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Civic and Community Engagement Fellowship

The Civic and Community Engagement Fellowship’s mission is to build leadership capacity among Maine’s emerging young adults who are immigrants or ethnic or racial minorities.

Click to apply for the next cohort of the CCEF!

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As the population of Maine continues to diversify, the need grows for civic and community engagement, inclusive and representative decision- making, and integrated community conversations.

Developed specifically for emerging adults (21-27 years old) who are immigrant and ethnic or racial minorities, the Civic and Community Engagement Fellowship (CCEF) will build leadership and professional skills to prepare Maine’s emerging leaders for a life engaged in their community and their chosen careers.

This cohort-based, year-long program will offer opportunities to learn from local and national seasoned leaders from similar backgrounds.The Civic and Community Engagement Fellowship is a program of Portland Empowered. 

The Civic and Community Engagement Fellowship will

Create a platform for emerging leaders to connect with and learn from leaders of public and private organizations and government from similar and different backgrounds.

Build on participants’ existing strengths so they are better able to influence social, economic, and educational culture of their cities and of the state.

Serve as a central hub for developing, coordinating, and supporting the leadership capacity of emerging immigrant and minority leaders by fostering and encouraging their full participation in public, political, and civic life.

Invest in the career and professional readiness to support Maine’s emerging leaders to remain in the state for their careers.

The fellowship offers once-a-month, day-long sessions with network-building events in between and ongoing personalized support. Each session will be organized around four primary focus areas:

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, sessions have moved to remote learning two times per month out of concern for staff and participant safety.


Confident and intentional leadership guided by personal values and identity.

Important leadership skills such as public speaking, interviewing, knowledge of self, and the ability to communicate and engage with others.

Professional Skill Building & Development

Comfort with skills required to access and navigate professional networks and to present oneself professionally (resume writing, online presence, etc.).

Fluency with standard professional culture and expectations.

Racial & Cultural Awareness

Understanding of how oppression and systemic injustice affects individuals and communities.

Opportunity to have demonstrated and practiced respectful discussions despite potential disparate beliefs, backgrounds, or identities (race, culture, religion, etc.).

Civic & Community Engagement

Understanding of what active citizenship means, and methods and means of community and political engagement.

Understanding of how systems work, including key elements of municipal and state government, and how to engage elected officials and leadership.

Sustain or foster a sense of hope for democracy.

For questions about the Civic and Community Engagement Fellowship

Pious Ali ([email protected]) or (207) 807-4283