Why a Pause Year?

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we made the tough decision to suspend YP4’s 2020-2021 Fellowship Class
and undergo a “Pause Year.”

This is the first time in YP4’s 16-year history that a Fellowship Class has been paused. This decision was not taken lightly, and after much consideration, we have determined that this is the necessary course of action as the safety and experience of our Fellows is our priority.

In the time since we initially announced the pause year, the world has undergone many transitions, with the current pandemic, national uprisings, climate catastrophes, and an economic recession.

As a result of these global challenges and internal transitions, YP4 will be undergoing additional programmatic shifts.

At this time, we are extending the 2020 Fellowship pause through 2021. We are using this time to think through all aspects of programming.

During this extended pause year, we will reimagine our work, and how we do it while supporting those affected by COVID-19. We’re innovating the programming we offer to Fellows and Alumni by doing the following:

  • Providing support to Alumni and their communities during this time of COVID-19, including hosting community self-care sessions and leveraging our relationships to provide direct support
  • Expanding programming for our Alumni Network through virtual community-building events, skills-building webinars, a Virtual Barter System, and more
  • Creating a 2020 Alumni Report to highlight the growth and achievements of YP4’s Alumni Network
  • Reimagining our Fellowship program to best serve the next generation of social justice leaders
  • Researching and updating our curriculum to stay cutting-edge

Those who applied to be a Fellow for the 2020-2021 Fellowship will be considered a priority for the next Fellowship year.

Frequently Asked Questions:

After multiple conversations and assessing the uniqueness of YP4 and the Fellowship experience, YP4 staff and the network concluded the best way to ensure the quality and experience for each Fellow, is to enact a pause year. There are components of the Fellowship that can’t be experienced through a virtual platform.  We want to make sure that every class year has the opportunity to experience those in-person connections with members of their Fellowship class that makes the YP4 experience so powerful.

Absolutely! We are in the process of revamping our external programming.  Make sure to follow YP4 on social media for opportunities to interact and engage as well as resources on how to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic through a social justice lens.

More questions about the 2020-2021 Pause Year?