Year No. 2: From Aspirations to Action

Cohort 2 Fellows are now officially halfway through their program. Two years sounds long, but the time goes by quickly when Fellows have such large aspirations. Our Fellows want to build new or early stage social ventures and engage as community leaders. They also want to learn and grow into more effective champions for equity, justice and inclusion in their Greater Minnesota communities. Working to achieve just one of these aims would be a laudable and challenging goal. Trying to tackle all three at the same time is a huge aspiration! We often describe the Fellowship as a program that supports big, bold ideas and efforts, which may be an understatement.

The Fellows and their mentors gathered for a February 2020 convening.

Year No. 1 of the program started with a kick-off convening that, fortunately, brought the Fellows together for four days of in-person meetings in February 2020. The group participated in a variety of trainings and workshops to set the stage for the rest of the year. And as they spent quality time together, a true feeling of fellowship began forming. 

Over the following 10 months, as the pandemic took hold, we transitioned to virtual meetings and continued to learn about strategy development, community leadership, unconscious bias and much more. With one year behind them, the Fellows are focused on refining their focus to make best use of their remaining time. Fortunately, they have plenty of resources, advisors, and mentors at their disposal to help them maximize this opportunity. 

Contact, Chris Fastner, Initiators Fellowship program manager, at or (320) 631-2019.