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.

Application Process

Applications for the 2021 Cohort are due May 30, 2021. If you run into issues submitting your application, please email a PDF copy of your responses to [email protected]

In order to qualify, you MUST be available to participate in the San Diego Candidate & Campaign Training & Orientation October 14-17, 2021 and the International LGBTQ Leaders Conference in Washington, DC from December 1-4, 2021. This is mandatory for all incoming fellows. If COVID safety does not allow for in-person travel, the Candidate & Campaign Training and/or LGBTQ Leaders Conference will be held virtually.

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*
  • Three short essay questions (available via the online application)
  • 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, Director of Domestic Programs, at [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions: Learn more

Candidate and Campaign Training (October 2021)

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. Fellows selected for the 2021 cohort will attend the San Diego Candidate & Campaign Training October 14-17th. If COVID safety does not allow for in-person travel, the Candidate & Campaign Training will be held virtually.

International LGBTQ Leaders Conference (December 2021)

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 December 1-4, 2021. Fellows arrive early on Thursday, December 1nd and check-out on Sunday, December 4th, 2021.

The Victory Empowerment Fellowship includes complete registration, travel, and shared lodging for both the Candidate and Campaign Training and International LGBTQ Leaders Conference 2021. All Fellows must attend and will also present an interactive session at conference.

Want to learn more about the Victory Empowerment Fellowship?

Hear from a few of the 2019 Victory Empowerment Fellowship alumni on our Zoom recruitment panel that was held on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
View the one-hour panel here.

Meet the 2020 Victory Empowerment Fellows

Our Victory Empowerment Fellows bring critical LGBTQ voices to their communities and represent the future of LGBTQ politics. Meet the 2020 Cohort of Victory Empowerment Fellows.

Program Alumni

Victory Empowerment Fellows are already making a change in their communities and we are proud that in 2020, we now have 59 LGBTQ leaders who have gone through this program. Meet our 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 fellows.



For questions regarding the Victory Empowerment Fellowship, please contact Sarah Pope, 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.

If you are interested in learning how you/your organization can support the Victory
 Empowerment Fellowship please contact Seth Schermer, Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer, at [email protected].