Fellowship for Serving African American Communities

The Fellowship for Serving African American Communities brings together talented and diverse emerging leaders from any race or ethnicity working to reduce disparities in African American and other underserved communities in the U.S. through efforts in health care, education, economic development, public policy, criminal justice reform, social entrepreneurship, and a variety of other fields.

The Fellowship for Serving African American Communities connects fellows with highly accomplished leaders from Boston and around the globe who will guide them toward:

  • Fostering sustainable change in African American and other underserved communities

  • Inspiring new ideas and innovative change in programs and policies to serve these communities

  • Building cross-sector partnerships and collaborations

We need committed people working to achieve social change despite significant odds. We need emerging leaders from any race or ethnicity who want to strengthen their ability to transform communities.

We need you.

Josue Chavarin"This has been such a transformative experience. This was my first time being in an academic setting where I was substantially far away from my family and it really was an opportunity to reflect and to question my own belief about things, which I felt was very powerful. I am grateful because, of all of the years I have spent studying, this year has had the most impact. A lot of it has to do with the relationships I formed with my cohort and personal reflection."

-Josue Chavarin, MC-MPA '20


The application period for academic year 21-22 is closed. Information fo our academic year 22-23 cohort application will be availabe in October, 2021.

Program Information


The fellowship provides:

  • Full tuition scholarships for a master’s degree program at Harvard Kennedy School. Joint or concurrent degree students are eligible for a different financial aid package depending on their school in residence.

  • A comprehensive co-curricular/leadership development program

  • Most importantly, a network of exceptional peers and mentors who will enhance your ability to impact the communities you serve

Up to five recipients each year will receive full tuition, health insurance, and a $10,000 annual stipend during their full course of study at Harvard Kennedy School (one to two years).

The fellowship is open to all admitted degree program students at Harvard Kennedy School. Domestic students from underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply, as well as students interested in business, medicine, law, education, and public health.

Applicants will be considered based on their academic credentials and demonstrated leadership promise, interest and work in reducing disparities in African-American and other underserved communities.

Fellows will participate in a yearlong co-curricular program designed by Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. This not-for-credit program is intended to inspire, to provide concrete opportunities for leadership skill-building, and to connect fellows with an interdisciplinary network of like-minded peers and mentors that will last a lifetime. The fellowship co-curricular program includes dinner seminars, an annual retreat, and robust field experiences grounded in discussions with visionary leaders whose work has had significant impact in marginalized communities. The program will also focus on strengthening core competencies central to public leadership, such as promoting strong moral character and ethics, mastering the arts of persuasion and negotiation, and leading effective teams.

The Fellows for Serving African American Communities will create a vibrant network of students and alumni committed to advancing knowledge, collaborating on solutions to pressing problems, and building leadership capacity in their communities, their nation, and the world.