Public Policy Fellowship





The YWCA West Central Michigan – an organization committed to empowering women, promoting diversity, and advocating for justice and equality – is looking for a Public Policy Fellow to join our Prevention and Empowerment Services (PAE) Department as part of the YWCA Michigan Statewide Advocacy Pilot Program.


The Fellow will work with PAE to expand our advocacy agenda, learn about coordinating advocacy efforts, and provide field assistance to this local YWCA association. The Fellow will also participate as a member of the cohort implementing the YWCA MI Statewide Advocacy Pilot Program. The program is an initiative headed by the YWCA Kalamazoo to expand public policy capacity within the three other YWCA affiliates throughout Michigan.  Involvement with this program will require regular communication with Fellows housed at other affiliates and the program coordinator in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

One focus of our local and state advocacy efforts is working to eliminate policies and practices that contribute to school pushout and the criminalization of youth of color in schools and communities. We support efforts to provide educators, policymakers, and law enforcement with tools and resources to address the role that biases and institutional practices play in their interactions with youth of color. We encourage schools to adopt anti-racist, trauma-informed, and restorative justice approaches. We support recent efforts by Michigan’s State legislature to cease zero-tolerance policies. We support additional efforts that ensure youth of color can learn and thrive in safe, equitable spaces. We believe these efforts must be transparent and include accountability measures.



Utilize YWCA Racial Advocacy Toolkit, complete with suggested tool/resources, for best practices related to anti-bias/anti-racist practices in the Early Childhood (and K-12) Education field, with an emphasis on Restorative Justice, to help build out our local advocacy agenda.



  • Works collaboratively with state-wide advocacy cohort to ensure the success of the YWCA Pilot Program.
  • Attends cohort meetings, city and county-level meetings, coalition events, briefings, and conferences pertaining to the YWCA Pilot Program.
  • Attends and participates in community education and engagement as it relates to the YWCA’s Pilot Program policy platform.
  • Assists in drafting and updating legislative correspondence, newsletters, email action “alerts”, policy fact sheets, issue briefs, policy memos, policy reports, social media content, and other materials related to the YWCA Pilot Program.
  • Assists with building strong partnerships and communication between Grand Rapids and Kent County community members and organizations.
  • Monitors legislative/policy development and activities at the local and state levels and stays abreast of recent issues in subject areas relevant to the YWCA Pilot Program’s policy priorities.
  • Tracks YWCA USA and local association advocacy activity on public policy priorities through implemented processes.
  • Researches relevant local and regional school policies and activities related to school-push out.
  • Communicates with other Michigan YWCAs participating in the advocacy process.
  • Utilizes anti-violence, anti-oppression, and anti-racist lens through fellowship policy work.
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Must be at least 18 years-old.
  • Enrolled enrolled in a 4-year College or University, with good standing as a sophomore, junior, senior, or recent graduate.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Excel, and Google Drive Applications
  • Knowledge of issues regarding gender equity, racial equity, and gendered violence
  • Satisfactory results of background checks and Central Registry Clearance
  • Strong attention to details and great organization skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills.
  • Ability to effectively meet flexible and moving deadlines
  • Capacity to function both independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, professional demeanor, self-directed and independent, with a good sense of humor and a strong commitment to women’s equality and eliminating racism.
  • Bi-lingual (Spanish) skills considered a strong asset.
  • Interest and passion for learning about the federal, state, and local public policy-making process
  • A commitment to the mission of the YWCA to empower women and eliminate racism.
  • Must be able to provide own transportation to and from site.



Working conditions include typical office conditions.  Indoor/outdoor working conditions may exist.  Irregular work hours may exist, including early morning, evening, and weekends. Conditions are subject to occasional exposure to agitated or threatening individuals.



Training is dependent upon experience and knowledge base. Additional training may include orientation and introduction to the YWCA West Central Michigan, an overview of departmental programs and procedures, introduction to public health, social justice, and policy advocacy activities. For more information on our organization please visit



  • This fellowship will require 15 – 20 hours a week.
  • The Fellow will be offered a stipend upon entering the program
  • The YWCA seeks to reflect the diverse community it serves, and be a welcoming, inclusive space for all. Applicants from diverse experiences, backgrounds, and identities are encouraged to apply.



Acknowledging the challenges candidates may face in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the submission deadline has been adjusted. As of March 25, 2020, applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until further notice.

If you are interested in applying for the fellowship, please submit the following documents to Daniel Hamilton at

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Fellowship Application – click on this link to complete the application:
  • At least one reference from an instructor, professor, or advisor