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Fellowship offers SMC students opportunities, resources to pursue social justice causes

| Tuesday, December 10, 2019

In the 2020-2021 school year, the Katharine Terry Dooley Fellowship will be offered to undergraduate students at Saint Mary’s.

The fellowship is designed to help strengthen students’ relationships to the core ideas of social justice not only in their community, but in the world beyond. Applications for the upcoming year are now open and will close on Feb. 24 at 5 p.m.

The Katharine Terry Dooley Social Justice Fellowship program will bring together a small group of students chosen to be fellows to receive training in social justice leadership and community organizing. The fellows will then design a social justice project related to an issue or issues they find particularly pressing. Fellows will receive a $500 stipend as well as two academic credits across the two semesters of the fellowship year. It provides resources to fellows seeking to pursue the values set forth by the fund.

Saint Mary’s philosophy professor Andrew Pierce talked about the program’s goals and purpose in an email.

“The goal of the program is to train a small group of students in justice leadership and organizing, who will then use their newly developed skills to address social justice issues here on campus or in the local community,” Pierce said.

The program does not aim to benefit only the students who participate, but also the community at large.

“The program strives to deepen the College’s commitment to justice, and to honor the intended purpose of the Katharine T. Dooley fund, which aims to provide a moral and intellectual context for the critical examination of the root causes of societal problems, and to develop creative and thoughtful responses to those concerns,” Pierce said.  

Applicants can apply through a Google form which will be emailed to all of Saint Mary’s. The application requests an unofficial transcript, a personal statement and a statement of ideas. A letter of recommendation is required later in the application process, but only the name and contact information of the intended recommender is required for the initial application.

In addition to financial and educational incentives to pursue the grant, Pierce said the program also offers nonmaterial ones, such as knowledge, experience and validation. 

“In addition to the stipend and credits, participation in a social justice leadership program like this will be a highly desirable and valuable experience for students from a variety of fields who wish to apply their education, skills and talents to making a difference in the world,” Pierce said. “In a world rife with injustice, leadership of this sort is desperately needed.”

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