The Cecil Corbin-Mark Fellowship for Environmental Justice Leadership
WE ACT for Environmental Justice is inviting applicants for the second year of the Cecil Corbin-Mark Fellowship for Environmental Justice Leadership. Two applicants will be selected to work on environmental justice policy issues, and gain experience in community-based policy advocacy, legislative and regulatory drafting, policy research, and community engagement.
WE ACT is a non-profit environmental justice organization based in New York City that fights environmental racism and works to improve environmental health through community organizing, education, community-based research, and advocacy. Beginning as a volunteer organization in 1988 to fight local environmental health threats, WE ACT has grown into a New York and national environmental justice leader with offices in Northern Manhattan and Washington, DC.
This fellowship was founded in honor of Cecil Corbin-Mark, WE ACT’s Deputy Director and a well-known and highly respected leader in the environmental justice movement. Cecil was a life-long resident of Hamilton Heights in Harlem, New York, where his family has lived for six decades. Cecil began his environmental justice career at WE ACT for Environmental Justice at the age of 25. He was the first paid staff person hired by the Harlem-based volunteer group when it became a formal non-profit organization. Over the next 26 years, Cecil grew to be one of the leading figures in the movement both in New York State and across the nation. At the time of his untimely passing, Cecil was WE ACT’s Deputy Director and Director of Policy Initiatives. In this capacity, Cecil helped develop and pass numerous environmental health related bills in New York City and New York State, provided overall policy guidance to WE ACT’s New York program staff, managed WE ACT’s Washington DC federal policy office and served as an informal mentor to aspiring environmental justice advocates across the country.
Through the Cecil Corbin-Mark Fellowship for Environmental Justice Leadership, launched in 2022, WE ACT is establishing a unique opportunity for young people to continue to follow in Cecil’s footsteps, and to launch them on a career path to become the next generation of environmental justice leaders. The WE ACT team believes that it is appropriate to honor Cecil in a way that: 1) increases the capacity of our organization to win climate justice victories; and 2) creates an ongoing opportunity for talented young people to contribute to WE ACT’s campaigns for environmental justice. During this year-long fellowship, participants can expect to work on WE ACT campaigns alongside seasoned environmental justice leaders. Fellows will gain experience in environmental justice areas including environmental health, environmental justice policy, and community organizing. Fellows can also expect leadership development and learning opportunities throughout the program that will strengthen their professional skills, and deepen their understanding of the operations of a community-based advocacy organization. Fellows will also have access to networking opportunities with WE ACT stakeholders and allies. Detailed information about the types of campaigns Corbin-Mark Fellows can expect to be a part of can be found here.
In the Fellowship’s second year, WE ACT will be hosting two fellows, with terms beginning in June 2023 and lasting one year. For the coming year of the fellowship, we will be selecting one applicant for each of the two following positions:
1) an Environmental Justice Research Fellow based in our Washington, DC office. Python and GIS experience preferred. Working under supervision of our Environmental Justice Research Analyst, the fellow will:
- Contribute to the performance of quantitative problem-solving, data set collection and analysis and manage large datasets that can be used to inform legislative and regulatory actions.
- Review literature, conduct secondary research and synthesize findings into concise and well written summaries.
- Support communication of analysis to internal stakeholders, who may present analyses to funders and coalition partners in the form of webinars, trainings, articles or reports to accelerate progress and learnings in needed areas.
- Prepare presentations, reports, memos and other communications materials that can be used in congressional, administration and general public outreach.
- Participate and provide planning support for meetings, workshops and other advocacy efforts.
2) an Environmental Health Fellow based in our Northern Manhattan office, who will gain experience in areas such as toxic beauty products, toxic exposures, air quality monitoring, healthy homes, environmental health education, marketplace campaigning, and environmental health policy.
Applicants are encouraged to specify in their application which position they would like to be considered for.
Experience in environmental justice, environmental health and/or environmental policy would be a significant plus; however, in selecting applicants we will also place value on applicants’ background in or connection to one or more environmental justice communities, as well as applicants’ passion for environmental justice policy work.
Applicants will submit, via this online form, pdf or Word versions of the following documents.
- Cover letter (1-2 pages), detailing commitment to environmental justice, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE experience and/or background, and fitness of qualifications.
- Resume (maximum 2 pages).
- A 3-5 page writing sample demonstrating engagement with environmental justice issues.
Letters of Recommendation must also be submitted, via this form. Support letters can be from professional or personal references, and must be submitted by the letter’s author, not the applicant.
Key Application Dates
- Application Opens – March 1, 2023
- Application Closes – March 31, 2023 (5pm ET)
- Interviews – April 2023
- Notifications – May 2023
- Start Date – June 2023
- Passionate interest in environmental justice – specifically policy, community organizing or environmental health
- Be authorized to work in the US for the duration of the program
- Have a bachelor’s, master’s, or law degree focused on environmental science/studies, environmental health, environmental justice, environmental policy or other related fields
- Have demonstrated experience in environmental justice, policy, community organizing, environmental law, or environmental health
Project Knowledge, Skills, and Other Requirements
- Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to work well with community members of color and/or low wealth
- Ability to listen and synthesize information
- Strong writing skills
- Demonstrated experience or academic background in justice, policy, science, health, community organizing, and/or advocacy related areas
- Ability to meet deadlines and take initiative to pursue work, assist others and resolve issues
- Ability to put together workshops, webinars, and other educational meetings
- Strong verbal communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to multi-task and manage multiple projects at once
- Highly organized, with strong attention to detail
- Excellent time management and planning and proven ability to meet deadlines
- Ability to travel, including to Washington, DC and Albany, NY
- Fellows will be based in our Harlem, NYC office and must be able to attend frequent in-person events and work a combination of in-office and remote days on a weekly basis, according to WE ACT’s hybrid work policy
This program includes an annual salary of $60,000-$70,000 (dependent upon past professional experience) plus benefits: medical, dental and vision, voluntary benefits, and pre-tax transit program.
Equal Opportunity Employer
WE ACT is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, women, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ communities.
If you would like to support the Cecil Corbin-Mark Fellowship for Environmental Justice Leadership, you can do so below: