Five New Open Society Fellows Will Address Economic Inequality

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Five New Open Society Fellows Will Address Economic Inequality

NEW YORK—With economic inequality around the globe reaching unprecedented levels, the Open Society Foundations announced today that five fellows will receive funding to develop innovative new approaches to address the crisis.

The new Open Society Fellows include two activists forging unlikely alliances against inequality in Mozambique, a blogger targeting the extraordinary concentration of wealth in the Middle East, a labor rights organizer finding ways to unleash the power of domestic workers in Latin America, and a political scientist exploring the valuable lessons that a protest movement in Sudan offers those pursuing long-term socioeconomic change.

The new fellows will join 16 current grantees to complete a cohort of innovators from diverse fields and geographies focused on a common problem with global implications.

“The work of the new Open Society Fellows is urgently needed,” says Fellowship director Alethia Jones. “COVID-19 exposed the unvarnished realities of long-term, systemic inequality. More than ever, we need bold interventions.” Added Jones: “I’m also excited about the new collaborations that will emerge and expand the impact of these ambitious approaches to ending global economic inequality.”

The Open Society Fellowship was founded in 2008 to support individuals pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to open society challenges. Since 2017, the fellowship has invited proposals on a single topic, which allows these individuals to work independently and come together as a group periodically to pursue joint projects.

Open Society Fellows receive project support and living stipends, ranging from $80,000 to $100,000 for one year, to pursue their projects.

Newly Selected Open Society Fellows

Sara Abbas will write a book about how communities formed collaborative groupings during the revolution in Sudan to achieve long-term socioeconomic change.

Ruth Castel-Branco will explore the relationship between land, labor, and social welfare in Mozambique. She hopes to contribute to and popularize debates on the political possibilities and limitations of post-work utopias.

Nizar Hassan, an organizer, producer, and political commentator, will create an online video platform for informative and accessible Arabic-language content that examines links between (in)equality, justice, and democracy.

Boaventura Monjane, a journalist and scholar-activist, will research growing poverty, inequality, and the rollback of civil and political rights in Mozambique at a time when new development pathways are urgently needed.

Adriana Paz Ramirez, a labor rights organizer and popular educator, will research policy victories won by domestic workers in Latin America to understand how grassroots action can compel employers and states to obey the law.

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