Our Work

Offering Fellowships

Applications for the 2019 Voqal Fellowship are now closed. Thanks to everyone who applied!

Voqal believes taking risks and experimenting with new ideas is necessary to advance social change. Our Fellowship is a talent and technology accelerator for change-makers and thought leaders who want to launch their next “big idea” focused on increasing equity for those who are least well off politically, economically and/or socially.

One of the few early-stage fellowships, the Voqal Fellowship is designed to increase equity and further progressive, social justice-oriented causes. Ideal applicants will have a specific issue or challenge they are looking to address over the course of their fellowship. Projects can be broad in scope, or a simple tool that will help resolve a social inequity or lead to progressive social change.

Voqal Fellowship Details

Voqal Fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend and will be expected to complete a project in six months. Candidates must have three-to-five years of work experience and may not be currently enrolled in a graduate program. Fellows should treat the fellowship as a sabbatical and may not work full-time during the fellowship. Qualifying fellows may also be eligible to receive an additional stipend to help offset the cost of personal health insurance. Fellows are paired with a mentor, a professional well established in the fellow’s field who is available to share his or her expertise and provide support. Applications for projects that are part of an established organization or are well beyond the initial start-up period will not be considered for this fellowship. Candidates must be able to verify their identity and eligibility to work in the United States and be based in the United States for the duration of the fellowship. If you have a passion for social justice, progressive politics or transformative media and technology, this program is for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Featured Fellows

Imara Jones

An Emmy and Peabody Award winner, Jones is a genderqueer on-air news analyst, writer and host whose work focuses on the full range of social justice and equity issues. Jones has been featured regularly in a number of leading outlets such as The Guardian, The Nation, MSNBC, CNBC, NPR, Mic and Colorlines.

Jones’ project, The Last Sip is a video news program — with a pop culture sensibility — aimed at progressive millennials of color, especially women and the LGBTQ community.

DeShuna Spencer

DeShuna Spencer is CEO of kweliTV, a video streaming network dedicated to the stories and culture of the global black community, and radio host of emPower Hour on DCʼs 89.3 FM WPFW.

Spencer’s project, kweliTV is an interactive, on-demand and live streaming video network dedicated to the stories, issues and culture of the global black community. It offers indie films, web shows, documentaries and news programming of the entire African diaspora. Its mission is to change the perception of how black people are portrayed in media.

Eric Shih

Eric Shih is the founder of Spendrise, an online platform where consumers create change wherever they spend money. Previously, Eric was the chief strategy officer at Groundswell, a nonprofit social enterprise utilizing community purchasing power to expand equity and access in the clean energy economy, and he was also a community organizer in the Bay Area improving environmental health and working conditions for low-income immigrant families.

Eric’s project, Spendrise, is a platform for launching online petitions wherever people spend money using an all-or-nothing crowdfunding engine and user interface.