The Generation Change Fellows Program partners with young leaders across the globe to foster collaboration, build resilience and strengthen capacity as they transform local communities. It is a partnership between the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) and the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.

2023 Generation Change Fellows Program in Guatemala

USIP is pleased to announce that our next Generation Change Fellows Program will take place in Guatemala. The program will take place between the end of November and the beginning of December 2023. 

2024 Generation Change Fellows Program in the Pacific Islands

USIP is delighted to announce that the application for the Generation Change Fellows Program in the Pacific Islands is now open. The program will focus on training youth leaders (ages 18-35) from the Pacific Islands, who have experience in peacebuilding, in a 5-day training on prejudice awareness and reduction, effective leadership and conflict transformation.

The training will take place in March, 2024 in Fiji. The deadline to apply is Thursday, November 30th, 2023 at 11:59pm EST. To apply, please visit the application form.

If you have any questions, please contact Natalia Rodriguez Caceres at nrodriguezcaceres@usip.org

Background

With over 1.2 billion people across the globe below the age of 35, young people have the opportunity to be powerful agents of change. However, as they navigate the difficult transition from adolescence to adulthood, they can be tempted by external parties or ideologies and hindered by corruption, high unemployment rates, and discrimination, sometimes being drawn into violent extremism or electoral violence.

Even the most dedicated young leaders face challenges and burnout as they work to create change. They often work in isolation, or lack the knowledge, skills, and resources to maximize their efforts and increase their personal resilience. USIP developed the Generation Change Fellows Program (GCFP) to counter this isolation through a family-like community of practice, to augment the existing knowledge and skills of participants through mentorship and training, and to partner with them in community-led peacebuilding initiatives.

GCFP carefully selects small cohorts of dedicated peacebuilders aged 18-35 through a highly competitive application process. Tackling some of the world's most difficult challenges-from countering violent extremism to enhancing gender equality-these Fellows hold leadership roles within their local communities. The program is currently active in Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Somalia, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria) and the Middle East (Jordan and Yemen).

Generation Change/Uganda Generations

The 24-month Fellows Program—which includes access to Global Campus courses for ongoing learning—provides these young civic leaders with the following skills and experiences:

Conflict Management Skills

Developing the core conflict management skills of active listening, relationship building, negotiation, mediation and dialogue and working cooperatively to find mutually agreeable solutions among parties.

Leadership Development Skills

Providing emerging leaders with practical skills in communication, leadership presence, and story-telling to help them articulate their vision and mission more effectively and create healthier, more stable organizations.

A Dynamic Community of Civic Leaders

Creating lasting relationships built on trust so that Fellows are able to turn to one another for advice and assistance both digitally and in person.

Participatory Action Research (PAR)

U.N. Resolution 2250 places youth at the center of the peacebuilding agenda. The Generation Change program has launched an initiative to build the capacity of Generation Change Fellows to facilitate community-based, participatory research to increase the voice of youth in local and national peacebuilding efforts and policymaking. 

The Peaceworks publication "Participatory Action Research for Advancing Youth-Led Peacebuilding in Kenya" documents six Generation Change Fellows' work with PAR in their communities. This work is further documented in the short film, "When Youth Build Peace: Participatory Action Research in Kenya."

The Generation Change Fellows Program is implemented in partnership with USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture.

The Generation Change Program is a partnership between the USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture and the United States Institute of Peace

Related Publications

Colombia War-Crime Prisoners Face Past, Plan Future

Colombia War-Crime Prisoners Face Past, Plan Future

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

By: Aubrey Cox;  Maria Antonia Montes

The prisoners would be arriving soon and Adriana Combita, like a young teacher preparing to greet a new class, was nervous. This was not the first time that Combita, 26, had led a peacebuilding training with soldiers convicted of war-related crimes. But these were senior officers, commanders with master’s degrees, military officials who had lived abroad.

