Change the Narrative Fellowship Program

In 2020, WOMEN’S WAY received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Voices for Economic Opportunity Challenge to design, implement, and test the Change the Narrative Fellowship Program. The Program seeks to change the predominant narratives of women and poverty by using a women-led, bottom-up, intersectional approach that focuses on the voices and stories of diverse women with lived experiences of economic insecurity.

The fellowship trains and empowers women with the lived experience of economic insecurity to share their personal stories through professional-level audio, visual, and print. The purpose of the program is to generate awareness of racial and gender inequities in economic opportunity and spur actions among the public and private sectors that improve economic security in the Philadelphia region. Ultimately, fellows’ stories will be widely promoted and easily accessible through partner organizations, and fellows will convene with journalists, policymakers, and philanthropists to identify actions to improve the economic security of women and their families.

Fellowship Goals:

By the end of the Fellowship Program, the fellows will:

  • Demonstrate increased confidence and knowledge about engaging, speaking up, and sharing their stories with media, funders, and policymakers.
  • Demonstrate increased understanding of how to use a narrative change framework to effect social change in their communities and/or organizations.
  • Establish new relationships with, and opportunities to influence, representatives from media, philanthropy, and government.
  • Have more opportunities to accelerate their leadership capabilities by being part of a peer support network.
Key Fellowship Components:

The 6-month Fellowship program includes:

  • A series of storytelling workshops
  • Additional workshops on narrative change, drivers of the gender wealth gap, advocacy and community organizing, communication skills/public speaking, and interacting with media, funders and policymakers
  • One-year membership to Philly Cam. Learn more here.
  • Opportunities to network with media, funders, and policymakers;
  • Optional process groups

Third Cohort – Beginning January 2023

The third fellowship cohort will be held January – August 2023 during which ten new fellows will complete the Change the Narrative Fellowship Program. This year’s fellows were all selected from Community College of Philadelphia, in partnership with CCP’S Women’s Outreach and Advocacy Center.

***A $100,000 grant from HFGF Foundation enabled us to conduct the Fellowship Program for a third cohort of fellows.

 

Second Cohort- Completed in August 2022

The second fellowship cohort was held in January – August 2022 during which ten women completed the program. The fellows from this cohort were selected through PHA’s Family Self Sufficiency Program run in partnership with Compass Working Capital. Learn more about each Fellow here.

Stories of Lived Experience Experts: Listen and Learn

Akirah

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Val-sharee

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Alisha

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Erica

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Celeana

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Christina

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Carolyn

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Donna

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Jennifer

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Tamara

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***A $50,000 grant from HFGF Foundation enabled us to conduct the Fellowship Program for the second cohort of fellows. In addition, Compass Working Capital invested $25,000 into the Fellowship Program for the second cohort of fellows.

 

First Cohort- Completed in June 2021

The first fellowship cohort was in January – June 2021 during which eight women completed the program. Learn more about the fellows. Read and watch the stories of the fellows in our first cohort below! DOWNLOAD BIOS HERE.

Stories of Lived Experience Experts: Listen and Learn

Tracey

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Taina

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Nicole

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Marina

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Kelley

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Kate

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Barbie

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Devon

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***The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge, awarded WOMEN’S WAY a $100,000 grant to design and implement the Fellowship Program.

Looking to the Future

GWI will conduct a fellowship program every year for women who live in Philadelphia and the 4 surrounding counties, and in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester Counties of Southern New Jersey. GWI will also build the capacity of organizations located outside the Greater Philadelphia region to implement the Fellowship Program for women in their communities. By 2026, 210 women will successfully complete the Fellowship and an online repository of 210 stories will be established and easily accessible for distribution.

Third Cohort: January 2023 – August 2023

The application process is closed, and the Fellowship Program will start in January 2023.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND APPLICATION PROCESS, PLEASE CONTACT KELLY SHEARD, the Director of the Gender Wealth Insititute AT KSHEARD@WOMENSWAY.ORG