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Common Cause MD is proud to launch the Maryland HBCU Student Action Alliance – a program focused on working with students at Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities, giving them the tools to become the next generation of leaders in our state and nation.

Our current Democracy Fellows, Autumn and Taraja, help develop organizing campaigns on the Coppin State University Camus and community around issues of vital importance to their community and educational institution, as well as advocate for issues in the halls of state and federal government.

Their current priorities include helping to increase student turnout in the upcoming Baltimore City election, helping to get out the 2020 Census count, and helping to secure adequate funding for Maryland HBCU’s.

Autumn Wardlaw
Democracy Fellow

Coppin State University

Taraja Lawery
Democracy Fellow

Coppin State University

Davis Democracy Fellows will work closely with Common Cause staff and Fellows at HBCU’s across Maryland to boost civic engagement and promote the value of becoming lifelong participants in democracy on their campus. Fellowship currently open to students at Bowie State University and Morgan State University.

Spring 2020 Semester:  

In the Spring semester, Davis Democracy Fellows will focus on working with staff to build the program and increase student turnout in the upcoming election cycle by:

  • work with Common Cause MD staff and national program manager
  • creatively communicating with peers about the importance of students voting and having a voice in decisions affecting their everyday lives, their futures, and our HBCUs.
  • disseminating information about the voting processes (voter registration, requesting absentee ballots, accessing polling locations, voting early, etc).
  • attending community events to learn about early voting, election protocol, and what will be expected in the spring.
  • Fellows will be offered the opportunity to continue during the Fall 2020 semester.

This is a ten hour minimum per week commitment for the semester with the opportunity to continue for up to two additional semesters. Selected Davis Democracy Fellows will receive $800 per semester upon successful completion of the program or course credit (if offered by the school). Common Cause MD staff will work with each Davis Democracy Fellow to secure internship course credit where possible.


  • Build relationships with student leaders on your campus and from HBCUs across the state
  • Participate in leadership and organizing trainings to prepare you for future work in politics, law, advocacy, public relations, and more
  • Develop mentoring relationship with Common Cause MD staff and connections to Common Cause’s community of partners in MD.


  • Recruit and cultivate volunteers
  • Manage and participate in voter registration and community canvassing
  • Track contacts and enter information into data form
  • Participate in statewide Davis Democracy Fellow trainings and learning events (beginning of the year retreat, end of reception, monthly conference calls, etc.)
  • Attend weekly meetings with Common Cause staff and other campus Davis Democracy Fellows to coordinate activities
  • Establish and maintain relationships with community and campus partners
  • Support and advance the Common Cause MD HBCU mission
  • Increase Common Cause MD’s social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Disseminate information about the voting processes by making class announcements, organizing residence hall dialogues, tabling, and attending partner events
  • Work closely with Common Cause MD staff to develop individual goals that are in alignment with student’s strengths and interests.

An ideal candidate will:

  • Demonstrate leadership qualities
  • Engage peers and surrounding community in the electoral process
  • Have strong written and verbal skills
  • Only applications from students attending Bowie State University and Morgan State University will be accepted. We hope to expand to Eastern Shore soon.

Deadline: applications will be accepted until Spring 2020 fellowship positions are filled.

Contact us by email at jantoine@commoncause.org and acanty@commoncause.org if you have any questions.

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