We are training the next generation of civic leaders.

Leadership Development Programs

Brian Sleet Fellowship

The Brian Sleet Memorial Fellowship for Leadership and Advocacy is a scholarship program that provides funding to young, African American, civic leaders to carry on the legacy of Chicago Votes’ founding board member, Brian Sleet. Brian passed away on December 26th, 2018. His untimely passing inspired his loved ones to create a memorial scholarship fund to honor Sleet’s commitment to social justice and youth political empowerment.

Digital Organizing Fellowship

The Digital Organizing Fellowship trains young people in digital organizing–using technology to mobilize people. Through social media, campaign execution, press management, and content creation, fellows apply the principles of organizing to online spaces.

Civic Leadership Program

At Chicago Votes, we strongly believe the people most impacted should be leading the work––and our Unlock Civics program is no exception. The Chicago Votes’ Civic Leadership program is designed for people who have been incarcerated in the U.S., specifically in Illinois. Through direct organizing work, participants develop skills in organizing people outside of prison and supporting organizers on the inside, the Illinois legislative process, and adding a critical perspective around the American legal system.

Policy Fellowship

The Chicago Votes’ Policy Fellowship program seeks to develop young organizers to increase their knowledge of the legislative and elections process in Illinois. They work directly with Chicago Votes staff, volunteers, partners and base to execute the Chicago Votes’ Legislative agenda, learning the Illinois political landscape and legislative organizing tactics.


Our DemocracyCorps Fellowship develops young organizers from communities across Chicago to be the change they want to see. The program seeks to increase civic participation amongst young people by giving them the tools to organize their communities. Young people leading Chicago to a better future is what it’s all about!

Since our start, we have developed over 200 young people–building their organizing skills and immersing them in civic processes.