Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this fellowship is twofold;

One, to creatively intervene and hold accountable “progressive” politicians who are not meeting the stakes of the moment or being accountable to those most impacted, and

Two, to build a coalition within and beyond this fellowship to leverage California’s reputation as a leader to enable communities from the margins to define what climate justice looks like.

  • Rooted in place: As Californians we hold the stories of our lived experiences and those of our communities that share this identity to build statewide people power.
  • Commitment to depth: This movement moment is a unique opportunity to strengthen relationships and capacity to raise the bar for climate justice not only for the most impacted in California, but in solidarity with other places beyond our state
  • Intersectional storytelling: We come to the work of this fellowship to share and build this story with other movement organizations and efforts within and beyond us, specifically centering coalition building for collective liberation
  • Climate justice: In our story, taking action to care for the social, economic, and ecological climate is one in the same. This means recognizing the differentiated oppression of indigenous, low-income, and of color communities and centering those voices to uplift solutions that address the root causes of this crisis.

We are looking to uplift California youth organizers working in and with their communities on issues of climate, health, economics, food, land, water, energy justice, and others. If you are a young person age 18-28, working collaboratively and creatively to either halt injustice or build solutions in your community, you may find use for this Fellowship. We are particularly looking to support activists working on immediate issues whose involvement can support their existing efforts. Strong preference will be given to indigenous, queer, migrant, voices of color and other marginalized identities fighting for justice that may not usually have the opportunity for an experience like this.

The Fellowship will be offered as a gift to all Fellows, with all expenses paid (including travel, housing, food and training). As fellow grassroots organizers, we deeply believe that our social change work should be justly compensated in recognition of our physical and emotional labor, and are working to secure a small stipend to each fellow to support continued organizing for climate justice (in the range of $500-$1000).

The California Allegory Fellows are 8 youth organizers from communities around California, coming together in 2018 to take creative action and mobilization at the Global Climate Action Summit (see below) and collectively help shape the design process of the upcoming Beehive Design Collective California poster.

The Fellows will be receiving:

  • Two 4-day training retreats, one 10-day action retreat, and one 4-day debrief retreat, filled with experiential learning and trainings on arts activism, storytelling, creative expression, media work, action planning, storytelling, and sustainable activism.
  • Peer mentorship through collaboration with experienced youth climate justice organizers, who will support you for the duration of the Fellowship.
  • One-on-one coaching sessions to support you in developing holistic goals and next steps for your life and work.
  • A small stipend to support your participation and ongoing activism. All expenses are covered.

Applicants must be living in California currently, and between the ages of 18 and 28. You do not need to be a US citizen or permanent resident. If you don’t fit these criteria and feel called to apply, just reach out to us.

The goals of the California Allegory Youth Fellowship are:

  • To collaboratively take part in the Beehive poster process for the upcoming California Allegory project
  • To harness California’s reputation as a global leader on climate to go further without corporate intrusion/greenwashing, honoring communities in the state that do not feel this leadership
  • To draw connections between local, national, and global campaigns focusing on climate change, through active and relational solidarity throughout 2018 and at the summit

The Global Climate Action Summit is a conference being convened by Governor Jerry Brown, Patricia Espinosa (the executive secretary of the United Nations Frameworks Convention on Climate Change), former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Anand Mahindra of the Mahindra Group. You can read more about it here.

All retreats will be held at Canticle Farm in Oakland, CA.

  • First convening: arriving Wednesday June 27, departing Monday July 2
  • Second convening: arriving Wednesday August 1, departing Monday August 6
  • Global Climate Action Summit: arriving Wednesday September 5, departing Sunday September 15
  • Debrief retreat: arriving Wednesday October 17, departing Monday October 22

In between gatherings we will also have video calls every other week, commit to a sustained arts and writing practice and potentially each organize an event in our own community. You will want to set aside 3-5 hours per week for these Fellowship activities.

Allegory (n): a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

The California Allegory draws its name in tribute from Diego Rivera’s “The Allegory of California” mural. The image depicts California as a giant goddess offering a harvest of crops in one hand, while the other unveils mining beneath her as oil refineries loom on the horizon. This speaks to the real-time issues of the state that are deeply interwoven with the nation- whether it is our drought-exacerbated food production or our continued extraction for energy, what solutions or struggles happen here are critical.

As California is poised to play a significant cultural role in the landscape of our movements, the vision of this fellowship connected to the concept of ‘allegory’; what stories do we want to tell in this changing world that desperately needs collective change? What will people power do to make new stories, ones that embody liberation and justice, real?

This fellowship hopes to play a role in articulating these stories, within and beyond its duration.

This is a grassroots effort put on by youth organizers for other youth organizers. We are interested in building a movement of mutual aid and solidarity, which democratizes access to skills, education and political power. If this fellowship may help you on your educational journey in some way, perhaps as an independent study, we’re happy to collaborate with you to try and make that happen. This project stems from the desire to intervene at a key point for the climate movement – this is not your ordinary fellowship, let alone a prestigious one. Our core goals for this experience together are to grow, learn, build, and storytell together in service of a future worth fighting for.

SustainUS is a youth-led organization advancing justice and sustainability by empowering young people to engage in advocacy at the domestic and international levels. Through convening delegations of movement builders (from across the country) trained in media and mobilization skills to act at key political moments of power, we are building toward a sustainable world free from systemic injustice.

Canticle Farm is an urban farm, educational center, and intentional community experimenting at the intersection of faith-based, social justice centered and ecologically minded nonviolent activism. We see our work embodied in environmental stewardship, collective liberation and visionary life-sustaining systems away from capitalism and colonialism.

The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist arts collective dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images for use as educational and organizing tools. We work as word-to-image translators of complex global stories, shared with us through conversations with affected communities.