Source: Open Society Foundations

New York, Sept. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Open Society Foundations is pleased to announce the 2019 class of Soros Equality Fellows, a diverse group of artists, advocates, lawyers, and organizers whose work inspires advances in racial justice and equality in the United States.

Founded in 2017, the Soros Equality Fellowship program supports innovators and risk-takers striving to create and develop new ways of tackling the systemic causes and symptoms of racial disparity and discrimination. Beyond nurturing their specific projects, the program provides leadership development training, networking, and other professional support aimed at creating new ideas in the racial justice movement.

This year’s class features 18 fellows from different communities and regions of the country, who bring a wide range of tools to bear on the program’s core mission. Among the projects they will be working on: launching an initiative to promote equity for black communities in the emerging cannabis economy and redress wounds inflicted by the drug war; creating new media platforms for trans people of color to tell their stories and empower their community; building the capacity of Asian American organizations to push back against conservative narratives and injustice; curating a multimedia reenactment of the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history; and defending California’s Native Americans’ battle against false representations of their communities.

“At a critical time in our history when hatred, racial discrimination, and disenfranchisement of whole communities are on the rise in America, the Soros Equality Fellows represent a new generation of ideas and strategies to strengthen our multiracial democracy and build justice for all,” said Alvin Starks, director of the Open Society-U.S. Equality team at the Open Society Foundations. “These fellows bring boundless creativity, intelligence, and drive to their work, provoking us to confront what is happening in this country today, and lighting up the path to a better tomorrow.”

The 2019 Soros Equality Fellows will each receive stipends of $100,000 over the course of 18 months.

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer will develop Umi’s Archive, a multimedia project that seeks to recover untold everyday histories of Black Muslims in the United States that can inspire, empower, and provide tools to achieve racial justice today.