Civically-engaged students change the world. From the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s to innovative methods to ensure climate justice today, students on college and university campuses have worked tirelessly to improve all of our lives.
Yet current efforts to suppress the voices of young people – and their teachers – are limiting civic participation and making it harder than ever to support and mobilize students. We need new ways to overcome these barriers and help students exercise their fundamental freedom to vote.
The Unstoppable Voters Faculty Fellowship is for leaders in higher education to:
- develop innovative civic engagement lessons to motivate and mobilize their students
- exchange perspectives with and get insight and support from peers at institutions across the country
- publish curricula, research findings, and further insights with the Center for Artistic Activism and widely in the field.
All of this will happen during the 2024 election cycle, to test ideas in real-world situations and inspire students to go to the polls in record numbers next year.
This is a special call specifically for teachers in Pittsburgh.
Thanks to a generous funder, we’re able to expand our work in the Keystone State and support faculty at one of Pittsburgh’s many higher education institutions.
Faculty Fellowship Details
The Faculty Fellowship will be a cohort of 6 Fellows at higher education institutions across the U.S., including one in Pittsburgh! Fellows will receive professional development in artistic activism and strategies to bring more creativity and innovation to voting work on college campuses.
Fellows will also gain access to:
- The Center for Artistic Activism library of pro-voter artistic activism lessons
- Support in developing a pilot project during the Spring 2024 semester/quarter
- Guidance for robust implementation in the Fall 2024 semester
Each Fellow will receive:
- Center for Artistic Activism training in bringing creative civic engagement to higher education campuses
- a $1500 stipend and up to $500 to implement creative, pro-voter campaigns that their students develop
- Mentorship from faculty with extensive experience in nonpartisan, pro-voting work including: Brandon Bauer, Associate Professor at St. Norbert College; Steve Lambert, Associate Professor at State University of New York, Purchase College and co-founder of the Center for Artistic Activism; Stephen Duncombe, Professor at NYU and co-founder of the Center for Artistic Activism; and the Center for Artistic Activism’s Unstoppable Voters program leads, who have supported hundreds of people, including faculty and students, in protecting the freedom to vote, all across the country.
- Tested syllabi, curricula, and/or lessons to encourage creative civic engagement
- Deeper understanding of artistic activism and methods of teaching it in higher education
- Documentation of a public engagement project developed with students that tests ideas developed within the Fellowship
- Publication of research/lessons with the Center for Artistic Activism
Who should apply?
We are looking to support:
- Faculty representing a range of fields. If you are interested in including creative civic engagement in your 2024 teaching, you should apply, whatever courses you teach.
- Faculty at a range of higher education institutions, including Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and community colleges
- Faculty committed to being nonpartisan. C4AA is a 501c3 nonprofit and cannot engage in any activity related to candidates running for office.
- Faculty teaching in Pittsburgh
Why should I apply?
The Unstoppable Voters Faculty Fellowship is an opportunity to change up your curricular offerings and lead lessons that are new, inspiring, interactive, engaging, and fun for students. You’ll be helping the youngest voters find their (nonpartisan) political voices.
You’ll also be part of a cohort of inspiring teachers from across the country, and you’ll get mentorship from voting champions and seasoned academics who have helped bring creativity to campuses for decades.
What’s more, you’ll be sharing your research and insights that will inspire other faculty and further civic engagement on campuses across the nation.
What’s the timeline?
- Applications for this special call opened on November 13. Applications close November 28.
- Early December: Initial full cohort artistic activism workshop. This will be a few hours online and we will work with the cohort to find a time that works for everyone.
- Winter 2023: Fellows work on their pilot version of incorporating pro-voter artistic activism into their Spring 2024 class(es), with support from C4AA. We expect each Fellow’s pilot will incorporate content to an extent and in a way that is unique to them and their students; we welcome that personalization and variety.
- Spring 2024: Pilot implementation. We will meet approximately monthly as a cohort to share updates and learn from and inspire each other, and also to start to plan for Fall 2024. C4AA will be available for more individualized support as needed as well.
- May 2024: Pilot evaluation. Fall 2024 plan finalization.
- Fall 2024: Implementation of Fall pro-voter creative activism lessons, including student-led creative voting projects to support the general election. After Election Day on November 5, 2024, Fellows will evaluate and present about their classes and projects.
What do we mean by faculty?
We are using the term “faculty” very broadly. You can be a long-time tenured professor, an adjunct, or even a graduate student with a teaching assignment. Anyone who will be teaching in the Spring and Fall of 2024 is eligible to apply. We’re open to staff and/or student-run groups, especially in partnership with faculty, too.
How similar do my Spring and Fall courses need to be?
Not similar at all! We don’t expect that you’ll be teaching the same classes across semesters. The way(s) you start to test out your ideas in the Spring semester and what your work looks like in the Fall semester can be specific to your courseload and other campus opportunities and responsibilities.
What can innovative campus civic engagement programs look like?
Through the Faculty Fellowship, we’ll help you develop your own way of reaching your students, be it by teaching one class on creative methods of civic engagement or starting a multi-year collective all about voting.
Here are just two of our favorite examples of how educators we’ve worked with have motivated students and supported voting in their communities.
Robin Gordon, graduate student at the Ohio State University, organized a 2-day creative civic engagement workshop that brought together OSU students and Columbus, OH, community members to develop innovative ideas to support voters during the 2022 midterm elections.
Gregory Sale and Robert Farid Karimi, faculty at Arizona State University, started the #ArtistsWhoVote collective in collaboration with students during the 2020 election and have continued to lead it since. This collective has a fluid membership of current and former students who come together around elections and other key opportunities to support civic participation. In 2022, they activated a variety of locations in and around ASU through public interventions that registered and mobilized young, first-time voters in their state. Their actions became the face of creative civic engagement in Arizona, being featured on multiple media sites including Vice News.
Apply by November 28 by completing the application below. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.
The application deadline has passed. Thank you to all who applied!
What is Unstoppable Voters?
Through the Center for Artistic Activism’s expansive Unstoppable Voters program, we support creatively risk-taking, strategic, ambitious organizations, people, and projects that address urgent and specific anti-voter attacks. We provide training and community building for individuals and groups who are passionate about protecting the freedom to vote and bringing the needed innovation to that fight. And we provide funding and support to help manifest that innovation and bring real, measurable impact. To date, we’ve helped over 100 organizations and over 1000 individual activists, artists, and everyone in between make voting accessible, safe, joyful, powerful, and irresistible.