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Emerson Fellowship: Transforming Dialogue into Action

2018-2019 Emerson Fellowship

The Emerson Fellowship: Transforming Dialogue into Action is a yearlong, 2-unit per quarter program that utilizes intergroup dialogue to explore and understand the systems of oppression that affect the communities that students seek to support, and promotes public service as a pathway to activism that ultimately prepares students for a lifetime role of engaged citizenship. It is open to participants at all levels of their social justice understanding and public service experience, with an emphasis on Sophomore students.

This program focuses on:

  • Community-building
  • Exploring the root causes of social inequities
  • Effectively engaging across difference
  • Deepening the quality of ongoing public service
  • Exploring different methods for social change

Program Components


The fellowship consists of five (5) cohorts based in residence halls and other areas of campus. Cohorts provide participants space for intentional reflection, learning, dialogue, and discourse throughout the year.

Immersive Retreat

The fellowship begins with a mandatory retreat on the 3rd weekend of the fall quarter. This immersive experience offers Fellows a chance to deep-dive into community building and self-reflection, preparing participants to engage in dialogue throughout the year.

Bi-Meetings (day & time TBD each quarter)

Cohort Meetings:

A key learning tool for this program is the participation in bi-weekly (every other week), cohort meetings. This space allows fellows to dig deeper into the thematic content of the course.

Educational Sessions:

Twice per quarter, the full fellowship are required to attend Educational Sessions, which are opportunities to hear from staff, faculty, and/or community leaders working on a variety of issues pertaining to social change.

Discussion Board

The discussion board submissions provides space for fellows to continue dialogue outside of the classroom and engage with one another when not meeting as a cohort.

Dialogue to Action Project (DAP)

The Dialogue-to-Action promotes activism as a pathway to public service. It is designed to introduce Emerson Fellows to the process of tackling social issues by creating the steps to begin addressing them. Beginning in winter quarter and lasting until the end of the academic year, this project puts into practice skills learned throughout fellowship, preparing students to make a service commitment through a program or organization as part of their Stanford experience. 

How to Apply


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

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. Apply by February 7

Contact Information

For more information, contact Heather Browning, Program Director of the Emerson Fellowship.