Housing Justice Fellowship

Springfield Tenants Unite and Empower Missouri are partnering to pilot Springfield’s first Housing Justice Fellowship Program in an effort to build and strengthen tenant power. This fellowship program will bring together 10-15 rising leaders from the Springfield area for a six-month cohort-based program which will meet between September 2023 and March 2024.

We believe that in order to challenge and change injustice in our society, we must build political power and organization in the communities directly impacted by those injustices. The goal of the fellowship is to help tenants learn valuable skills and leverage collective power through building and strengthening the city wide tenant union and movement for housing justice. 

About the Fellowship Program

Fellows will participate in eight trainings over six months on the politics of housing in Springfield and how to organize/strengthen a tenant union. They will work with their neighbors to bring tenants together to address housing issues and complete outreach activities including distributing flyers, one-to-one meetings, canvassing, community meetings, tabling events, text and phone banking. Through immersion in a community of peers committed to building equity, fellows will develop skills such as effective communication with peers and decision-makers, identify issues and solutions in their buildings and neighborhoods and build capacity to organize tenant power in their communities. Working with Springfield Tenants Unite, the cohort will organize events that bring tenants together to build a city-wide tenant organization.

This program will require a time commitment of around 2-5 hours/week. Fellows will be supported by a small stipend while participating in the fellowship (a maximum of $1100 over the course period, dependent on continued participation and meeting of milestones). We hope that Fellows will remain involved with Springfield Tenants Unite after completion of the Fellowship.

Over the six month program, we will cover:

  • Community organizing and the history of organizing in Missouri
  • Housing and civics 101
  • Exploration of our work in challenging systems of oppression (racism, economic injustice, etc)
  • Nuts and bolts of organizing
  • Conflict resolution
  • Campaign planning and issue cutting
  • Running effective meetings
  • Effective and strategic communications

The Housing Justice Fellowship is designed to allow rising leaders and organizers to develop skills and strategies that will allow them to develop their own organizing projects. The fellowship culminates with presentations on strategic plans and actions for these projects. In addition, fellows who participate in the program will create a new community of fellow organizers, who will have access to fellowship-specific trainings following the fellowship period.

It is expected that fellows will prioritize attendance at every session. They will be held primarily on weekends, with occasional meetings after work hours.

If you have any questions, please contact Vee Sanchez at [email protected].

Application Timeline

Application Due: August 18
Interviews Scheduled: August 21 – September 2
Inform Applicants of decisions: September 6
Program Starts: September 16
Program Ends: March 16

Program Schedule

Session times are TBD, but tentatively planned for mid-morning. The first and last sessions will be longer (up to five hours), while the remainder of the sessions should be 1-3 hours.

Saturday, September 16th (In-Person)
Saturday, October 7th
Saturday, November 4th
Saturday, December 2nd
Saturday, January 6th
Saturday, January 27th
Saturday, February 17th
Saturday, March 16th (In-Person)

Our first cohort has begun! Watch this page for updates, or information on when applications for our next cohort have opened.