The Fellowship for Change in Design is an initiative to support the development of a pipeline of talented individuals from historically under-represented communities into the design fields, and to dismantle the systemic biases that stand in the way of their advancement as leaders in these fields. The Fellowship –– a paid, year-long, full-time, program –– is designed to promote and support individuals in gaining the skills, contacts, and experience to help them excel in their design careers.
Applications are due by Monday, March 28th at 11:59PM, EST. Click here for a full job description and details on how to apply!
The 2022 call for the CUP Fellowship for Change in Design is now open!
What is it?
A paid, year-long, full-time, fellowship designed to promote and support emerging
designers from historically marginalized communities in gaining the skills, contacts, and
experience to help them excel in their design careers.
The Fellow works at CUP full-time, from July 2022 to June 2023, collaborating on our
community-engaged design projects as part of the CUP team, working as an in-house
designer, and participating in mentorship opportunities.
The Fellowship is an initiative to support the development of skilled individuals from
historically marginalized communities into the design fields, and to dismantle the systemic
biases that stand in the way of their advancement as leaders in these fields. We created the
Fellowship to leverage CUP’s unique position at the confluence of design and social justice
to promote change in the design fields.
What is CUP?
The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses the power of
design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement, in partnership with historically
marginalized communities. We use design to make important public policy and social justice
issues easier to understand so people impacted by them can more easily navigate and
Our projects help people claim their rights, access benefits, and fight for more just policies
and systems. For more information, visit CUP at: http://welcometoCUP.org
How does the Fellowship work?
The Fellow will be selected through a competitive, juried process and will work with CUP
from July 2022 to June 2023.
The Fellow will:
! Gain professional experience while learning CUP’s methodology for creating effective
and impactful design projects
! Work in collaboration with grassroots organizations and talented designers on critical
social justice issues, and learn the language and skills needed to effectively partner with
these different disciplines
! Be part of CUP’s intensive methodology for bringing community members (“end users”)
directly into the design process, learning valuable skills for facilitating design
conversations and incorporating feedback in meaningful ways
! Experience valuable professional development and mentoring opportunities with CUP
staff, as well as with established and up-and-coming designers in CUP’s network
! Gain a broad range of marketable professional skills, particularly around how nonprofits
work (such as fundraising, budgeting, and project management)
! Get hands-on experience with the nuts and bolts of production, particularly print
! Work with an amazing staff of professionals and contribute to the growth and
development of an exciting, fun, and impactful organization
! Learn about pressing social justice issues, and how to engage with them, as a designer
and an individual
While there are some opportunities to create original design work, the role is like an in-
house designer, and will primarily be working with visual content created by outside
designers on CUP’s projects.
How much will I get paid? Are there other benefits?
CUP strives to be a healthy, positive, and sustainable place to work, and to provide pay and
benefits that support that.
The selected Fellow will receive a stipend of $45,500 (paid in monthly installments).
We also provide health insurance benefits, a flexible leave policy, professional development
opportunities, and a reasonable work schedule that allows our staff to have a healthy life
both inside and outside of work. We are also committed to working together as a staff to
better understand issues of race, equity, and justice and to continue to further our own
education on how we engage with and address those issues as individuals and as an
The Fellow will also have access to a budget of up to $500 for professional development
activities (including conferences, classes, or other activities). They will also be part of
professional development opportunities provided to CUP staff as a group. During the
second half of the Fellowship, the Fellow will also have time to work on searching for post-
Fellowship opportunities and developing their resume, cover letter, and portfolio during
work hours, and to get feedback and advice from CUP staff on those materials.
The Fellowship will also provide two sets of mentorship opportunities. The first is
mentorship from the CUP staff in the methods and processes we use to achieve our
mission. This takes place both through working under the guidance of experienced staff on
CUP projects, and through one-on-one weekly sessions with a supervisor. The second
mentorship opportunity will be through a quarterly series of one-on-one mentoring sessions
with four prominent designers, from a variety of practices. This is an opportunity to learn
more about the field, gain access to leaders in the design world, and ask questions that
help you in your own career development. The Fellow will have the opportunity to help
select her/his mentors. Past Fellows have met with designers like graphic designer and
illustrator Bráulio Amado, Njoki Gitahi of IDEO, Jonathan Jackson & Sarah Nelson-Jackson
of WeShouldDoItAll, Renda Morton of The New York Times, and illustrator Ping Zhu, among
If the selected Fellow is moving from somewhere outside of New York for the position, a
moving stipend of $500 is also available.
Currently, the CUP office is closed, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and will remain so for
the time being. However, we anticipate that we will reopen the office by the summer. Once
the office reopens, we expect you to be based locally and able to work in the office.
What will I do?
The Fellow will work on a broad range of CUP projects, providing design and organizational
support for our Youth Education and Community Education programs. There will be some
opportunities for creating original design work, but the bulk of the role will involve
providing support on projects with outside designers.
