Deadline extended to Sunday, February 11, 2024


Fellows will be awarded a stipend of $1,000 for their participation in the Fellowship, directly tied to their attendance ($100 per module). The ACLU of Minnesota will also help reimburse travel expenses, such as gas and lodging, for in-person modules.  


The Fellowship will meet for one module per month from February to November of 2024. The majority of modules will be held remotely over Zoom and will generally last for 1.5 hours. Three or four of the modules will be in-person and will take place either in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area or in Fellows’ respective communities. In-person modules will vary in length depending on programmatic content. 


The ACLU of Minnesota, in partnership with the Minneapolis NAACP and T.O.N.E. U.P., is looking for individuals to join our new Smart Justice Fellowship! 

In 2023, all Minnesotans with felony convictions who are on probation or supervision – more than 55,000 people – regained their right to vote under the Restore the Vote (RTV) bill. But many justice-impacted Minnesotans still do not know they can now vote, and misinformation about their voting rights is widespread. To ensure that Minnesotans with felony convictions know they can safely and legally exercise their right to vote, we need a cohort of justice-impacted leaders to reach out and engage with these voters. 

The Smart Justice Fellowship will provide a cohort of 10 justice-impacted Fellows with the training to become grassroots leaders among the 55,000+ Minnesotans who regained their right to vote under the Restore the Vote (RTV) bill in 2023.  

Through the Smart Justice Fellowship, Fellows will (1) gain the organizing skills and experience they need to engage with justice-impacted voters across Minnesota, and (2) learn about ACLU-MN’s Smart Justice policy platform and how to effectively communicate criminal justice reform ideas to diverse, statewide audiences.  

Fellows will help form a highly visible, issue-based voting bloc focused on radical criminal justice reform in Minnesota. By turning out Minnesotans with felony convictions to vote as a unified group, Fellows will help these 55,000+ new voters wield their power to demand the attention of lawmakers on criminal justice issues that have long been neglected. 

We are seeking candidates who are… 

  • Passionate about issues of criminal justice reform. 
  • Curious about how to use their voice to protect the rights of incarcerated Minnesotans and Minnesotans under community supervision. 
  • Driven to be a visible leader pushing for the interests of justice-impacted Minnesotans both in their home communities and across the state. 
  • Directly or indirectly impacted by Minnesota’s criminal justice system (for example: formerly incarcerated, on felony parole/probation/work release, or having a close family member with these experiences). 

We will be recruiting one Fellow from each of Minnesota’s 10 judicial districts. A map of Minnesota's judicial districts can be found here.


The 2024 Smart Justice Fellowship will run for 10 months (February-November 2024) and will consist of 10 modules (one per month) aimed at training Fellows to become organizers and leaders in their communities. Modules will mostly be remote, with certain in-person modules either in the Twin Cities or in Fellow’s judicial districts. The modules will be taught by a selection of community experts, and will focus on topics including… 

  • ACLU-MN’s Smart Justice platform 
  • Organizing 
  • Interacting with elected officials and policy makers 
  • Communications 
  • Canvassing/phone banking 
  • Community event planning 
  • Building relationships with judicial officials 


To apply for the 2024 Smart Justice Fellowship, a two-question essay is required. Applicants also can provide supplemental information if they wish.

TO APPLY, COMPLETE THIS FORM before February 11, 2024. Please send any questions to  

Please note that Fellowships are limited term positions, with a duration of 10 months (February 2024-November 2024). Fellows are neither employed nor contracted by ACLU-MN. 

ACLU-MN is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. ACLU-MN encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction. 

ACLU-MN undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: (correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed).