Created in honor of Shirley Sapin and in recognition for her commitment to equality and opportunity for all people, the Sapin Fellowship was established to offer students in post-secondary institutions the opportunity to work for four months with the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) on issues of economic development and workforce equity.
Through the support of the Sapin family and friends of GFI, the Fellowship is offered three times a year during the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters. Fellows spend the academic or summer semester working with GFI on issues and programs at the heart of economic access for the working poor. They participate on all levels with GFI staff and initiatives, gaining exposure to international development issues, non-profit management, and access to a wide network of affiliated organizations and businesses throughout the Washington, DC region.
Sapin Fellowship applicants must be willing to commit an academic or summer semester to working at GFI. Fellows must meet a minimum of 18 hours of work per week and are required to complete a research study or proposal on a subject to be developed with GFI staff. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate a range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences suited to work with GFI and our beneficiaries.
The Sapin Fellowship includes a living stipend of $1500 for the Fall and Spring terms and $1000 for the Summer term. The stipend is provided in 2 payments at the middle and end of the Fellowship and full payment of the stipend will be dependent on the fulfillment of the minimum required hours.
To learn more about the Sapin Fellowship, including Fellows' requirements and responsibilities, please download the PDF at the top of this page.
Selected applicants will be asked to carry an in-office interview with GFI staff.
Dr. Shirley Sapin lived a life committed to social activism and civil rights for all people. Throughout her career Dr. Sapin worked on behalf of people struggling to realize their individual goals. During World War II, living with her family in Hawaii, she witnessed racism against the native Hawaiian people and vowed to commit herself to the cause of social justice. In the 1960’s she served as a grassroots organizer for Voice of Women where she devoted herself to work with the peace and civil rights movements, for school integration and against nuclear testing. Taking the role of personal advocate, Shirley served as a counselor and psychologist at institutions ranging from Cleveland State University to the Island Counseling Center of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts where she finished her career. Shirley served on the boards of Big Brothers and Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity. In honor of her life and passion the Sapin Family created the Sapin Fellowship with the Global Fairness Initiative in 2010.
Make an online donation to the Sapin Fellowship
Please send your tax-deductable donation by check or money order to, with attention to "Sapin Fellowship"
The Global Fairness Initiative
2000 P Street, NW #210
Washington, DC 20036