Environmental Justice Fellowship


The mission of the Environmental Justice Fellowship at Whittier College centers social and racial justice and diverse peoples’ cultural relationships and understandings with land, ecologies, and the environment.

Fellows further our understanding of the historical and historically rooted contemporary ways of being one with nature against environmental colonialism and racism. They decolonize mainstream understandings of environmentalism and focus their work on the effects of the global climate emergency and racist environmental policies that are disproportionately felt and lived by marginalized peoples. The Environmental Justice Fellowship empowers students to participate in a project or experience that will allow them to seek meaningful and effective redress for environmental harms that disproportionately impact indigenous peoples and low-income and communities of color around the globe. As part of the fellowship experience, fellows should also develop skills, knowledge, and purpose and seek to create impactful and reciprocal partnerships with the geographic and cultural communities in which Whittier College exists.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a first-year, sophomore and junior class standing.
  • Must have good academic standing.

Selection Criteria

  • How well the proposed project or experience aligns with the mission of the Environmental Justice Fellowship.
  • The feasibility of successfully completing the proposed project or experience within the proposed timeframe.
  • How well the proposed project or experience aligns with the student’s academic and/or career goals.

Program Benefits

The value of awards will be determined by a faculty committee of the Environmental Justice Fellowship. The distribution of the fellowship award funds will be as follows:

  • $4,000 stipend or paid internship for each fellow
  • $500 stipend each faculty mentor

Applying to the Program

Fall Semester Cycle: The application is due on the first Friday of November.

Spring Semester Cycle: The application is due on the first Friday in April.

Use this guide to help you gather your application documents. Request these items two weeks prior to the deadline.

A complete application consists of:

  • Unofficial academic transcripts (a PDF of your degreeworks)
  • Current semester Course Progress Report for each 3-4 credit course you are enrolled in.
  • Signed Student Contract
  • Signed Project Mentor Contract
  • Letter of recommendation from a faculty member that will serve as our project mentor for this fellowship.
  • Contact Information for an outside recommender: a faculty member that is not within your major.
  • A 500-word essay explaining how you became interested in the project, why you want this fellowship opportunity, how you will benefit from the fellowship both personally and professionally, and what personal qualities (skills, attributes, and/or abilities) you possess that will ensure a successful fellowship experience. 
  • A 1000-word essay indicating the primary objective of your project, discuss why is it important, explain the methodology(ies)/ approach(es) that will be used to accomplish your objective, present a timeline for the project during the fellowship period, and identify the end result(s) of your project (e.g., a public presentation at URSCA or other conference, a paper, a report, art work, play, etc.). 
  • Selected applicants may be interviewed.
  • Research projects involving human subjects must submit applications to the Whittier College Institutional Review Board/Human Subjects Protection Committee