The Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship (TSJF) is a unique one-year paid career and community development opportunity for emerging nonprofit and social justice leaders interested in becoming resilient agents of change in their communities. Through the Tzedek program, fellows explore how discrimination based on class, gender, sexuality, faith traditions, and ethnicity intersect in our lives, community, and society while developing the skills needed to become strong and effective community activists, allies, and leaders.
Visit the Tzedek Fellowship website to learn more.
Current Fellow at the Center for Diversity Education
Allison Alcéna is a recent Asheville transplant, raised in Spring Valley, New York. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature and Black Studies from Swarthmore College. During her time in college, Allison researched how children’s literature can be a catalyst for social change and how literature has historically served as a form of resistance in Black communities. As a college student, Allison gravitated towards campus leadership positions where identity remained at the forefront of conversation and such opportunities proved invaluable for contextualizing her existence as well as gaining insight on the many manifestations marginalization has on a college campus.
Through her social justice work, Allison seeks to center the voices of marginalized people, particularly youth of color. As the Tzedek Fellow for the University of North Carolina at Asheville Center for Diversity Education, she will supervise a team of college students through their social justice endeavors both on campus and in the greater Asheville community. She hopes to explore the intersections between social justice and art, as well as encourage college students to pursue social justice organizing professionally.
About the Fellowship
Learning Initiatives and Focal Areas
With an emphasis on LGBTQ Rights and combatting Anti-Semitism, TSJF creates a space for fellows to actively explore how discrimination based on class, gender, sexuality, faith traditions, and ethnicity intersect. We look through an intersectional lens at our own lives, our community, and our society. During Orientation, each fellow explores and identifies their overall goals for the year ahead and for their overall long-term career path. Fellows then work with staff and community mentors to create individualized action plans for developing the skills they need to accomplish their goals and become strong and effective community activists, allies, and leaders.
Training and Development Strategy
The TSJF model of training focuses primarily on four interwoven avenues of learning:
• Fellowship-Based Learning and Co-Learning
• Individualized Instruction and Guidance from Local and National Thought-Leaders and Activists
• Applied Learning at Local Organizations
• Independent Study and Practice
Partner Organizations and 2017-2018 Cohort
Education + Action = Change
Effective community organizing and social justice work is strongly rooted in being proactive, taking action, and encouraging those around you to educate themselves and their communities. After education and investigation, communities will be equipped to take powerful actions of their own to inspire and implement change.
Fellows spend 75% of their time practicing putting their newly honed skills as into action as full-time professional employees at their partner (host) organization. TSJF is proud to partner with a group of the most active nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in the Greater Asheville area. TSJF partner organizations are diverse in their size, operational methods and workstyles, clients and audiences, and the injustices that inspire them to act. Through participation in TSJF, organization staff and fellows have opportunities to build relationships with community leaders, educate each other about specific community issues, and build strong, action-based bridges at the points where they intersect.
In addition to The Center for Diversity Education, the Tzedek 2016-2017 cohort includes the following host organizations: