The Highlander Research and Education Center is pleased to announce we are accepting applications for  the second class of the Greensboro Justice Fund Fellowship at Highlander.  Highlander was chosen, along with the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro, NC, to carry on the social and economic justice legacy of the Greensboro Justice Fund (GJF) and is honored to do so.

For 30 years, GJF worked to increase the capacity of the progressive movement by supporting over 300 cutting-edge, community based organizations working for political empowerment, workers rights, environmental justice and an end to all forms of discrimination and exploitation.

The Fund was established to honor and carry on the work of César Cauce, Mike Nathan, Bill Sampson, Sandy Smith, and Jim Waller, five community organizers who were murdered in Greensboro by the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis on November 3, 1979. (see brief bios at end of this posting)

Applications/Nominations Sought

Believing in the power of and strategic need for committed and skilled organizers, the GJF at its 30th anniversary announced the donation of its assets to the Beloved Community Center and to Highlander to train, in the name of the Greensboro Justice Fund, organizers and community leaders working for fundamental economic, racial and social change. The Fund was originally created using an award from a wrongful death finding against members of the Greensboro Police Department and members of the Ku Klux Klan, the award paid for all plaintiffs by the city of Greensboro.

This year will be the second class of the Greensboro Justice Fund Fellows at Highlander and we seek applications/nominations. There will be five fellows per class in honor of the five organizers who were killed.  Applications are due October 22, 2012 by 5 pm EST.

Activities and Benefits of the Fellowship

This is a learning and relationship building fellowship. The fellowship will provide multiple opportunities and ways for learning for community action, and is meant to enhance team building among fellows to increase their perspective on community initiatives in which they are involved.

Fellows will begin their one-year fellowship by coming to Highlander for a beginning session with their class on November 30-December 2, 2012, and returning to Highlander May 28 – June 1, 2013, for a popular education and community organizing social change workshop as part of a larger group with other people. During May-June, 2013 dates, fellows will also have small group time as a class, and individual time as well.

Throughout the year, fellows will be networked to each other through conference calls and internet technologies. Through its networks and contacts, Highlander will help keep fellows abreast of other potential learning opportunities including regional and national conferences to enhance their skills and build networking relationships. Fellows will have access to Highlander’s facilities for research projects, or space and time to write, or reflection and planning.

Fellows will be supported by Highlander staff, representatives of the Greensboro Justice Fund, and members of the inaugural class. Fellows will also need to take ownership to help shape their fellowship experience and create hands on opportunities to learn from each other.

Expenses to Highlander workshops will be covered by the fellowship, and fellows will receive a $500 stipend to support their local community efforts, payable in two parts.

Eligibility Requirements

Fellows must be living and working for social justice primarily in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. One fellow each year will be from North Carolina.  Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.

Applicants must be available for these two activities of the Fellowship at the Highlander Center, November 30–December 2, 2012 and May 28–June 1, 2013.

To apply for the Greensboro Justice Fund Fellowship at Highlander

Fellows should submit a Statement of Interest and Intent with the support of 3 nominators who write a one page nomination/reference letter.

Statement of Interest and Intent
In your own way and your own words, please let the selection committee  know the following about you:

Your name, postal address, phone number(s) and email address.

  1. Please describe your work for justice and community organizing experience.
  2. Discuss the skills you would like to strengthen or develop and/or the things you would like to learn as a GJF Fellow at Highlander.
  3. Describe how the fellowship could help you move forward as a community organizer.
  4. What is your vision for how change happens?
  5. What would be exciting to you about being a Greensboro Justice Fund Fellow at the Highlander Center?
  6. Which of the 5 organizers for which this fellowship is named do you relate to and why?
  7. Please tell us about any additional information not yet mentioned including your paid work experience, volunteer experience or any awards or recognitions you have received (submission of current resume may suffice).

Application/Nomination Process

Applications must be received in the Highlander office by 5:00 pm eastern time, Monday, October 22, 2012. Only complete applications will be considered. A complete application includes the following:

Applications will be received any one of the following ways:

Mailed to Greensboro Justice Fund Fellowships at the Highlander Center
1959 Highlander Way, New Market, TN 37820

Faxed to – 865-933-3424

E-mailed to –

Selection Process and Timeline

A small committee of representatives of the Highlander Center, Greensboro Justice Fund and the inaugural class will select the five fellows. Phone interviews may be conducted with the finalists.

October 22, 2012, 5 pm EST    Applications due
Nov 2, 2012                         Notification of Fellows
Nov 30 – Dec 2                   1st Session at Highlander
May 28 – Jun 1, 2013        2nd Session at Highlander
To Be Scheduled, 2013      Gathering with Fellows in 1st class


César Cauce was a Cuban immigrant who graduated magna cum laude from Duke University. He was a leader in the long struggle for a union for Duke Hospital Workers and organized community support for Durham chicken plant workers on strike against intolerable working conditions and low wages

Dr. Mike Nathan had been an anti-war and civil rights student activist at Duke University and had become a “people’s physician” as chief pediatrician at Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, NC. He was a leader in a movement to send aid to liberation fighters in then-apartheid Zimbabwe and protested maltreatment of hospital workers at Durham County General Hospital.

William Sampson was a student anti-war activist and president of his college student body. He studied theology at Harvard Divinity School and medicine at the University of Virginia. He left medicine to work and organize in a Greensboro Cone textile mill where he built the union and was a shoo-in for president of the local.

Sandra Smith was President of the student body at Greensboro’s Bennett College and an activist on behalf of African-American students. As leader of a union organizing drive at a Greensboro Cone Mill textile plant, she battled sexual harassment, low wages and unhealthy working conditions.

Dr. James Michael Waller had lent his expertise in medicine to poor people in need. He had trained at the Lincoln Hospital Collective in New York City, had flown to Wounded Knee to aid American Indian Movement activists under siege from the FBI, and had organized Black lung screenings in North Carolina textile mills. He left medicine to work and organize in a rural Cone Mills textile plant where he had led a successful strike and had been elected president of this union.