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Program Goal

To strengthen and build social justice movements by developing activists’ skills and capacities in the Hudson Valley. The Foundation hopes to identify and support the work of people from the grassroots (local movement building) and/or frontline communities (those hardest hit by injustice and inequality). This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who self-define as low-income, people of color, indigenous, immigrant, women, trans, gender nonconforming, LGBT and/or queer, youth, working class and disabled.


The Elias Foundation’s Activist Fellowship Program is an outgrowth of its past support for leadership development using an informal advisory process with nominators. These relationships developed through the Foundation’s 20 years of grantmaking work supporting local projects and organizations. At the end of 2018, Elias convened an Advisory Committee to develop a structured and impactful Fellowship program that follows the guidelines listed below.