Our Vision

We envision a just and equitable world in which all people are treated with dignity and compassion and have opportunities to participate fully in society.

Our Mission

We develop and support advocates, organizers, artists, writers, and other leaders at the forefront of challenging and eliminating anti-Black racism in the U.S. and South Africa to build a more just and equitable world.  

Our Values

We believe that for our nations to thrive we must end centuries-old systemic and pervasive racism. This fight for racial equity defies easy answers or solutions, but it is critical to dismantle the anti-Black racism and the culture of white supremacy that deny people equitable access to resources and opportunities. Our values are rooted in the belief that justice, equity, inclusion, intersectionality and compassion are vital for social change.

  • Justice — Every person should be treated with respect and afforded the resources and opportunities they need to participate and flourish in society. The commitment to fight for the most dispossessed is essential.
  • Equity — Those most affected by bias, discriminatory obstacles and injustice, should have fair and equitable access to resources, support and opportunities needed for lasting success.
  • Inclusion — We value the experiences and perspectives of diverse communities and cultures, and believe we enhance the collective well-being when all people have the right to full participation and voice in society.
  • Intersectionality — The struggle for racial justice and equality requires recognizing the humanity of all people, and embracing the whole person, including race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, able-ness, religious beliefs and other identities.
  • Compassion — Authenticity, open-heartedness, and honoring learning, caring and service are critical values and fundamental guides to achieving society’s best work.

Our Story

From overt acts of hate and exclusion to subtle injustices that have shaped people’s lives, stark disparities persist in every area of U.S. and South African society, despite the leadership and success that Black people have achieved in each of these countries. Organizers, artists, writers, and other advocates for racial equity are confronting racism of their past and present to build a more just and equitable world.

The Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity (AFRE) launched in March 2017 to support leaders at the forefront of dismantling anti-Black racism and white supremacy. The 10-year, $60 million program centers on exposing and ending racism that dehumanizes Black people and has corrosive effects on all people. Based at New York’s Columbia University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg, our program is a partnership of six organizations from the U.S. and South Africa.

The Atlantic Fellows Global Community

The Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity is one of seven interconnected Atlantic Fellows programs, which together will create a global community of leaders for a better world. 

The Atlantic Fellows program is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, which will invest over $600M, alongside other partner organizations and governments, to support the work of the global network of thousands of Atlantic Fellows over the next two decades, and beyond. This investment–in both the Atlantic Fellows and the institutions that will support and nurture them–is the foundation’s final and biggest bet ever.