Civic Action

ADL and Aspen Institute Announce Two Civil Society Fellowship Classes in Response to the Heightened Need for Civil Discourse in a Divided America

November 17, 2020  • Aspen Global Leadership Network & Civil Society Fellowship

ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and the Aspen Institute are pleased to announce the Class of 2020 and 2021 of the Civil Society Fellowship: A Partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute. This Fellowship, part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, aims to prepare and engage the next generation of community and civic leaders, activists and problem-solvers from across the political spectrum.

The Civil Society Fellowship, launched in 2019, is tripling its capacity after seeing significant interest in the program, and a heightened need to bring our nation’s future leaders together from across the ideological spectrum to hone their leadership skills and build relationships. As we witnessed in the Presidential election, the country is seeing unprecedented division across political and ideological lines and civil discourse is needed now more than ever to bring our future leaders together to generate the broad-based solutions that our country needs.

The two new classes include 49 Fellows, selected from a pool of approximately 200 nominees from across the country. The Fellows reflect a diverse mosaic representing a broad geographical, political, and ideological swath of the United States. The new Fellows include conservatives and liberals and include mayors, chiefs of police, professors and educators, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, journalists, lawyers, poets, athletes, and activists. All are proven leaders who have reached an inflection point in their lives where they are ready to apply their talent and skills to build a more civil society. Civil society requires the participation and mutual understanding of all, regardless of political affiliation.

“In this moment of crisis, we’ve seen that cooperation can be the difference between chaos and order, fear and calm,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “We are proud to meet the challenge of this particularly divisive era by engaging twice the number of Fellows as last year, bringing people together across political, ideological, and geographical divides to work toward developing innovative strategies and solutions to our country’s most serious problems.”

“The Aspen Institute, along with ADL, is honored to welcome our 49 new Fellows, each of whom has demonstrated the capacity and potential to drive impact and unite our country,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “This Fellowship cultivates the next generation of purpose-driven, values-based leaders—exactly what America needs right now.”

“2020 has blown away old norms, and given the urgent conditions in our country, we were inspired to increase our commitment to a healthy civil society by announcing two classes of stellar Civil Society Fellows,” said Nike Irvin, Managing Director of the Civil Society Fellowship. “We are answering the heightened need for values-based leadership at this history-making time in our country and society.”       

Civil Society Fellowship Class of 2020

Civil society Fellowship class of 2021