The Call For Kindness (C4K) gives young leaders (ages 13-22) across the country the skills, connections, and funding they need to run social impact projects that inspire kindness and strengthen their local, national, or global communities. The Call For Kindness consists of a 12-month leadership development fellowship and a startup grant of up to $3,000. Fellows receive 1:1 coaching and project support, virtual skill-building sessions, an in-person leadership Retreat, networking, mentorship opportunities, and a peer community of other young changemakers. Fellows can also apply for Continuation Grants with ongoing project support and coaching. We have created an incredible community of young changemakers and are excited to see what 2023 brings!
Hundreds of applicants from across the country answered the Call For Kindness by submitting a new or existing youth-led project rooted in Riley’s Way values – kindness, empathy, youth leadership, and inclusive community – that tackled anything from pressing equity and social justice issues to building meaningful connections in schools or communities.
In addition to the general category, at least ten projects specifically focused on our 2023 special topic: environmental justice, to address the growing need for solutions in this critical space.
Riley’s Way will also continued to support one award in a special dance and performing arts category, the Yuriko Kikuchi Arigato Award (“Arigato” means “thank you” in Japanese), in honor of Yuriko, the pioneering dancer, choreographer, and keeper of Martha Graham’s flame. Yuriko was the grandmother of Riley’s Way’s Director of Operations, Laura Kikuchi Dunn.
More on The Call For Kindness
The Riley’s Way Call For Kindness offers a robust Leadership Development Fellowship for participants of the winning projects. The three pillars of the Fellowship focus on skill-building, connection-making, and project support.
Skill Building – Throughout the year-long Fellowship, participants gain skills that build their efficacy as leaders and help them further their projects. Riley’s Way provides workshops and professional development opportunities designed to enhance Fellow’s leadership and project management skills. Individual skill-building training may vary each year as we tailor the experience and sessions based on the interests and needs of each cohort. Examples of past workshops include diversity, equity, and inclusion; budgeting & fundraising; and how to get press. Professional development has included opportunities for Fellows to be interviewed by reporters and see themselves featured in podcasts, articles, or news clips; facilitate a skill or topic-based session for other changemakers; or talk on a panel about their project or kind leadership at a national conference.
Riley’s Way also brings all the Fellows together for an in-person weekend Retreat, with transportation and lodging provided by Riley’s Way.
Inclusive Community – Inclusive community is at the heart of Riley’s Way. Over the year-long Fellowship, participants will learn how to share their stories, strengthen their networking skills, and become part of a national network of like-minded youth, adults, and experts who inspire and support them. This network will continue long past the end of the Fellowship and will be a support and resource as Fellows move forward in their careers. Connecting with and learning from other young changemakers and building lasting bonds is often part of the Fellowship that participants find the most rewarding.
Project Support – Through the Call For Kindness, Riley’s Way offers direct financial support for projects (up to $3,000) and 1:1 project support, mentoring, brainstorming, and problem-solving. Staff members are available for bi-weekly one-on-one conversations and support. We may connect Fellows to other issue-based experts as needed. Fellows also get support, ideas, and encouragement from current and prior Fellows in group brainstorms and problem-solving sessions. This year, in addition to staff support, Riley’s Way will pair each project with a mentor for the year. Mentors include inspiring leaders in nonprofit or industry, past C4K Fellows, Riley’s Way staff or Board members, and subject matter experts.
Learn more about our Kindness Fellows from previous years and their projects using the links below. Be sure to check out their pages for ongoing updates.
2021 Call For Kindness Fellows
2020 Call For Kindness Fellows
2019 Call For Kindness Fellows
Camille (she/her), Project SuperKid at HOBY, Maryland
CJ (he/him), Making Change Blanket Workshop, Georgia
Sasha (she/her) and Tamanna (she/her),Tech Inclusion Project, New York
ZaNia (she/her), Z Feeds Angel Food Project, North Carolina
Sydney (she/her) and Braydon (he/him), (BE)KIND INITIATIVE, Tennessee
Alyssa (she/her), EEqual Scholars Flex Fund, Oregon
Sunya (she/her), #MyStory, New York
Sriya (she/her), GirlsWhoSTEAM, New Jersey
Miarri (she/her), Green Goddess, Colorado
Jae (he/him) and team, Grow Kindness, North Carolina
Jeremiah (he/him), Hotels For The Holidays, South Carolina
Angeles (she/her) and team, Justice is Us Project, Florida
Jean (she/her) and team, Leaders Across the World, Washington
Avery (she/her), The Love Carries On Drive, Illinois
William (he/him), RoboRecovery, Louisiana
Solya (she/her), SoulTalksMHP, New York
Addison (she/her) and Hayden (he/him), Spread Your Sunshine, Minnesota
Are you part of an organization or company that cares about young leaders? Add your voice to the growing number of organizations championing kindness as an essential leadership quality by supporting our Call For Kindness. Join us as we connect youth changemakers across the country who are working to make our world a better place.
The Call For Kindness, now in its fifth year, offers young leaders the chance to participate in a dynamic Leadership Development Fellowship and win up to $3,000 in funding for a project that strengthens their local, national, or global communities.
Thank you for adding your organization to the pledge below and helping spread the word about the #CallForKindness within your community and beyond!
When you pledge to be a Partner, we ask that you:
In addition, we are honored list as a partner on our website, in our press release, and in communications to members of our community. Thank you for joining us in the next generation of changemakers leading with kindness, empathy and inclusivity!
If you have any questions or want to learn more about partnering with Riley’s Way, please get in touch with Lauren Shenkman, Director of Partnerships & Programs.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher
The Sandler Family
TLC Starfish Foundation
A Kinder World Foundation