Type: In the Field

Education & TrainingHuman Rights

Implementing UNSCR 2250

Implementing UNSCR 2250

Friday, June 16, 2017

By: Aubrey Cox;  Melissa Nozell;  Imrana Alhaji Buba

In the context of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security, this report examines collaborations between youth and religious leaders in conflict-affected states. Using case studies, surveys, and interviews, it highlights the gaps, challenges, and opportunities for how religious actors and youth can and do partner effectively in the face of violent conflict.

Type: Special Report

YouthReligionGlobal Policy

Boko Haram Drives Nigerian Activist to … Generation Change

Boko Haram Drives Nigerian Activist to … Generation Change

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

By: Fred Strasser

The road to leadership for Imrana, a Nigerian activist, began on a bus in the country’s north, when Boko Haram militants came aboard and picked out passengers to haul into the bush. That was when the 23-year-old resolved he had to do something about his country’s bloodshed. Today, an organization he founded seeks to curb the violence that often surrounds Nigerian elections.

Type: In the Field

Education & TrainingNonviolent ActionYouth

View All

Latest Publications

For Peace in Africa, Boost Regional Blocs — Like West Africa’s ECOWAS

For Peace in Africa, Boost Regional Blocs — Like West Africa’s ECOWAS

Friday, April 19, 2024

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

As the United States and international partners work to stabilize Africa’s Sahel region — and to prevent its warfare, violent extremism and armed coups from metastasizing into Africa’s densely populous and strategic Atlantic coast — the West African multinational bloc, ECOWAS, has proven its value in resolving crises and promoting stability. Yet, as global security threats have evolved, ECOWAS, like other multinational bodies, needs updated capacities to meet new challenges. International democracies’ most effective initiative to support West Africa’s stability would be to partner with West Africans to strengthen their vital regional community. A similar strategy is valid across Africa.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Policy

Sometimes the Good Guys Win: Guatemala's Kleptocracy Fights Back

Sometimes the Good Guys Win: Guatemala's Kleptocracy Fights Back

Thursday, April 18, 2024

By: Ambassador Stephen G. McFarland

Last year was a pivotal moment for Guatemala’s democracy. Longshot candidate Bernardo Arévalo rode popular anti-corruption fervor into a shocking second place finish in the first-round presidential polls, ultimately winning the presidency in the runoff. Since Guatemala transitioned to a democracy in the mid-1980s, the country has been wracked by increasingly pervasive corruption, perpetrated and perpetuated by venal elites.

Type: Analysis

Democracy & GovernanceGlobal Elections & Conflict

Four Priorities for Sudan a Year into the Civil War

Four Priorities for Sudan a Year into the Civil War

Thursday, April 18, 2024

By: Susan Stigant

This week marks a year of war in Sudan. A once promising revolution that led to the overthrow in 2019 of the country’s longtime dictator, Omar al-Bashir, has devolved into a devastating civil war. The fighting started over a dispute on how to incorporate the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) into the country’s military, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). A year later as the conflict between the RSF and SAF grinds on, Sudan is experiencing the world’s worst displacement crisis and one of the world’s worst hunger crises in recent history.

Type: Analysis

Global PolicyPeace Processes

Huawei’s Expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean: Views from the Region

Huawei’s Expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean: Views from the Region

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

By: Parsifal D’Sola Alvarado

Since its founding in Shenzhen, China, in 1987, Huawei has grown into one of the world’s major information and communications technology companies, but its ties to China’s government and military have been regarded by US officials as a potential risk to national security. Latin American and Caribbean countries, however, have embraced the company for the economic and technological benefits it provides. This report explains the stark contrast between Huawei’s standing in the United States and its neighbors to the south.

Type: Special Report

Global Policy

The Indo-Pacific’s Newest Minilateral Emerges

The Indo-Pacific’s Newest Minilateral Emerges

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

By: Brian Harding;  Haroro Ingram

Last week, Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. stepped foot in the Oval Office for the second time in a year. Joining Marcos this time was Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the leader of the United States’ most important ally in Asia and, arguably, the world. The Philippines has long been among a second rung of regional allies, so this first-ever trilateral summit marks Manila’s entrance as a leading U.S. ally working to maintain order and prevent Chinese revisionism in East Asia.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

View All Publications