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Emerson Fellowship: Transforming Dialogue into Action

2018-2019 Emerson Fellowship

2019-2020 Emerson Fellowship application closed, but you can read below for program information

About the Fellowship

The Emerson Fellowship: Transforming Dialogue into Action is a program of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity Education, on which the Haas Center for Public Service provides partnership and support. The program prepares Stanford students to be ethical and effective civic leaders equipped to tackle social injustice through the avenue of public service. It is open to all sophomore students, regardless of  their social justice understanding and/or public service experience.

What is the Emerson Fellowship?

  • Cohort-based program, with residential cohorts in Branner,
    Ng, and Toyon; a Fraternity and Sorority Life cohort; and
    campus-wide cohorts
  •  Intergroup Dialogue program
  •  Two fall quarter retreats
  • Weekly meetings in winter
  •  Bi-weekly meetings in spring
  • Two-unit/quarter course
  • Opportunity to visit the Equal Justice Initiative Museum
    and Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama

What is the fellowship focused on?

  • Community-building
  • Effectively engaging across difference     
  • Learning about the root causes of social injustice
  • Forming social action skills to address issues of public concern
  • Deepening the quality of ongoing public service
  • Connecting social action to public service

Program Components


The fellowship is broken up into residential and non-residential based cohorts, which provides space for community-building, intentional reflection, and dialogue throughout the year. These cohorts are based in:

  • Participating residence halls
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life (must be a current, affiliated member of an organization)
  • Campus-wide opportunities

Immersive Retreat

The fellowship begins in fall quarter with two mandatory half-day retreats on October 11th and November 15th. This immersive experience offers Fellows a chance to kick-off the year with a deep-dive into community-building and self-reflection, preparing them to engage in dialogue throughout their experience.

Weekly Engagement & Community-Building

Fellows meet on a weekly basis in their cohorts to explore course content and build community. Through dialogue, reflection, readings, and experiential activities, each cohort explores social issues and develops the critical thinking and leadership skills necessary to address them.

Educational Sessions

The Educational Sessions are designed to provide fellows opportunities to broaden their understanding of course content by hearing from staff, faculty, and community leaders to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke conversations that matter.

Dialogue-to-Action Project (DAP)

Throughout the year, students will have the opportunity to expand their understanding of social issues through a Dialogue-to-Action Project (DAP). The project builds on course content through practical applications, experiential learning opportunities, and engagement with community leaders with a goal of taking the theoretical understanding fellows have developed and putting it into practice.

How to Apply


We seek fellows dedicated to a year-long experience of engaging in dialogue with their peers while exploring pathways to take action. Applicants should have a strong and/or demonstrated interest and commitment to being part of an intentional, challenging, and supportive community. 

Cohort Leads

Cohort Leads should be willing to make a yearlong commitment to community-building, social justice, and dialogue. A Cohort Lead does not have to be an expert on the topic of discussion, but must be well prepared to guide the group process. Cohort Leads will be working closely with the professional staff of the program, who will provide guidance and support throughout the year. See the job description for more details. Applications are recieved on a rolling bases until all positions are filled

Contact Information

For more information, contact Gabriela Nagle Alverio at, Program Director of the Emerson Fellowship.