Hank Willis Thomas won the 2017 Soros Equality Fellowship

Hank Willis Thomas won the 2017 Soros Equality Fellowship

Earlier this year, Hank Willis Thomas won the 2017 Soros Equality Fellowship with a proposal to “use the tools of a contemporary advertising agency to create a campaign aimed at exploring and discrediting distortions in the racial narrative in the United States.”

The Soros Equality Fellowship is a new initiative to help emerging mid-career professionals become long-term innovative leaders in the field of racial justice. 

The seven fellows, chosen from over 1,000 applicants representing a diverse array of professions—from the arts and advocacy to journalism and documentary filmmaking—will work on a wide variety of ways to advance racial justice: documenting the oral histories of queer and trans people of color; tackling structural racism in the food supply; chronicling how slavery helped build a major modern institution of higher learning; and creating an ad campaign to take on distortions in America's contemporary racial narrative. 

The program is intended to help incubate innovators and risk-takers striving to create and develop new ways of addressing the challenges of racial disparity and discrimination in the United States. Beyond nurturing their specific projects, the program seeks to promote leadership development training, networking and other professional support aimed at building a pipeline connecting the energy and ideas of youth with the wisdom and influence of experience.

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