Victory Empowerment Fellowship

Program Overview

To develop strong LGBTQ public officials and movement leaders, the Victory Institute sends emerging LGBTQ leaders of color and/or transgender leaders to Victory’s Candidate & Campaign Training and International LGBTQ Leadership Conference. The fellowship connects alumni to ongoing opportunities for leadership development.

The Victory Empowerment Fellowship is for LGBTQ leaders of color and/or transgender leaders who seek to expand their campaign skills and policy-making power and join a strong cohort of movement leaders from across the country.

The Victory Empowerment Fellowship consists of three key components provided by the Victory Institute – the Candidate & Campaign Training, International LGBTQ Leaders Conference – and a year-long mentorship program.

Candidate and Campaign Training (August 2019)

Victory’s Candidate & Campaign Training provide comprehensive, non-partisan training to present and future LGBTQ candidates, campaign staff, and community leaders. All Fellows will participate together and learn necessary skills and strategies by engaging in tough, realistic campaign situations. This year, all Fellow selected are required to attend the following Candidate & Campaign Training:

  • Minneapolis, MN: August 8-11, 2019

A required orientation will occur a day before the Candidate & Campaign Training on Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 in Minneapolis.

International LGBTQ Leaders Conference (November 2019)

The largest gathering of LGBTQ leaders in the world, the International LGBTQ Leadership Conference offers trainings, workshops, and networking opportunities relevant to both the current and future state of the LGBTQ movement to over 500 attendees. Participants leave able to more effectively craft policies and build coalitions to bring those policies to fruition, learning from the experts, but also from one another. Join us at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC from November 13-16.

The Victory Empowerment Fellowship includes complete registration, travel, and lodging for the Candidate and Campaign Training and International LGBTQ Leaders Conference 2019. This year, Fellows will also present an interactive session at conference.

Apply to the 2020 Victory Empowerment Fellowship

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2019-2020 Victory Empowerment Fellowship. The 2020 cycle will open on November 1, 2019. In order to qualify, you MUST be available to participate in the Candidate & Campaign Training in Columbus, OH  – July 23-26, 2020. This is mandatory for all incoming fellows.

The Victory Empowerment Fellowship is open to people of all genders, orientations, abilities, races, and political affiliations.

Application Materials

  • Professional resume (one-page; PDF)
  • Professional bio and headshot
  • One letter of recommendation*
  • Two essay questions
  • Other important contact and demographic information

*You must submit one letter of recommendation, one that speaks to your leadership and commitment to the LGBTQ community. Please have your recommender email their letter directly to Sarah Pope, Domestic Programs Manager at [email protected]

Program Alumni

Meet the Fellows

Victory Empowerment Fellows are already making a change in their communities. Meet our 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 fellows.

For questions regarding the Victory Empowerment Fellowship, please contact Mario Enriquez, Director of Domestic Programs at [email protected].



LGBTQ Victory Institute would like to give special thanks to our program supporters. Their philanthropy ensures that this program has the financial resources it needs to make the Victory Empowerment Fellowship possible.

Arcus Foundation

A special thank you to our official airline partner Southwest Airlines, ensuring that LGBTQ leaders from around the world can be trained by Victory Institute

Southwest Logo Blue text and a tri-colored red. and yellow.

If you are interested in learning how you/your organization can support the Victory
 Empowerment Fellowship please contact Seth Schermer, VP of Development, at [email protected].