Encore Public Voices Fellowship

The Encore Public Voices Fellowship is a collaboration among The OpEd Project (OEP), a think tank and leadership organization that accelerates the ideas and public impact of underrepresented voices, including women; Encore.org, a nonprofit dedicated to bridging generational divides; and Ann MacDougall (Senior Advisor, Encore.org). The fellowship is part of The OpEd Project’s national Public Voices Fellowship initiative to change who writes history.

The fellowship is a prestigious initiative to accelerate the ideas and impact of new and necessary thought leaders, all working at the intersection of aging, longevity, intergenerational connection and social justice.

Announcing the 2020-21 Encore Public Voices Fellows

There is a critical need for new voices.

Many parts of the world are rapidly aging. In the U.S., we’ve added more than 30 years to life expectancy in the past century, but not across the board. Whites live longer than people of color. Women live longer than men. And the richest Americans live 10-15 years longer than the poorest. Today, for the first time ever, there are more people over the age of 60 than under the age of 18. The ripple effects of these shifts will affect every aspect of society. We need better and faster ideas from a more diverse set of people of all ages, including those who are most impacted by the uneven implications of these realities, and thus most likely to see new solutions and envision a more just future.

Fellows will receive a full year of support, skills and mentoring to ensure their ideas shape the greater public conversation. Members of the first two groups of fellows have been featured at SWSW, on Good Morning America, and in publications including the New York Times, USA Today, Fast Company, The Washington Post, The Atlantic and more.

See this infographic for details about the first 41 fellows and the impact they’ve had.

Members of the fellowship’s Advisory Council include Ellen Goodman (Chair), Sylvia Brown, Mary C. Curtis, Ken Dychtwald, Raymond Jetson, Katie Orenstein, Trabian Shorters and Lester Strong.

Here’s a brief introduction to the group. Stay tuned for more ways to get to know each of them in the coming months.

Alison McCrary, Social justice lawyer
Arianna Nassiri, Member, San Francisco Youth Commission
Christopher Tyson, President & CEO, Build Baton Rouge
Ernest Gonzales, Associate Professor, New York University
Frankie Huang, Writer
Dr. Imani Woody, Founder & CEO, Mary’s House for Older Adults, Inc.
Janine Vanderburg, Initiative Director, Changing the Narrative
Jonathan Collie, Co-founder The Age of No Retirement CIC, Creator of The Common Room purpose model
Kasley Killam, Founder of Social Health Labs
Dr. Kitty Oliver, Author and oral historian
Laura Nova, Artist and Associate Professor of Creative Arts and Technology, Bloomfield College
Mistinguette Smith, Principal Consultant at M Smith Consulting and Executive Director at Black/Land Project
Peter Slatin, Founder and President, The Slatin Group LLC, and Co-Founder, Slatin Media Group LLC
Rey Castuciano, Executive Director & Founder, Table Wisdom
Sandra Barnhill, Founder and CEO, Foreverfamily, Inc.
Sasha Johfre, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, Stanford University
Serena Bian, Community Strategist, Systems Designer and Neighbor
Sian-Pierre Regis, Director/Producer, Duty Free
Susanne Stadler, Principal, Stadler & Architecture and Executive Director & Co-Founder, At Home With Growing Older
Tim Carpenter, CEO/Founder, EngAGE
Uma Menon, Student and author, Princeton University


These FAQs relate to all Public Voices Fellowships managed by The OpEd Project.

The Fellows, 2018 and 2019

Fellows in the Media

The Fellowship Experience

Watch this short video to hear how the first 20 Encore Public Voices Fellows describe their experiences.

Resources for Thought Leaders

“What does it mean to have a society with more older people than younger ones?” by 2018-19 Fellow Cal Halvorsen.

EPVF Thought Leadership Resources: This document includes useful research, data and reports related to aging, longevity and intergenerational issues.

Up your game in thought leadership: Whether you’re just establishing your voice or looking for new ways to reach more people, these resources will get you started.

From The OpEd Project:

  • “Write to Change the World”: These workshops are based on time-tested models of transformational learning, and are designed to unlock knowledge in powerful and unexpected ways (scholarships are available here).
  • “Ask a Journalist”: This webinar takes place every Thursday at 5 pm ET. Think of it as office hours with a journalist who is rooting for you. They rotate topics, but all webinars have live discussion and Q&A.
  • The OpEd Project posts free resources on their website, including submission and contact info for hundreds of outlets, scripts and sample language for pitching, and an FAQ.
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