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Renaldo Hudson.jpeg

This fellowship is named for Renaldo Hudson, an artist, community organizer, and Education Director of the Illinois Prison Project who survived and overcame 37 years of incarceration in which he faced years on death row and subsequently a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. Mr. Hudson returned home after receiving clemency in 2020 with an exemplary commitment to fighting for restorative justice and abolition. Emulating the model that Mr. Hudson has demonstrated in returning home from prison and fighting to open the door for others to follow him home, the R.E.A.L. Renaldo Hudson Fellowship seeks to

Renaldo Hudson

support young people who are returning home from a period of incarceration in helping them launch and lead a program under the R.E.A.L. network that contributes to our larger community of currently and formerly incarcerated youth.


Before the start of the fellowship project, R.E.A.L. Co-Directors work with the Fellow to draft and agree upon safety guidelines, community agreements, and code of ethics for participation in the R.E.A.L. community and then develop a work plan outlining work expectations and responsibilities. Each fellow will have one of the R.E.A.L. Co-Directors as their primary collaborator and point person for their Fellowship. The Co-Director will work alongside the Fellow to help develop and launch the Fellow’s decided project. 


Throughout the fellowship year, R.E.A.L. provides mentorship, life skills development, professional training, and networking opportunities to the Fellow and will maintain regular contact with the Fellow beyond the conclusion of their fellowship year to ensure that they find full-time placement in a profession of their own choosing. The fellowship project launched by the Fellow will also help build a portfolio for future work beyond the fellowship year. 


Lastly, the Fellowship cohort will also have the opportunity of meeting and conversing with Renaldo Hudson on a number of occasions throughout the course of their fellowship.


Basic Work Expectations: 

  • Weekly meetings with the R.E.A.L. Co-Director supporting launch of the Fellowship project

  • Biweekly meetings with R.E.A.L. Co-Directors and entire Fellowship cohort

  • Completion of a work plan with R.E.A.L. Co-Director who will help execute and roll out Fellowship project

  • Occasional attendance at community events and meetings with R.E.A.L. fiscal sponsor

  • Development and launch of a program that contributes to the network of R.E.A.L. youth members


The work plan will establish a timeline for launch of the project, how to document the fellow’s growth through the fellowship, and meeting times with the R.E.A.L. Co-Directors and other meetings with the fiscal sponsor, community partners, and other youth in the program, and finalize details that might include the schedule and time of the workshops, potential guest speakers, use of existing curriculum or drafting of new curriculum, how to track participation in the workshops and facilitate payment for participation. The work plan will also detail how Co-Directors and Fellow will provide feedback on one another’s work.


Expected Outcomes: Fellow is expected to launch project benefitting the REAL network of currently or formerly incarcerated young people; at same time, this project will help seed a future career - Fellow will be encouraged to network with other organizations doing similar work and seek out full time placement in a job or career track that sustains them following the completion of the fellowship year.

Pay: 10 hours a week at $30/hour = $15,600 for the year


Other Benefits: phone, email, WiFi, reimbursements for travel, chromebook, headphones, and connections to community partners that can support project and future work

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