THRIVE fellowship offers new opportunities to young African American men in Louisville

July 27, 2018

Young African American men who are committed to self-improvement and building new skills will have the opportunity to prepare for careers in public service through the THRIVE Fellowship, a new program being offered through the Louisville Metro Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.

The THRIVE Fellowship is a privately funded community leadership/civic engagement initiative designed in partnership with Cities United, an organization created by mayors across the U.S. to stop the loss of life due to violence. It is funded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, a private foundation that awards grants to educational and social justice initiatives in communities throughout North Carolina, New York, Florida, Kentucky, and beyond.

“This is another example of our city developing compassionate public safety initiatives that support individuals in achieving their full human potential,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “The THRIVE Fellowship will unleash the capacity and ability of these young men to become the next generation of leaders.”

THRIVE Fellowships will be offered to men between the ages of 22 and 26 with misdemeanor convictions resulting from current or previous involvement with the criminal justice system. The Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods is leading the program in cooperation with partners such as New Legacy, HEAT Time, the Louisville Urban League, and 15,000 Degrees.

“No one should be forever defined by their worst mistake,” said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, director of the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods. “Great things can happen when we create space for leadership, civic engagement, and the desire for public service to flourish.”

Up to 30 THRIVE Fellows will be selected over the next three years. Beginning in September, the first group will start a two-year training and development program. Training topics include civic engagement, leadership development, case management, and workforce training. Fellows will follow a 32-hour schedule, Monday through Friday. Each fellow will receive a stipend to cover housing, food, clothing, daily living expenses, and education/training expenses.

“These fellows will transform the narrative around justice-involved people and help to eliminate harmful stereotypes that hold back far too many,” Abdur-Rahman said.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m., Friday, August 24, 2018.

Applications are available online at https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4470557/Civic-Engagement-Fellowship-Appli..., or by calling the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods at (502) 381-9671. Hard copy applications must either be mailed or hand-delivered to Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, 517 Court Place, Louisville, KY, 40202.

Downloaded applications can be electronically submitted to Amber Burns-Jones, THRIVE Fellowship Coordinator, at Amber.Burns@louisvilleky.gov. Contact Burns-Jones at 502-381-9671