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The roots of reciprocity

In 2013, Trabian Shorters came to Context Partners with a bold idea. Design an unconventional fellowship that changes the narrative of Black men in America by recognizing them as the community builders they’ve always been.

Five years in, BMe's Community Genius Fellowship was facing a dilemma: how does Shorters secure funding and support to scale the fellowship across more U.S. cities? While traditional fellowships measure success in hard numbers, BMe’s grassroots impact in social justice work is tougher to measure. Still, its value in enabling neighborhood-level change has been palpable and persistently endorsed by its Fellows. Shorters asked Context Partners to cultivate success stories from the Fellows themselves, and draw critical insights between the fellowship’s design and the pivotal, ripple-effect change that these leaders are achieving.

This article was ghost written for Brendan Ward, an associate design strategist at Context Partners, and published in the third issue of Context Partners' annual thought leadership publication, The Practice Papers.


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