UMass Boston

Civic Action Fellowship Program


Civic Action Fellowship Program

The City of Boston has been majority People of Color based on the last two Censuses, and although there have been increases in representation in civic leadership, it still does not reflect this demographic shift. Representation matters if we are to address the long ignored racial inequity and injustice that is present in civic spaces. The pandemics we are facing in the nation and the Commonwealth have augmented the need to actively work toward equity and justice, especially for communities who have been marginalized. As the only public research institution with majority Students of Color in the region, the University of Massachusetts Boston is uniquely positioned to face these pandemics and contribute to social change. Our goal is to support the next generation of civic leaders by increasing the participation of Students of Color and other marginalized identities in the Greater Boston area. 

Led in partnership with the Office of Community Partnerships, Student Multicultural Affairs, & Student Leadership & Community Engagement, the Civic Action Fellowship Program seeks to engage a diverse cohort of students in local civic life. Fellows will build their civic agency and skills for collective action through an internship with community-based organizations and through biweekly workshops with community-engaged leaders. Fellows will receive a $500 scholarship per semester in the program.

Our 2021 - 2022 Community Partners:

  • Commonwealth Seminar
  • Boston While Black
  • Massachusetts Voter Table
  • Massachusetts Budget & Policy Center
  • Boston City Councilor, At-Large, Julia Mejia
  • 826 Boston
  • State Representative Jessica Giannino
  • City of Boston Language & Communications Access
  • King Boston
  • Abby Kelley Foster Charter Public School
  • New Boston Coalition

Our 2020-2021 Community Partners:

  • Hyde Square Task Force
  • Mayor of Lawrence, Dan Rivera
  • City of Boston Office of Civic Engagement 
  • BAGLY Inc.
  • Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project 
  • Boston City Councilor, At-Large, Julia Mejia
  • Center for Teen Empowerment
  • Mass Voter Table
  • United for a Fair Economy
  • Glass House Shelter Project
  • Commonwealth Seminar
  • King Boston
  • New Boston Coalition

Program Requirements:

  • Commit to participate in the program for the 2023 - 2024 academic year starting in September 
  • Intern with a community-based leader/organization for the spring semester (approx. 10 - 15 hours per week to be determined by the community partner)
  • Participate in biweekly cohort meetings (Tuesdays 3pm-5pm for Spring 2024 semester)
  • Attend one local civic meeting and develop a personal civic toolkit
  • Participate in the Commonwealth Seminar and/or other community-based professional development programs
  • Collaborate with the cohort on an advocacy campaign (during cohort meetings/workshops)
  • Participate in a culminating celebration with a final presentation
  • Provide advice and support to the next cohort as a mentor (small time commitment)


Students from the Greater Boston community who identify as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino/a/x, Indigenous, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Multiracial/Multiethnic, LGBTQ+, are strongly encouraged to apply. Students should have completed at least 60 undergraduate credit hours or have graduate standing. All applicants will attend a 15-minute interview as part of the selection process. 

Student Leadership and Community Engagement