About the Shirley’s Table Fellowship Program

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Shirley’s Table exists to transform politics as usual by breaking down barriers to entry, training, and employment in the civic engagement and political sector.

We do this by recruiting, training, and mentoring historically underrepresented activists, community organizers and civically-engaged constituents who are ready to make change.

In six intensive months, you’ll walk away with the confidence, skills and knowledge to successfully build and lead movements, campaigns, legislative offices and policies.  

As a Shirley’s Table Fellow, you will:

  • Participate in 3 to 5 days of intensive training with movement-building professionals

  • Learn about how movement politics has consistently led to strengthening of American democracy

  • Deepen your understanding of American politics and global democracy

  • Train in the art and science of storytelling, social justice movements, and political campaigns

  • Be mentored by seasoned movement-building professionals

  • Receive six months of post-training support, including job placement support

  • Participate in monthly fellowship calls for continued learning and professional development

  • Join a network of trained and talented campaign operatives

  • Build the confidence to participate authentically and effectively in the political process 


  • You are curious about people-centered politics and public policy.

  • You identify as being from an historically underrepresented background (LGBTQIA, POC, Women, Immigrants) or the ARE (American Rising Electorate).

  • You may already serve as an organizer, activist or campaign staffer (as a volunteer, part-time or full-time). If you’re not, that’s okay! You can be completely untrained as long as you are committed to learning and engaging with the political process.

  • You are located in MA (homebase) and in the US South.

  • You are committed to intersectional values (e.g., reproductive justice, liberation, voters rights) and identify with Democratic values.

  • You are ready to commit to a rigorous political training, education, and discovery process.


Sample Training Curriculum Outline

  • US/Global South Movement Storytelling and History

  • Civic Engagement and Political Sector

    • 101: Career Mapping Across the Industries

    • 102: Guest Speakers

  • Igniting the Base and Expanding the Electorate

    • 101:Traditional campaigns

    • 102: Movement Building campaign

  • Campaign Infrastructure and Operations:  The nuts and bolts of building and running a political action committee

  • Fundraising and Finance: Kitchen Cabinets, Call Time, and Engagement  

  • Strategy to Win: Developing a Path to Victory

  • Expanding the Electorate: Voter History and Other Key Data Sources

  • Messaging: To Your Base and Expansion Electorate

  • Communications Strategy - Earned and Unearned

  • Field Strategy: Relational Organizing and Paid Voter Contact (Canvassing, Digital, and Ethnic Media)

  • Endorsements: Do they matter? Yes and No

  • Issue and Public Policy Campaigns

    • 101: Statewide Powerbuilding and Integrated Voter Engagement

    • 102: Power Mapping, Trust Building and Social Change

    • 103: Establishing Metrics of  Success to Track Progress and Course Correct

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statement

Shirley’s List is centered on the goal of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion -- for our Fellows, trainers, mentors, board of directors and staff.  We are committed to creating and maintaining a space where people are valued and respected regardless of their sex, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, national origin or religious affiliation. We deeply celebrate the diversity of lived and professional experiences and perspective that help an intersectional meet the needs and aspirations of the people it seeks to serve.

Shirley’s List is proud to support bold progressive millennials, organizers, and activists of color color, identify as women, immigrant, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender. We define diversity as the multiple identities - biological and nonbiological -  that one individual or community holds that shapes how the world treats them and how they define themselves in this world. Diversity to us means the balance of justice and privilege.