Dorothy Bolden Fellowship

The Dorothy Bolden Fellowship is a new program of the National Domestic Workers Alliance inspired by Ai-jen Poo’s MacArthur Foundation Fellowship award in 2014. The MacArthur Fellowship award was a tremendous honor, recognizing the important role domestic workers and caregivers play in shaping the growing movement for equity and democracy in America. As our nation’s demographics and economy continue to change, public policy gains that improve life for domestic workers, women of color and low-wage workers will be increasingly important. The funds from the MacArthur Fellowship will be used to to support the continuous development of new leaders among domestic workers and caregivers for our movement to strengthen this work and its impact.

We believe that domestic workers and caregivers will be critical voices in care policy advocacy, opening up opportunity for women, for their own families and the families they support through their care. This fellowship seeks to nurture the largely untapped leadership potential for leadership among women working in the care sector, and the unique impact of that leadership.

The Domestic Workers Fellowship will cultivate a cohort of national worker leaders to meet the great challenges ahead in the changing care economy. By developing the strategic capacity of women most directly impacted by many of our social and economic policies to lead policy campaigns, we are supporting a democratized model of leadership that will result in bolder solutions and the creation of a new, more inclusive legacy of opportunity for the 21st century.

Fellowship Program

NDWA will offer fellowship opportunities to seasoned domestic worker leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to movement building and organization building, and whose leadership has the potential to achieve a long-term impact in our movement.

The Fellowship will be a deep investment in the fellows over a period of 1-2 years. An overwhelming majority of our leaders are employed as full-time domestic workers and organize on a part-time, volunteer basis. The Domestic Workers Fellowship will allow domestic worker leaders to focus full time on organizing and movement building.

During their fellowship, Fellows will spend time with NDWA’s national office, as well as with local affiliates, to provide a bridge between national and local campaigns and initiatives. The Fellows will also participate in an international exchange with the International Domestic Worker Federation. The Fellows will be fully integrated into NDWA’s staff and will attend leadership and staff meetings. Fellowships will be for one year, with the possibility of a one-year extension. There will be two types of Fellowships:

Advocacy Fellowships

Advocacy Fellows will learn to:

  • Analyze the landscape of state and national organizations and decision-makers.
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders and partners.
  • Advocate for a suite of policies that support long-term care for the aging, care workforce development, domestic workers bill of rights, women’s economic opportunity, immigration reform, and racial equity.
  • Plan and execute campaign tactics that engage key constituents and raise visibility for the issues.

Fellows will contribute to:

  • Building the capacity of NDWA and our affiliates to develop strategic campaigns.
  • Delivering important wins that improve the lives of our sector and base.
  • Developing and strengthening partnerships with key organizations, stakeholders, and decision-makers.

Organizing Fellowships

Organizing Fellows will learn to:

  • Build organization through strategic campaigns and other organizing projects.
  • Lead outreach, education and organizing drives to grow the base of domestic and/or direct care workers.
  • Plan and execute creative tactics to identify, recruit and maintain domestic and/or direct care workers in our organization and movement.

Fellows will contribute to:

  • Supporting local organizing at critical moments in a campaign, in particular our state and municipal Bill of Rights campaigns, by being part of a mobile organizer team.
  • Building a base of domestic and/or direct care workers in key localities and/or communities.

In addition to working alongside NDWA and affiliate staff, the Fellows will receive leadership training and coaching, including participating in our SOL Leadership Development Cohort. They will also be assigned two mentors: one from within the NDWA staff based on their primary focus in the work and the other external to the organization based on the Fellow’s interests.

Qualifications for Fellows

  • Membership in a NDWA affiliate organization for at least three years, and at least 5 years of experience organizing domestic workers and/or direct care workers
  • Commitment to growing the NDWA and the broader social justice movement
  • Understanding of base-building, organizing and campaign strategy
  • Understanding of how race, gender, class and immigration status impact domestic workers and the domestic work industry
  • Commitment to apply learning and experience to growing our movement in the long-term.
  • Ability to travel regularly (average one trip per month).
  • Familiarity and comfort with computer programs, including Google applications and MS word.

NDWA affiliates will nominate candidates. Eligible candidates will then we invited to submit an application. A Fellowship Committee composed of NDWA Board and staff members will select Fellows. See timeline for more details on the stages of this process.