Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Fellowship Established to Advance LGBTQ+ Equity Across New York State Government and Support Ongoing Efforts in the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer

Applications Accepted Through May 15; Virtual Information Session for Interested Applicants Happening on April 26

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the application period for the 2023 Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Edie Windsor LGBTQ+ Fellowship will be open through May 15, 2023. This fellowship was established to advance LGBTQ+ equity across New York State government and support ongoing efforts in the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer. The LGBTQ+ Fellow is awarded every two years to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to social justice, a track record of working on LGBTQ+ equality, civil rights and diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and a strong interest in a career in public service.

“As the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement, New York is proud to offer this fellowship to a dedicated and passionate individual committed to LGBTQ+ equality, inclusion and public service,” Governor Hochul said. “New York State fellowships are an opportunity for the next generation of leaders to pursue a career in government, and I encourage anyone who dreams of making a positive change in our state to apply.”  

The Fellow serves in the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer in the Governor’s Executive Chamber and assists the Chief Diversity Officer in optimizing New York State agency diversity and inclusion goals, increasing BIPOC representation across New York State agencies and continuing to build the state’s leadership as a model employer for New Yorkers of all gender identities and sexual orientations. In collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, the Fellow also works to advance LGBTQ+ equity across New York State government, including providing policy and content expertise, project management, community engagement, event planning, strategic communications and legislative tracking.

Inaugural Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Edie Windsor LGBTQ+ Fellow and Deputy Chief Diversity Officer Priya Nair (they/them/theirs) said, “The LGBTQ+ Fellowship is a unique opportunity to work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and LGBTQ+ policy with leadership across New York State government. As the Inaugural LGBTQ+ Fellow, I had the privilege of helping to advance historic LGBTQ+ initiatives, including enacting GENDA, introducing non-binary gender markers on State identity documents, and expanding insurance access to gender-affirming care. I’m so grateful to continue to serve New York State, which is a testament to the success of pipeline programs like the LGBTQ+ Fellowship.”

Current Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Edie Windsor Fellow Jea Frasier (all pronouns) said, “Through this fellowship, I have had the opportunity to be a part of and help shape a community of practice that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion within the state workforce. At the same time, I have helped advance policy that supports my community, like the Lorena Borjas TGNB Wellness and Equity Fund. It is an honor to serve all New Yorkers while uplifting the legacy of three community leaders, including two trans women of color, to whom all of us within the LGBTQ+ community owe a debt of gratitude.”

The fellowship is named after LGBTQ+ leaders who have — with their courage, tenacity and perseverance — raised awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and made a lasting difference in the LGBTQ+ community: Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera for their movement leading advocacy on behalf of the transgender community in New York, and Edie Windsor for her advocacy and groundbreaking work in successfully challenging the federal defense of marriage act.  

The Fellow has the opportunity to network across New York State agencies with elected officials and industry partners as well as to participate as an Empire State Fellow in educational and professional development programs, including a week-long orientation session and biweekly evening classes that will help them to serve as an effective government leader and strengthen the network of LGBTQ+ policymakers and leaders in New York State.

Applications for the fellowship will be accepted through Monday, May 15, 2023, and anyone interested can apply here. A virtual information session for interested applicants will be held on Wednesday, April 26 at 1 p.m. Register for the information session here.