Thelton E. Henderson Racial Justice Fellowship

Students in the library stacks

We are delighted to announce that, thanks to the extraordinary generosity and vision of our sponsors, the Henderson Center has raised nearly $300,000 to endow a new fellowship in honor of Berkeley Law alumnus, beloved community member, and legendary jurist Thelton E. Henderson. This pathbreaking fellowship will be awarded annually to a Berkeley Law student who has a demonstrated commitment to social justice and who, critically, is engaged in racial justice work during law school. The fellowship keeps faith with all that the Henderson Center has stood for since its inception, it serves the greater community (indeed the nation) as we grapple with racial equity, and it honors Judge Henderson’s legacy as a champion for racial justice. The first Thelton E. Henderson Fellowship will likely be awarded in 2019.

Berkeley Law thanks Ellen Widess ’74 and Abby Ginzberg, members of the Henderson Center Advisory Council and longtime friends of the Henderson family, for their exceptional dedication to fundraising for this fellowship. Their enthusiastic commitment to our goal, coupled with our sponsors’ generosity, has created the possibility of new knowledge about and solutions to the problem of racial inequality. We are profoundly grateful.



The deadline to apply for the Thelton E. Henderson Racial Justice Fellowship is Friday, March 15, 2024 at 11:59 PM PST


All Berkeley Law 1Ls and 2Ls can apply.

Henderson Center Racial Justice Fellowships will be awarded to students who are poised to complete a summer or semester of legal work significantly focused on racial justice and racial equity.

The fellowship is designed to support and encourage racial justice work and racial equity work during and beyond your time at Berkeley Law. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated commitment to social justice.

This fellowship will be paid as a spring award instead of a summer award, therefore it will not affect the next academic year’s potential financial aid eligibility.

Applicants will need to demonstrate the connection between the project they are undertaking this summer and the ways in which race intersects with power, anti-subordination work, equity, and the law.


The fellowship application was previously a part of the Edley Grant application, but is no longer included. Please apply at the application link below. 



Past Recipients

2023: Marian Avila Breach, Krishna Desai, Kevin Steward, Maria Watson, Dominick Williams

2022: Emily Chuah & Sydney Moon

2021: Rachel Appel, Lucia Colicchio, Fatima Ladha

2020: Oscar S. Roman, Gabriela Bermudez, Emma Nicholls