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Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness Launches 2021 Social Connectedness Fellowship Application

2021 Social Connectedness Fellowship Applications Open
February 18, 2021

The 2021 Fellowship opportunity is open to post-secondary students and recent grads with a passion for research and service that builds community and advances human rights.

Today, the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness (SCSC) announced the opening of applications for the 2021 Social Connectedness Fellowship. Now in its sixth year, the Social Connectedness Fellowship is a unique opportunity for students and recent graduates to carry out innovative research that will inspire local and global action to strengthen community, foster belonging, and create safer spaces for all. The Social Connectedness Fellowship is made possible through support from the Samuel Family Foundation.

The Social Connectedness Fellowship Program was created in the summer of 2017 to enable post-secondary students and graduates to expand their professional networks and gain hands-on experience in research and programming.  Fellows gain new practical skills in areas including writing, policy analysis, and advocacy as well as expertise in the social connectedness framework for addressing a range of pressing issues. 

“On matters from mental health to Indigenous rights to climate action, Social Connectedness Fellows are catalysts for innovative community-led solutions that address social isolation and build belonging in our world,” said Kim Samuel, SCSC Founder and Chief Belonging Officer. 

Fellows work with a partner organization in the social connectedness movement and conduct research, writing, analysis, and community outreach in thematic areas related to social isolation and connectedness. Fellows develop research specific to their primary partner organization’s area of focus, while connecting with and learning from other partner organizations and a closely connected cohort of Fellowship participants. Over the course of five cohorts, SCSC has partnered with organization including: Data-Driven Lab, Special Olympics International, Human Rights Watch, Synergos Institute, Partners in Health, HelpAge International, The Stop Community Food Centre, and The City of Toronto.

“The community engagement initiative was a refreshing experience with emerging South African leaders and the dialogue our Fellow was able to initiate was a true reflection of deeper conversations needed in societies.” said Marlene Ogawa, Acting Country Director for the Synergos Institute. A recent partner, The City of Toronto, shared how working with a Fellow “reinforced the great promise of young people as the leaders of the present and the future.”

The Fellowship has included participants from all over the world, including South Africa, Romania and the United States, who have researched a range of important topics from older people’s rights, Indigenous education, refugee integration and, more recently, the challenges facing migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am just overall very grateful for the time I spent as a Fellow, for the time spent with each incredible Fellow, with the supportive SCSC team, and with my awesome partner,” said 2020 Social Connectedness Fellow, Emma Greenfield. “I learned so much about social issues, but I also learned about myself and my responsibility as a social justice activist and scholar.”

The 2021 Social Connectedness Fellowship will be accepting applications for 11 Fellowship positions from February 18 to March 7, 2021. To learn more about the 2021 Social Connectedness Fellowship program or to apply for this year’s Fellowship, click here.