PWN-USA Launches Inaugural Class of Policy Fellowship!

January 19, 2017: Positive Women’s Network-USA (PWN-USA) is proud to launch applications for our inaugural 2017-2018 Policy Fellowship for women living with HIV (WLHIV). The yearlong Policy Fellowship will advance our organizational mission to prepare and involve WLHIV in all levels of policy and decision-making by increasing participants’ ability to engage effectively in the federal policy and advocacy arena. In the current political environment marred by threats to sexual and reproductive rights, basic healthcare, the social safety net and civil and human rights, it is critical that WLHIV are equipped with a wide array of tools to support vibrant, visionary and strategic advocacy on behalf of their communities. Register for an informational webinar about the program and application process here.

The fellowship is open to all women living with HIV, including women of trans experience. We especially encourage young women, women of color, immigrant women, folks who are trans, LGB and gender nonconforming, who live in the South and who possess a strong desire to effect meaningful change in the lives of other WLHIV to apply. 

In recognition that spaces of influence within the federal policy environment have been largely inaccessible to WLHIV, the fellowship curriculum will be rooted within a social justice framework and will apply an explicit gender justice and racial justice lens to the policy and advocacy process as a vehicle for transformative social and political change.

Upon successful completion of the program, the inaugural fellowship class will be formally recognized in a graduation ceremony at the 2018 PWN Speak Up! Summit as members of a growing pipeline of WLHIV, supported through PWN-USA, who are shaping policy at the state and federal level, fighting stigma and discrimination, and generating a new discourse that calls for upholding full rights and dignity for all people living with and vulnerable to HIV.


Over the course of the fellowship, participants will:

  • expand understanding of the structure of government and how federal policy is developed and implemented;
  • learn key frameworks for advocacy interventions;
  • learn to analyze policy;
  • deepen understanding of strategies to effect policy change, including grassroots advocacy, effective coalition
  • building, and building and maintaining relationships with policymakers and stakeholders who have influence over the policy-making process.


The Fellowship period is April 2017-March 2018; during this time frame, Fellows will participate in a series of interactive web-based and in-person skills-building sessions delivered by PWN staff and other policy experts. Fellows will also collaborate on issue-based teams and will receive coaching from seasoned advocates in the field. Reading assignments and homework will be assigned between sessions.


  • 12 web-based policy skills-building training sessions (April 2017-December 2017, see tentative schedule below)
  • 1 in-person training (September 2017 in Washington, DC)
  • Conference calls with policy coaches
  • 2 web-based coaching sessions (January and February 2018)
  • Participation in 3 PWN-USA Policy webinars – schedule to be confirmed


  • Fellowship Application Released – January 18, 2017
  • Fellowship Application Webinar – January 27, 2017 (register here–recording will be available on PWN-USA website here)
  • Application Deadline – February 15, 2017
  • Fellowship Interviews – March 2-3, 2017
  • Notification of Acceptance – March 21, 2017
  • Fellowship Launch & Orientation – April 7, 2017, EST
  • USCA and In-person Training – September 7-10
  • Graduation PWN-USA SpeakUp! Summit – TBA, 2018


(Times reflect tentative schedule to be confirmed based on finalists’ availability. Participation in ALL aspects of the program is required for successful completion.)

  • Web Session 1 – Friday, April 7, 2017 3pm EST
    • Program Orientation
  • Web Session 2 – Friday, April 21, 2017 3pm EST
    • Policy and Government 101
  • Web Session 3 (Supplementary) – Wednesday, April 26 or Thursday, April 27, 2017 (to be confirmed), 3pm EST
    • Values-Based Messaging (fellows required to participate or listen to recording)
  • Web Session 4 – Friday, May 5, 2017 3pm EST
    • Policy and Government 102
  • Web Session 5 – Friday, May 19, 2017 3pm EST
    • Federal Budget Process
  • Web Session 6 – Friday, June 9, 2017 3pm EST
    • Administrative Advocacy and Key Federal Agencies
  • REVIEW Session — Friday, June 23, 2017 3pm EST
  • Web Session 7 – Friday, July 7, 2017 3pm EST
    • Policy Analysis
  • Web Session –   Friday, July 21, 2017 3pm EST
    • Key Frameworks for Advocacy Part I
  • Web Session 9 (Supplementary) – July Date/Time TBA
    • PWN-USA Policy Skills Building – Advocating Across Movements Webinar
  • Web Session 8 – Friday, August 4, 2017 3pm ET
    • Key Frameworks for Advocacy Part II
  • Web Session 10 – Friday, August 18, 2017 3pm ET
    • Grassroots Advocacy & Policy
  • In-Person Training Sessions 1 & 2 – Washington, DC – September 6-7, 2017
    • Effective Coalition Building & Building Relationships with Policymakers and Key Stakeholders
  • Web Session 11 – Friday, October 13, 2017 3pm ET
    • Policy Issue Based Training
  • Web Session 12 – Friday, November 17, 2017 3pm ET
    • Policy Research
  • YEAR END REVIEW Session – Friday, December 8, 2017 3pm ET
  • Group Coaching Webinar – Friday, January 12, 2018 3pm ET
    • Practicum
  • Group Coaching Webinar – Friday, February 10, 2018 3pm ET
    • Practicum
  • Final Reports Due and Fellowship Teach Backs – TBA March 2018 


Fellows will receive coaching and mentoring to support their policy advocacy goals, opportunities to attend policy meetings (in person and via conference call), opportunities to engage with national advocacy coalitions, and access to policy experts. Additionally, fellows will have the opportunity to obtain and apply marketable writing, research and organizing skills to support their professional development. Fellows who graduate successfully will receive a certificate at the end of the program and their registration fees for the 2018 SPEAK UP! Summit will be waived. 


The fellowship is open to all women living with HIV, including women of trans experience. We especially encourage young women, women of color, immigrant women, folks who are trans, LGB and gender nonconforming, who live in the South and who possess a strong desire to effect meaningful change in the lives of other WLHIV to apply. 


(please read and follow carefully)

The fellowship application consists of 3 parts: 1) Applicant Information 2) Civic and Community Engagement and 3) Personal Statements. The Applicant Information section consists of basic demographic questions, the Civic and Community Engagement section asks questions about your policy and advocacy and community experience and the Personal Statements section provides an opportunity for you to share with us your interest in the program and how participation will advance your personal and professional advocacy goals.

An online form will be used to collect your responses to the sections detailed above, and so a secure internet connection will be necessary for your submission. We suggest downloading and/or printing these instructions and having them handy as you complete your application.  You may also consider writing your responses to your personal statements in a Word document and transferring them to your application form when you are ready to submit the entire application. Once you begin your application, you may not be able to resume where you left off if you are interrupted or lose your internet connection.

Optional Components

 Video Interview

If you would like, you can share a short video about yourself as an optional part of your application. Please follow the directions for recording and submitting the video included in the Google form carefully and be sure to answer the prompt directly and pay close attention to the time limit imposed.


Though not required, we strongly encourage you to submit a copy of your current resume. Please submit it as an email attachment in a Microsoft Word or PDF document to and include in the subject line your first and last name, and the date you submitted the rest of your application.


Questions? Please contact

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