The Equity Center, U.Va.

The Equity Center

A UVA Democracy Initiative center for the redress of inequity through community-engaged scholarship



Apply to be a Fellow

Community Fellows-in-Residence Application Information

Background - The Democracy Initiative Center for the Redress of Inequity through Community-Engaged Scholarship “The Equity Center” seeks to fund projects focused on furthering our mission and vision.

Mission - The Equity Center will tangibly redress racial and economic inequity in university communities by advancing a transformative approach to the fundamental research mission, which will, in turn, reform institutional values, pedagogy, and operations

Vision - The Equity Center envisions universities that serve local communities by bringing rich research resources to bear on the work of redressing poverty and racial inequality, and also equip students to lead in building a just society.

The Call – The Equity Center wishes to fund projects that are conceptualized, developed, implemented, or replicated by individuals with a proven record of affecting equity for racial and socio-economic minorities in Charlottesville and surrounding areas. We will also consider individuals with ideas that represent an innovative approach to redressing poverty and racial inequity in the area.

Funded projects will be designed to contribute to both the general knowledge base and specific practice in an area aligned with The Equity Centers vision and mission. We will consider proposals that address the equity center values of authentic partnership, shared power, equity, justice, beneficial, action, mutuality, and youth.

Project should have a clear direction for how outcomes will be used in practice to tangibly redress racial and socio-economic inequality in University communities. We will consider proposals at any stage of development (abstract concept, initial development, implementation, or replication of an existing project). Priority will be given to residents of Charlottesville and the surrounding areas.

Single fellow awards are $5000. Awards will be distributed as stipends directly to individual fellows in two installments. Funds may be used at the discretion of the fellow.  However, a description of how the funds were used is due along with a final report at the end of the fellowship.  

Fellows will receive access to office space, an invitation to audit courses, and a faculty mentor to assist with project completion. Fellows commit regular meetings with faculty mentors and Equity Center staff, participating in project updates as agreed upon by fellows and Equity Center faculty, and a final report and explanation of how funds were spent.

Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  1. The project is focused on redressing poverty and/or racial inequity in Charlottesville, Virginia or the surrounding area
  2. The project addresses an issue directly aligned with the vision and/or mission of the Equity Center.
  3. The applicant’s record of combating racial and/ or socio-economic injustice in the area.
  4. The project description.

Applications are due on or before Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 5:00 pm and applicants will be notified on or before December 20th, 2021 with initial funds dispersed in January 2022.

Click here to apply online

All questions, comments, and concerns should be directed to Sherica Jones-Lewis via email:, with Community Fellows in the subject line.


Tips and FAQs

The following is a list of tips and frequently asked questions related to the core components of the UVA Equity Center’s Community Fellows-in-Residence Program.   Please note that this list will be periodically updated with new questions and information. Please direct all questions, comments, and concerns related to this or other components of the program to Sherica Jones-Lewis via email at

1.What is a community fellow?

2.What does it mean to be “in residence”?

3.What is a stipend? 

4.How do I apply?

5.Must I submit a budget?

6.What will I receive if I am selected as a Community Fellow-in-Residence?

7.What am I expected to do as a Community Fellow-in-Residence?


1. What is a Community Fellow?

  • The title Community Fellows refers to a short-term, professional development opportunity run by the UVA Equity Center designed for individuals who already possess some level of equity-focused, community engagement expertise. Equity Center Community Fellows will receive a stipend, training, and professional development and in exchange will share their expertise with UVA students, faculty, and administrators while further developing an accepted project. Equity Center Community Fellows should have a history of actively working to reduce racial and or socioeconomic inequality in our community and have a special project that could benefit from access to UVA mentors and/or resources.

2. What does it mean to be “in residence”?

  • To be in residence means to be given access to UVA resources. Fellows will have office space at UVA along with UVA identification for access to facilities such as libraries, dining facilities, workrooms, etc. Fellows will be invited to auditor UV a course and will be assigned a mentor to assist in completing the accepted project period fellows will have a chance to speak about their work comma share with students about their communities comma and complete our proposed project to increase racial and/or socio-economic equity.

3. What is a stipend?

  • Is stipend is a monetary benefit given to Community Fellows. All fellows are free to use this stipend at their discretion to further their project. Fellows will receive a $5000 stipend for the year to be paid in two separate amounts of $2500 or in a lump sum (to be determined based on need).

4. How do I apply?

  • All applications must be submitted online through the Community Fellows in Residence section of the Equity Center website. The application period closes at 5:00 pm on December 1st, 2021.  All applications must be submitted using the online format. Please click the apply here button on the website. Applicants are advised to prepare responses using word processing software such as Microsoft Word and then cut and paste entries into the application. Applicants are encouraged to follow application guidelines such as the requested word counts.   

5. Must I submit a budget?

  • Fellows will receive a stipend. In the spirit of the stipend process, a budget is neither expected nor required. Fellows are free to use the stipend in any way they like removing the need to provide budget justification.   However, fellows will be asked to report on how the stipend assisted them in meeting project goals.

6. What will I receive if I am accepted as a Community Fellow?

  • Fellows will receive a $5000 stipend to be dispersed twice in the amount of $2500 per semester in a lump sum (to be determined based on need). They will receive also have access to workspace in the UVA Equity Center and UVA identification for access to resources such as email, and classes as they may audit one course (the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic is currently impacting this access). Fellows will also receive a mentor to assist them in completing their fellowship project. 

7. What am I expected to do as a Community Fellow-in-Residence?

  • Fellows commit to regular meetings with faculty mentors and Equity Center staff and mentors, participating in project updates as agreed upon by fellows and Equity Center faculty, and a final report and explanation of how funds were spent.


Example Projects

2020 - 2021 Cohorts

Destinee Wright - Black Business Directory

Libby Edwards-Allbaugh - Sisternomic$

Myra Anderson - Queens, Cuts, and Conversations: Mental Health Support for African American Women

Tanesha Hudson - Charlottesville Black History Docuseries

Edgar Lara and Maria Esparza Rodrigues - Conecta2: Latinx Leadership

Benita Mayo - PhotoDocuseries: Disparities of AA Maternal Health

Marian McCullough - Tutorish

Anna Mendez - Criminalization of Mental Health