Maya Wiley Fellowship Program

The fellowship provides a wonderful opportunity to connect the local work to a national community of activist and policy makers who share your vision and your values.Creating those types of connections helps to build visibility and power for our movement work.

~ Linda Campbell, CSI Fellow 2014


The 2015-2016 Maya Wiley Fellows:


Amber Bell

Amber Bell

Amber Bell is the Director of Programs at the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc. (SWGAP), a more-than-50-year organization whose mission is to educate, engage and empower communities. SWGAP works to increase food security for vulnerable populations, particularly rural farmers, in Southwest Georgia. An Albany native, Amber is passionate about developing a sustainable and more self-reliant food system to ensure a healthier population.




Cecilia Martinez

Cecilia Martinez is the Director of Research Programs for the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy, an organization that works on climate and energy justice.  She is dedicated to building an energy system that is socially and environmentally sustainable and that will support communities to build local economies.




Steven Pargett

Steven Pargett

Steven Pargett serves as Communications and Culture Director for the Dream Defenders, a Florida-based, youth-of-color-led organization that confronts the criminalization of Black and Brown communities. Steven’s diverse skill set in communications, design, branding, and film was borne out of his work over the past seven years working with grassroots organizations and as a student at Florida A&M University. Steven’s passions include exploring the intersection of issues, exploring how urban culture has influenced an entire generation, and education for liberation in communities of color.


About The Fellowship:

The Maya Wiley Fellowship program celebrates and supports grassroots leaders seeking to achieve racial equity through structurally transformative policy strategies and campaigns.

The inaugural Maya Wiley Fellowship will afford the opportunity for fellows to:

  • Expand or deepen their work in the field, to advance a specific policy or strategy for creating community change at a local level;
  • Build their capacity in areas that fellows identify as a desire for growth; and
  • Leverage local, regional, and national networks to elevate their work and ideas.

This is a one-year fellowship program that provides a $25,000 stipend.   Key responsibilities of the Maya Wiley Fellowship include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Expand or deepen a current racial equity policy or strategy idea in a way that would not otherwise be possible given current limitation on resources;
  • Utilize one or more of the following approaches: organizing/base-building work; popular education; applied research; strategic communications; project development; online organizing/activism; alternative financing practices; political, legislative, judicial, or regulatorypractices.
  • Produce materials (i.e., blogs, reports, visuals, interviews) that help shape the conversation on structural racial inequity and/or implicit bias at a national level.
  • Represent CSI and CSI’s methodologies in local, regional, and national networks.

About Maya Wiley:

Photo-Maya-Wiley-2009Maya Wiley is the founder and former President of the Center for Social Inclusion. Maya’s vision and commitment to communities of color and to shifting policies to address structural racial inequities paved the way for the ongoing work and vision of CSI. A civil rights attorney and policy advocate, Maya has litigated, lobbied the U.S. Congress, and developed programs to transform structural racism in the U.S. and in South Africa. Prior to founding the Center for Social Inclusion, Maya was a senior advisor on race and poverty to the Director of U.S. Programs of the Open Society Institute and helped develop and implement the Open Society Foundation – South Africa’s Criminal Justice Initiative. Maya holds a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Dartmouth College. She is currently counsel to the Mayor of New York City.