The Athena Advocacy Institute
At the Athena Center for Leadership, we dream of a better future and we build it, in community, by taking on the intractable challenges of the present.
The Athena Advocacy Institute is a summer program for students interested in exploring advocacy, in all its forms, as a tool for tackling our most difficult challenges.
Participants intern at nonprofits in New York City, or launch advocacy campaigns while based in New York City. (In summer 2021, participants may be located anywhere in the United States.) Weekly in-person gatherings provide space for discussion of their summer work, intimate conversations with experts, and training. By the end of the ten weeks of the program, participants have a more expansive understanding of what effective advocacy looks like and how they can advocate for change in the areas of importance to them.
Fellows receive a stipend of $4,000, paid in installments throughout the summer.
Applications for Summer 2022 will be available in early Spring 2022.
The Athena Advocacy Institute is one of multiple communities of practice we offer at Athena. Communities of practice are groups of people who meet regularly to get better at something — here, changemaking. Read more about the other Communities of Practice we offer here.
The Athena Advocacy Institute is funded by the Francene Rodgers ’67 Athena Fellowship Fund, the Marina Weitzner Lewin ’80 Internship Fund, the Carol Krongold Silberstein ’69 and Alan Silberstein Public Service and Internship Fund, and The Daphne Fodor Philipson ’69 Fund for Women's Leadership.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Athena Advocacy Institute
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 through Friday, August 6, 2021
All Barnard students in good academic standing and returning to Barnard in Fall 2021.
We will select one Silberstein Fellow and ten students who will work at nonprofit organizations.
A non-comprehensive list: Children’s Defense Fund, ACLU-NJ, Tikva Children’s Home, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Children’s Law Center, the Cooke Institute, Global Fund for Women, PEN America's Artists at Risk Connection, Safe Passage Project, VoteRunLead, MV Connect, Romero Institute, and Dance/NYC through DIAL (Diversity in Arts Leadership).
You do not need to have found and secured an internship before you apply; however, you do need to have a confirmed internship before June 1, 2021 the first day of the program. We can help guide you in this process — and of course, Beyond Barnard is always available to assist as well. Reach out as early as you can.
This fellowship is intended to support students in unpaid internships; applicants with unpaid internships will receive priority in selection.
If you are applying to other Barnard fellowships or programs, please note that Fellows may not combine the stipend with any other Barnard paid fellowship, internship program/monies/award granted to them for summer 2021.
Fellows are expected to take on full time internships. Internships should be minimum 30 hrs per week.
In addition to their internships, Fellows are expected to attend weekly gatherings with peers, Athena staff, and guest speakers. This summer, these gatherings will take place virtually, to accommodate Fellows in multiple locations.
Advocacy is all about championing a cause you care about with the goal of creating meaningful, lasting change. In this program, you’ll explore the myriad ways in which individuals and organizations are advocating for change, while developing the practical skills that effective advocacy requires. You’ll leave this program with a refined sense of purpose and direction and an expanded understanding of advocacy in action.
We’ll talk about your summer work as a group and provide a space for you to share and learn from one another. Through trainings, activities, and conversations with guest speakers, together, we’ll explore what effective advocacy looks like and where and how you can engage in it. Towards the end of the program, we’ll help you plan out and practice how you talk about your summer experience on your resume and in interviews.