April 8, 2024

Rise Up Conference Fellow

Rise Up is Hiring a Conference Fellow!

If you think you have what it takes to Rise Up with our Steering Committee to put on this transformative conference, submit your application today!

Register today for the Conference Fellow Info Session, March 7, 3 p.m. ET.

Hello friends,

The Rise Up Conference Steering Committee is excited to announce that with the continued support of the Mellon Foundation, we are hiring our next Rise Up Fellow. Our initial Fellow has proven to be a great success and we are looking forward to working with our next candidate. We are looking for a directly impacted person who is ready to help us continue to take Rise Up to the next level while being deeply invested in themselves. This one-year full-time position can be done 100% remotely, includes fully funded medical, dental, and vision insurance and a 3% 403(b) retirement match, and concludes with a wind-down period during which the outgoing fellow will train next year’s fellow while searching for their next employment opportunity. If you are a graduate of a higher education in prison program and want to help us #RiseUpHEP, this opportunity may be for you.

About Rise Up:

September 9th, 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, during which hundreds of men incarcerated at Attica banded together, after years of abuse, to take control of the facility until their demands were met. The men’s demands were simple: better living conditions and opportunities to improve their lives. The same spirit and belief in the transformative power of positive programming can be found in people pursuing higher education while incarcerated today.

Higher education in prison is a field that has experienced a period of rapid expansion over the last twenty-five years. Although there is a lot of discussion about the importance of including directly impacted people in the work of this field, it is rare to see spaces where those directly impacted people are leading the conversation. Directly impacted practitioners offer not only lived experience, but also expertise and scholarship honed through academic study and training both inside and after prison. Many college-in-prison programs include directly impacted people as tokens on panel discussions, but rarely are they included in leadership positions.

In 2021, a group of formerly incarcerated leaders in the higher education in prison (HEP) space came together with the belief that the time had come for those with lived experience to set the full agenda for these conversations. Their initial meetings culminated in the birth of Rise Up, an innovative conference that highlights the work of directly impacted HEP students, alumni, and practitioners. In its first three years, the conference brought in hundreds of registrants and raised tens of thousands of dollars in support of speakers from across the country as well as from around the world. The conference gave space to the stories of system-impacted individuals who have been released and are now working in incredible positions once thought unattainable, such as physicians, lawyers, directors, professors, and more.

The feedback the Steering Committee received from attendees and speakers at the first three years of Rise Up, as well as the groundswell of financial support from individual registrants and organizations in the HEP space, provide an encouraging foundation for the future of this conference. The Steering Committee now seeks to bring on our next paid conference organizer to engage in the critical and plentiful work that will be involved in hosting Rise Up 2024, which will include regional watch parties and other potential in-person components. In keeping with the spirit of Rise Up, the fellowship is open to directly impacted HEP students and alumni.

Role Summary:

The success of the conference’s first two years was made possible by the Steering Committee contributing volunteer hours to the project, working together as a team without a formal structure. Although these efforts culminated in fruitful results, the growth of this movement will depend on the ability to spend focused, dedicated time on the administrative and logistical work of a conference. This is especially true given that the Steering Committee hopes for in-person components of Rise Up in 2024 and beyond. With the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, the Rise Up Steering Committee was able to bring on a Conference Fellow to bring the 2023 Rise Up Conference to life. We are now hiring a second Rise Up Conference Fellow, who will work concurrently with the existing fellow to execute the administrative and logistical work of Rise Up 2024. This fellowship will be one year in length, starting no later than the end of May 2024.

The fellow can work 100% remotely from anywhere and will be supervised and trained over the course of the fellowship by members of the Steering Committee and our current fellow Stacey Easiley, to carry out the tasks below. The fellowship’s scope of work is designed not only to support the work of the conference but to provide a broad diversity of experience and skills that will serve as a useful foundation for an emerging scholar or practitioner in the HEP space.

What You Will Do:

The Rise Up Conference Fellow works under the direction of the Steering Committee to:

• choose conference location/regional watch party locations

• select and book venues

• build and fundraise toward expense budget

• build and maintain conference website

• produce and post social media conference marketing

• work with videos from past Rise Up conferences to create highlight reels and presentation recordings

• build a sub-committee structure, then mobilize those sub-committees to provide specific types of support

• distribute call for proposals and recruit submissions

• recruit and mobilize submission reviewers

• build conference schedule from pool of accepted proposals

• assist with speaker travel planning and booking

• create conference program and other hardcopy collateral

• create/update playbook walking future fellows through the processes listed above • other duties as assigned.

Who You Are:

Candidates considered eligible for the Rise Up Conference Fellowship will be:

  • available to commit to the entire fellowship, i.e. May 27, 2024 until April 30, 2025;
  • directly impacted students/alumni from any higher education in prison program across the country;
  • in possession of at least an associate degree from an accredited institution of higher education;
  • to support the remote nature of the position, already proficient in Microsoft Office and Zoom; knowledge of social media platforms and Canva preferred;
  • able to demonstrate evidence of project management ability, including time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines with minimal supervision;
  • able to collaborate with and lead groups;
  • strong in organizational skills;
  • able to provide two references who can speak toward skills listed above;
  • experienced in event/conference planning and fundraising (preferred but not required).

What You Can Expect:

The Rise Up Fellow will report to the Rise Up Steering Committee, but for administrative purposes will be an employee of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison during the fellowship period. The selected Fellow will receive:

• $60,000 salary

• Fully funded Medical, dental, and vision insurance and monthly wellness stipend

• 15 days/year paid time off & 9 paid holidays

• 403(b) account contribution matched up to 3%

• Support for professional development, travel, and tech

How to Apply:  

Please submit your resume and cover letter, indicating desired salary range and the date on which you are available to start, via the form provided. If you have any additional questions, please forward your inquiries to ( with the subject line, “Rise Up Fellowship Application”. All qualified applicants will be considered, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.  

Hudson Link provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetics, criminal justice history, or disability status. We seek to build a diverse staff representative of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

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