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Graduate Fellows Program 2019

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
87 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 30, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

Graduate Fellows Program 2019

Stretch goal = $20,000!

We made our original goal and have set our sights higher! $20,000 would mean $2,000 for each Fellow.

A $60 donation will pay for one interview to be transcribed or one week of transportation!


Changing the world is hard work! The Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) prepares UCB graduate students to be social change scholars who do first-rate, relevant and impactful research on the most important issues in the U.S. today: immigration, education, gentrification, health, and more. The Graduate Fellows are a diverse group of social change scholar activists who need peer and financial support to finish their interdisciplinary dissertations. Every dollar donated is used to provide stipends to students, freeing them from other paid work so they can complete their degrees. All other costs of the training are provided in kind by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. Each year, 10 or more students participate in the program. With your support, the ’19-20 Fellows can complete their dissertations, share their knowledge with the world, and contribute to making change.



For more than four decades, the Graduate Fellows Program has trained and mentored Berkeley doctoral students engaged in research on social inequality and social change. The Graduate Fellows Program (GFP) has a proven track record of diversifying the academy, with over 150 alumni of color, most of whom have become faculty members. Drawing on life experiences that are not often represented among professors -- for example, as teen mothers, refugees, gang members, first generation college students -- our alums conduct cutting-edge research on topics that matter to their communities and the world. Due to budget cuts, your funding is essential to build on this legacy.



The GFP provides two years of funding, training, professional development, and hands-on mentorship. Fellows receive a monthly stipend and attend weekly training seminars designed to help them advance their research, complete their degrees, and successfully navigate the academic job market. Students from a range of social science disciplines and professional schools, including Education, Law, Public Health, Public Policy, and Social Welfare, have successfully participated in the program. We want to keep the training and peer support going this year and in years to come. Your gift will make this possible.



The GFP has four key features that make it unique and its contributions distinctive on the Berkeley campus and nationally:

  1. The program offers a relatively long-term, sequenced and closely monitored form of training and mentorship that encourages the development of cross-disciplinary theoretical frameworks, research skills, and a broader perspective on the role of social science in the study of social change.
  2. The program includes specific mechanisms and both group and one-on-one support designed to foster publications and prepare students for the academic job market.
  3. The cohort model of the GFP nurtures a safe space and supportive community of scholars that serves to lessen the isolation felt by students from underrepresented groups.
  4. The program is designed for students in the middle period of their graduate study, when they typically receive the least amount of support (financial and professional) and are most vulnerable to dropping out.  


We are relying on the support of the community, and you are part of our community! Please give today to support the social change scholars of tomorrow.

"Breaking Barriers, Building Community" was a conference held in 2014 to celebrate 35 years of our graduate student training. Video of the conference is available here.

Jere Takahishi, alum; Troy Duster, founder; Janice Tanigawa, retired office manager; Bob Yamashita, alum

Our way
of Thanking You


Shout-out on social media

We'll show you some love on the ISSI facebook and twitter accounts.

6 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2019


Thank you -- web and paper

We'll acknowledge you on the ISSI website and send you a hand-written thank you note (also includes social media shout-out)

21 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2019


Event Acknowledgement

We''ll acknowledge you at one of the spring Graduate Fellows Program events (also includes all perks at lower levels).

4 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2019


Hand-painted thank you card

We'll mail you a hand-written thank you on a card painted by one of our Graduate Fellows (Louise Ly). (Also includes all perks at lower levels).

7 of 10 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2019


Video Chat with Grad Fellow

Video chat with one current first year Graduate Fellow (bios here: + all perks at lower levels.

1 of 7 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2019


Shout-out at Kulcha Latino

Shout-out at the annual Kulcha Latino anniversary concert in the East Bay (sometime in July) -- by resident DJ ILL Equipt aka former Grad Fellow José Arias (includes all perks at $100 level and below)

1 of 1 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: July 2019


Video chat with Director

Video chat with ISSI Director Martín Sánchez-Jankowski + all perks at $100 level and below.

0 of 1 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2019


Duster Room Plaque Listing

Listing on plaque in Duster Room at ISSI + all perks at $100 level and below

9 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2019


Cooking with Minkus

Cooking class with David Minkus in Berkeley (date and time TBD) + listing on plaque in Duster Room and all perks at $100 level and below

2 of 5 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: August 2019


Mushroom Foraging with Minkus

Mushroom foraging walk with David Minkus in Elk, CA (near Mendocino; date and time TBD -- mushroom season is October through March) + listing on plaque in Duster Room and all perks at $100 level and below.

2 of 5 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2020


Duster Room Chair Dedication

Your name on one of the chairs in Duster Room (can also be in memory of or in honor of someone) + listing on plaque in Duster Room and all perks at $100 level and below

2 of 9 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2019
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