Oct 13, 2023

New Jersey Reparations Council Research Fellowship

  • New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
  • Hybrid (Newark, NJ, USA)
Full-Time Civic Engagement Policy Research and Development

Job Description

The prestigious New Jersey Reparations Council Research Fellowship provides two early-career post-graduate researchers with the unparalleled opportunity to spend two years as a research fellow with the Institute as part of the New Jersey Reparations Council. The ideal candidate for the Fellowship is a recent PhD, Masters or ABD student, with extensive research experience and who exhibits a deep and abiding commitment to fighting for racial justice and equality by using truth-telling narratives informed by empirical data and analysis.

The New Jersey Reparations Council

Through a unique collaboration between leading experts from various disciplines across the state and nation, the first-of-its-kind New Jersey Reparations Council will take on the critical work of studying the state’s unique history of slavery and structural racism, and their direct impact on the contemporary life of Black people in New Jersey. New Jersey, unbeknownst to many, is home to some of the worst racial disparities in America. Informed by the extensive research and analysis of nine subject matter Committees (History of Slavery in New Jersey; Public Narrative & Public Education; Economic Justice; Segregation in New Jersey; Democracy; Public Safety & Justice; Health Equity; Environmental Justice; and Faith and Black Resistance) as well as engagement with members of New Jersey’s communities, in 2025 the Council will produce a cohesive narrative report consisting of written subject matter contributions from the Council Committees, and will propose strategic, comprehensive and transformational recommendations for the kinds of policy reforms and investments necessary to finally repair the lasting harm of slavery and its aftermath facing Black people in New Jersey.

The Research Fellowship

During the course of the two-year fellowship, fellows will conduct novel research in various interconnected subject matters areas in relation to reparations for Black New Jerseyans and the ways in which structural racism has shaped racial disparities and inequities in New Jersey today. Fellows will conduct original research that will inform the work of the council and provide documentation of the state-sponsored discrimination and harms to Black residents by uncovering historical truths that have often been willfully forgotten.  The Council is particularly interested in, but not limited to, candidates with expertise and research interests in racially restrictive covenants, urban renewal, history of northern segregation, gentrification, the great migrations, deindustrialization, mass incarceration and the justice system, the GI Bill, suburbanization, racial wealth gap, homeownership, deindustrialization, minimum wage, the New Deal, Great Society programs, environmental racism, health equity zoning and the labor market.

Due to the comprehensive, multi-faceted nature of the work of the Council, various research and academic backgrounds and methods will be considered. The hiring committee will be interested in hearing from candidates regarding which areas of research among those highlighted above align with candidates’ research interests and experience. Fellows will research New Jersey-specific history, policies, and experiences; thus, research methods that uncover history and can bring new understanding of ways our policies have shaped disparities at the state and local level are of particular interest.


Responsibilities include:

  • Lead original research to explore the topic areas highlighted above to uncover the history of systemic racism in New Jersey faced by Black people in New Jersey starting with slavery during the founding years of our state.
  • Collaborate with Institute staff and Council members in researching the harms of slavery and generations of policies which created barriers to equity for Black people as well as reparative policies that intersect with the subject matter areas of each of the committees.
  • Engage with subject matter experts in their respective Committees that make up the New Jersey Reparations Council.
  • Research and draft policy analysis, position papers, reports, memoranda, letters and advocacy materials pertaining to policy proposals contributing to the Council’s final written report.
  • Attend Council public sessions and working groups meetings and participate in in-depth internal meetings pertaining to Council priority issues.
  • Work with Council Members to develop and incubate policy and advocacy initiatives as prototypes.
  • Coordinate with Council Members to ensure seamless integration of policy research with public comments.
  • Assist with the integration of the Council’s policy goals, public education, and targeted campaigns.

About the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice:

The Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and we value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.

The Institute’s mission is to empower urban residents to realize and achieve their full potential. Established in 1999 by Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein, the Institute’s dynamic and independent advocacy is aimed at toppling load-bearing walls of structural inequality to create just, vibrant, and healthy urban communities. We employ a broad range of advocacy tools to advance our ambitious urban agenda, including research, analysis and writing, public education, grassroots organizing, communications, the development of pilot programs, legislative strategies and litigation.

Hiring Organization

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice


  • PhD preferred, Master’s Degree or ABD considered with substantial research experience.
  • Strong analytic capabilities and an ability to design and conduct original research relating to the topics being investigated by the Council.  
  • Outstanding writing, and oral communication skills.  
  • Superior attention to detail; ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously. Good problem-solving skills and a positive, professional attitude with excellent judgment, flexibility, determination, and grace in a fast-paced office.
  • Ability to work effectively across political ideology, race, ethnicity, socio-economic circumstances, religion, gender, sexual orientation and religion.
  • Passion for, and knowledge of, racial and social justice, and a familiarity with the work and mission of the Institute.
  • Integrity, honesty, and a balanced, non-partisan approach.
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative context and participate in teams, including a willingness to circulate widely, communicate openly, listen well and learn from others.
  • Excellent judgment and follow through.
  • Ability to think creatively and develop new and innovative policies, and advocacy strategies.

Industry/Service Area

Public Policy, Social Justice, Think Tank




This is a full-time, at-will position. The two-year fellowship will last two academic years with an expected start date of September 2023 and concluding in the summer of 2025 as the Council completes its work. Salary is commensurate with experience and includes excellent benefits, including health, dental and vision, life insurance, Medical Expense Reimbursement Program, travel stipend, a 401(k) plan with an employer contribution, and generous vacation, sick, and holiday leave.

Application Instructions

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and will be accepted until the positions are filled. Please email your cover letter, graduate school transcripts, resume, two writing samples on which you are the primary author, and contact info for three professional references to recruitment@njisj.orgPlease submit your application materials via Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF.  Include all attachments in a single email stating, in the subject line, “NJRC Fellow.”

Apply Now