The Fellow will be part of the CUP office and will work 40-hours a week during the one-year
The Fellow’s responsibilities include:
! Participating as a member of a project team working on programs like Making Policy
Public and Public Access Design
! Helping facilitate community workshops using CUP tools, and training others to use them
! Design production work for print and web using Adobe Creative Suite, including creating
visuals for CUP projects, website, emails, and event invitations; assisting with other
design, review, and production, as needed
! Managing the print production process for CUP products
! Researching and providing general support on CUP projects
! Assisting with CUP communications, including email blasts, fundraising outreach, and
press releases, including designing collateral materials
! Providing general administrative and organizational support as needed
Who should apply?
The ideal candidate will:
! Identify as a member of a community that is historically marginalized in the design
professions, including but not limited to people of color; people from low-income,
LGBTQ, or immigrant communities; formerly incarcerated people; and others
! Have a background in design, particularly graphic, communication, or UI design. We
believe this is a good position for a recent graduate from a design program. However,
we recognize that individuals with potential to become great designers may come from a
broader range of experiences. Therefore, we do not require a degree in a design field (or
any degree at all). However, we do require evidence, in the form of a portfolio of images,
of your skills and abilities as a designer, and your proficiency with design software.
! Be committed to social justice and racial equity
! Have good communication skills
! Be proficient with Adobe Creative Suite software, basic web applications, and Microsoft
! Be friendly, self-directed, detail-oriented, and able to work in a collaborative
environment with a broad range of partners
What’s the selection process?
Review: Stage One
• CUP staff will review applications for completeness.
• Complete applications will be reviewed by a jury of designers, who will evaluate
applicants based on the criteria above, and select up to five finalists to advance to
• The finalists will be announced publicly and featured on CUP’s website, email
newsletter, and social media in May. Past finalists have received project inquiries and
job offers after being featured. We hope this process brings work and recognition to all
the finalists and will help get the word out about your amazing skills!
Review: Stage Two
• In May, the finalists will be interviewed by CUP staff, who will make the final selection in
late May/early June.
• The Fellowship will take place from July 2022 to June 2023.
• The Fellow will be part of the jury to select the 2023 Fellow next Spring.
This year’s jurors are:
1. Jerome Harris — Graphic Designer, Educator, and Curator
2. Annika Izora — Designer, Head of Design at Somewhere Good
3. Marisa Hetzler — Current Fellow for Change in Design
All applications are due by 11:59pm EST on Monday, March 28, 2022.
How do I apply?
If you’re interested in the position, you can apply online via Submittable, at this link.
To apply, you will need to create an account on Submittable, fill in your contact information,
and upload the following materials:
! A cover letter saying why you are interested in the Fellowship, what you hope to get out
of it, what your goals are for your career, and how you meet the Fellowship criteria
! A current resume
! A portfolio of your design work. We are looking for your skills to work on a range of
visuals and with type. Please describe the context that your projects were completed in,
and your role. Your portfolio will be reviewed on screen as a PDF. Please format your
work so all pages can be printed out at 8.5 x 11 (Max file size 5 MB).
! A list of three references, with contact information.
Please submit all materials via Submittable by 11:59pm EST on Monday, March 28, 2022.
Please note that we will NOT review applications that do not provide all requested
materials. And we will not use links to access additional information that is not uploaded to
Submittable (including links to web-based portfolios).
No phone calls, please.
CUP is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to fair and inclusive employment
practices, and strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, people with
disabilities, and others who may contribute to the diversification of ideas to apply.
Can I apply if I’m in school?
This is a full-time position from July 2022 to June 2023. You’ll have to be available to work a
40-hour week at CUP. You may NOT apply if you will still be actively attending school during
the Fellowship period. However, if you’re graduating before the Fellowship period, or if
you’ll be on leave from school during the Fellowship period, you may apply.
Do I have to be based in NYC to apply?
No. However, we anticipate that we will reopen the office by the summer. Once the office
reopens, we expect you to be based locally and able to work in the office.
Do I have to be a US citizen to apply?
No. You need to have work authorization and be able to accept payment during the
Fellowship period. (Unfortunately, we don’t currently have the capacity or the timing to
Is the start date flexible?
Yes! We’re looking for a Fellow who can be here from July through next June. However, we
have some flexibility on the start and end dates if they are close to the overall timeline.
Can I include a link to my web-based portfolio instead of including it in my PDF?
No. To make the review process fairer to all applicants, we will only review the required
materials you submit through Submittable.
Who has been a CUP Fellow for Change in Design?
Fellows for Change in Design have been:
• Nicholas Johnson (2017–2018)
• Aska Mukuti (2018–2019)
• Elijah Bobo (2019–2020)
• Marisa Hetzler (2021–2022)
You can read about last year’s finalists here.