Analysis and Research (CPAR). Fellows will do social justice policy research and analysis on issues such as criminal justice reform, education, community/economic development, health equality, and civil rights, among others. Fellows will gain invaluable legislative experience while working in Congressional Black Caucus member offices, where they will participate in the development of public policy initiatives, attend briefings, conduct research, write speeches, and develop relationships with key leaders in the areas of social justice.

Fellows will conduct policy analysis, research, and data collection in the Center for Policy Analysis and Research under the direction of the National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice (NREI) Director and in collaboration with other stakeholders, with the goal of disseminating research findings and relevant information to advance NREI’s mission. During their time, fellows may also organize social justice forums and brain trusts, serve as experts in their fields, and create problem briefs, fact sheets, and other social justice-related publications.

Fellowship Components

Fellows will engage in the following programming components over the duration of their fellowship:

  • Washington, D.C. work experience (Depending on the state of the COVID-19 epidemic, CBCF retains the right to hold the Fellowship in a virtual mode.)
  • Take part in a one-week orientation program.
  • 6-month rotational placement in the United States Congress and the CBFC’s Center for Policy Analysis and Research, with a weekly schedule of forty (40) hours.
  • Prepare an issue brief for the CBCF website or an article for the CPAR Journal.
  • Participate in professional development sessions on a regular basis.


  • For the course of the program, CBCF Congressional Fellows are paid a full salary and benefits.
  • Fellows in the Fall 2022 Congressional and John R. Lewis NREI Social Justice Fellowships will get two months of transitional housing before their formal transfer to Washington, DC, thanks to a new agreement with Air BnB. Details will be sent after the candidate has been accepted.

Requirements for the Social Justice Policy Fellowship program

  • COVID vaccination is required of all applicants.
  • Citizenship in the United States or permission to work in the United States for the term of the program (currently September 2022 through September 2023);
  • At least five years in a leadership role in community activism or grassroots organizing OR a graduate/professional degree earned prior to the fellowship start date;
  • Knowledge of the federal legislative process, the United States Congress, the Congressional Black Caucus, and its members, as well as associated policies;
  • Superior analytical abilities, as well as exceptional oral and writing communication abilities;
  • Demonstrated dedication to social justice via public policy, professional expertise, or community-based activity focused on improving the African American community’s living circumstances.

How to Apply for the Social Justice Policy Fellowship program

By 11:59 p.m. EST on May 6, 2022, the full online application must be submitted. Through the online application, the following things will be requested:

  • 2 Essay Question Responses
  • NREI Social Justice Essay Prompts

Essay 1: You are a subject matter expert in your field and work in the office of a congressional member. Write a message to your congressional representative outlining three policy topics you believe are most important for the growth of the Black community, why your representative should prioritize these items on his or her agenda, and how he or she can raise awareness about these concerns. Always remember to mention your sources. [limit 1,000 words]

Essay 2: In the previous three legislative sessions, choose a social justice policy problem that you believe is most significant to the Black community (e.g., criminal justice reform, Black maternal health, the school-to-prison pipeline, public education, or workplace racial discrimination). Discuss the current state of the law, the important players involved, and the legislation’s prospective or existing implications on the Black community. Always remember to mention your sources. [limit 1,000 words]

  • 2 letters of recommendation (electronic submissions) (hard copy letters will not be accepted)
  • Extracurricular activities, accolades, jobs, community service, and exceptional abilities are included on a resume (2-page limit)
  • Cover letter outlining the applicant’s academic and professional history, as well as the applicant’s interest in the fellowship, how it fits into the applicant’s future aspirations, and any relevant experience that would make the candidate very successful in this role (2- page limit)
  • A current shot that might be used in a magazine (i.e., a graduation photo or other professional-quality photograph in which the subject is formally dressed).

To apply, go to this link.

Visit the Social Justice Policy Fellowship website for more information.

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