The 2021 call for the CUP Fellowship for Change in Design is now open!
About the Fellowship
A paid, year-long, full-time, fellowship designed to promote and support emerging designers from historically marginalized communities in gaining the skills, contacts, and experience to help them excel in their design careers.
The Fellow works at CUP full-time, collaborating on their community-engaged design projects as part of the CUP team, working as an in-house designer, and participating in mentoring opportunities.
The Fellowship is an initiative to support the development of a pipeline of talented individuals from historically marginalized communities into the design fields, and to dismantle the systemic biases that stand in the way of their advancement as leaders in these fields. We created the Fellowship as a way to leverage CUP’s unique position at the confluence of design and social justice to promote change in the design fields.
What is CUP?
The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement, in partnership with historically marginalized communities. We use design to make important public policy and social justice issues easier to understand so people impacted by them can more easily navigate and change them.
Their projects help people claim their rights, access benefits, and fight for more just policies and systems.
How does the Fellowship work?
The Fellow will be selected through a competitive, juried process and will work with CUP from July 2021 – June 2022.
The Fellow will:
- Gain professional experience while learning CUP’s methodology for creating effective and impactful design projects;
- Work in collaboration with grassroots organizations and talented designers on critical social justice issues, and learn the language and skills needed to effectively partner with these different disciplines;
- Be part of CUP’s intensive methodology for bringing community members (“end users”) directly into the design process, learning valuable skills for facilitating design conversations and incorporating feedback in meaningful ways;
- Experience valuable professional development and mentoring opportunities with CUP staff, as well as with established and up-and-coming designers in CUP’s network;
- Gain a broad range of marketable professional skills, particularly around how nonprofits work (such as fundraising, budgeting, and project management);
- Get hands-on experience with the nuts and bolts of production, particularly print production;
- Work with an amazing staff of professionals and contribute to the growth and development of an exciting, fun, and impactful organisation;
- Learn about pressing social justice issues, and how to engage with them, as a designer and an individual.
While there are some opportunities to create original design work, the role is like an in-house designer, and will primarily be working with visual content created by outside designers on CUP’s projects.
- CUP strives to be a healthy, positive, and sustainable place to work, and to provide pay and benefits that support that.
- The selected Fellow will receive a stipend in the amount of $40,000 (paid in monthly instalments).
- CUP also provides free health insurance benefits, a flexible leave policy, professional development opportunities, and a reasonable work schedule that allows our staff to have a healthy life both inside and outside of work. They are also committed to working together as a staff to better understand issues of race, equity, and justice and to continue to further their own education on how they engage with and address those issues as individuals and as an organisation.
- The Fellow will also have access to a budget of up to $500 for professional development activities (including conferences, classes, or other activities). They will also be part of professional development opportunities provided to CUP staff as a group. During the second half of the Fellowship, the Fellow will also have time to work on searching for post-Fellowship opportunities and developing their resume, cover letter, and portfolio during work hours, and to get feedback and advice from CUP staff on those materials.
- The Fellowship will also provide two sets of mentorship opportunities. The first is mentorship from the CUP staff in the methods and processes we use to achieve our mission. This takes place both through working under the guidance of experienced staff on CUP projects, and through one-on-one weekly sessions with a supervisor. The second mentorship opportunity will be through a quarterly series of one-on-one mentoring sessions with each of four prominent designers, from a variety of practices. This is an opportunity to learn more about the field, gain access to leaders in the design world, and ask questions that help you in your own career development. The Fellow will have the opportunity to help select her/his mentors. Past Fellows have met with designers like graphic designer and illustrator Bráulio Amado, Njoki Gitahi of IDEO, Jonathan Jackson & Sarah Nelson-Jackson of WeShouldDoItAll, Renda Morton of The New York Times, and illustrator Ping Zhu, among others.
- If the selected Fellow is moving from somewhere outside of New York for the position, a moving stipend of $500 is also available.
What will you do?
- The Fellow will work on a broad range of CUP projects, providing design and organizational support for our Youth Education and Community Education programs. There will be some opportunities for creating original design work, but the bulk of the role will involve providing support on projects with outside designers.
- The Fellow will be part of the CUP office, and will work 40-hours a week during the one-year Fellowship period.
The Fellow’s responsibilities include:
- Participating as a member of a project team working on programs like Making Policy Public and Public Access Design;
- Helping to facilitate community workshops using CUP tools, and training others to use them;
- Design production work for print and web using Adobe Creative Suite, including creating visuals for CUP projects, website, emails, and event invitations; assisting with other design, review, and production, as needed;
- Managing the print production process for CUP products;
- Research and general project support on CUP projects;
- Assisting with CUP communications, including email blasts, fundraising outreach, and press releases, including designing collateral materials;
- Providing general administrative and organizational support as needed.
The ideal candidate will:
- Identify as a member of community that is historically marginalized in the design professions, including but not limited to people of color; people from low-income, LGBTQ, or immigrant communities; formerly incarcerated people; and others;
- Have a background in design, particularly graphic, communication, or UI design. CUP believes this is a good position for a recent graduate from a design program. However, we recognize that individuals with potential to become great designers may come from a broader range of experiences. Therefore, we do not require a degree in a design field (or any degree at all). However, we do require evidence, in the form of a portfolio of images, of your skills and abilities as a designer, and your proficiency with design software;
- Be committed to social justice and racial equity;
- Have good communication skills;
- Be proficient with Adobe Creative Suite software, basic web applications, and Microsoft Office;
- Be friendly, self-directed, detail-oriented, and able to work in a collaborative environment with a broad range of partners.
How to Apply?
To apply, you will need to create an account on Submittable, fill in your contact information and upload the following materials:
- A cover letter saying why you are interested in the Fellowship, what you hope to get out of it, what your goals are for your career, and how you meet the Fellowship criteria
- A current resume
- A portfolio of your design work. We are looking for your skills to work on a range of visuals and with type. Please describe the context that your projects were completed in, and your role. Your portfolio will be reviewed on screen and in a print-out. Please format your work so all pages can be printed out at 8.5 x 11. (Max file size 5 MB)
- A list of three references, with contact information.
To apply, click on this link.
- Please submit all materials via Submittable by Monday, April 12 at noon, EST. If you need an extension, email Siyona Ravi at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll try our best to accommodate.
- Please note that we will NOT review applications that do not provide all requested materials. And we will not use links to access additional information that is not uploaded to Submittable (including links to web-based portfolios).
- No phone calls, please.
- CUP is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to fair and inclusive employment practices, and strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, people with disabilities, and others who may contribute to the diversification of ideas to apply.
For further information, visit their website mentioned below: