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The Copehagen Fellowship 2020-2022

The Unity of the Realm and Human Rights

Despite the global outbreak of COVID-19 Humanity in Action Denmark was in the furtunate position to be able to conduct on-site and in-person Fellowships in Copenhagen in August 2020 and 2021.

In 2020, 2021 and 2022 the Copenhagen Fellowship focused especially on the theme of the Unity of the Realm and Human Rights. Read below the picture to learn how they went.

Screenshot from the online International Fellowship 2020

The International Opening Program

The global pandemic forced Humanity in Action – like everyone else in the world – to be creative and reinvent ourselves. This ment rethinking how to build community. This gave us the opportunity to develop our International Online Opening Program.

The International Opening Program rethinks ways of creating community online

In June 2020 all of our international Fellows of the year came together virtually for the very first time.

The experience was a success beyond what we had dared to hope for. All 125 international Fellows engaged in an amazing worldwide online community building session stretching over several days.

View the program from the 2021 International Opening days here.

“The online fellowship experience was beyond expectations. Even though we were/are living through strange times, there was a unique energy within the online fellowship that was both inspiring and encouraging, and that made me find peace within the uncertainty of the state of our world.” Patricia Petersen, 2020 Copenhagen Fellow

2020 Cph Fellow Patricia Petersen. Meet Patricia here.

The International Opening Program in 2020-2022 investigated topics such as “Intersectionality, solidarity & allyship”, “Colonialism and imperialism, “WWII and the SHOA”, “Beyond the Gender Binary”, “Remembrance culture in Germany”, “The Impact of Conspiracy Theory”, “Nationalism and race”  to name just a few of the sessions. The Fellows also investigated ways of online community building and how to take action on matters close to their hearts.

Speakers from many different countries and walks of life enlightened both Fellows and staff and sparked intense, dynamic and inspiring discussions that streched beyond the screen. And touched many of us with their passion and commitment. Most, if not all, fellows as well as staff members were surprised by the power of the community and the bonds that were created despite the geographical distances and the screens between us.

“It was special to be part of a large international cohort who were geographically spread all over the world but shared the passion to make this world a better place.” Patricia Petersen, 2020 Cph Fellow

Meet some of the speakers from the Opening Program

Our renowned speakers come with a wide range of backgrounds and love to share their knowledge and perspectives with our Fellows and community.

The Unity of the Realm and Human Rights

The 2020-2022 Copenhagen Fellowships dived into the complex issues of Unity of the Danish Realm through the lens of Human Rights.  

In Denmark, the Unity of the Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, which are collectively known as The Danish Realm.

After the the International Opening Program, all Copenhagen Fellows met in person for the first time at our main Fellowship location in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 2020 we held the Fellowship at “Demokrati Garage” in the North West part of Copenhagen and in 2021 and 2022 at “Karens Minde Kulturhus” in the south part of Copenhagen called “Sydhavnen”.

The Fellows – although in 2020 and 2021 they were all residing within Denmark – represented at least 10 different nationalities. In 2022 we were yet againe able to welcome Fellows from abroad.

In 2020-2022 the Copenhagen Fellowship focused especially on the complex issues of Rigsfællesskabet – the Unity of the Realm – through the lense of Human Rights.

The relationship between Denmark, Greenland and the Faroe Islands has been changing rapidly. Climate change, growing global interests in the Arctic, and the increasing focus on Denmark’s colonial past are shaping new possibilities for the future of these three countries. These developments create an urgent need for enlightened and democratic conversations on these relationships and its potential new reality. However, many people in Denmark, let alone abroad, know little to nothing about this social and political union and its implications for the people living within it.

2021 Cph Fellow Sofie Malm Henriksen. Meet Sofie here.

Together with experts, Human Rights advocates, journalists, historians, politicians and activists, the Fellowship examined the union’s long and complex history from a human rights perspective, and the relationship of the majority in Denmark with the country’s minorities across the North Atlantic.

>>“The thematic focus on the Unity of the Realm was important and much needed because it isn’t a part of our school curriculum and therefore a blind spot to many Danes. Often, we pride ourselves as this just, benevolent, and democratic nation but we are ignorant and arrogant about our colonial past, and oblivious to the omnipresence of coloniality as well as how we, as a nation and as individuals, benefit from it.” Sofie Malm Henriksen, 2021 Cph Fellow

Traveling to the Faroe Islands

For the first time in the history of the Copenhagen Fellowship we travelled to the Faroe Islands during the Fellowship.

Study trip to the Faroe Islands

Located between Norway and Iceland, the Faroe Islands is a self-governing archipelago in the Kingdom of Denmark. In cooperation with local non-government and other organizations in the Faroe Islands, the 2021 Copenhagen Fellowship visited the Faroe Islands and examined the idea of the “Unity of the Realm” from a Faroese perspective. 

The purpose of the trip was not only to talk about but to talk with the people of the islands and especially, listening to what they could to tell us about their perspectives on issues concerning the Unity of the Realm.

The trip to the Faroe Islands united us even further and in spite of being tired and overwhelmed, the group grew together and in my experience were able to fully rely on each other and get to know each other beyond the academic discussions.” Josephine Ravnkjær Nielsen, 2021 Cph Fellow

2021 Cph Fellow Josephine Ravnkjær Nielsen. Meet Josephine here.

We were so fortunate to stay at Føroya Fólkaháskúli (the Faroese Folk Highschool) in Tórshavn. This meant we could use their comfortable classrooms when having our many interesting lectures, debates and discussions.

During the week in Tórshavn we learned about relevant themes such as:

  • “Faroese Independence”
  • “Pro-Life or Pro-Choice in the Faroe Islands”
  • “LGBTQIA+ in the Faroe Islands”
  • “Democracy, Minorities and Religion in the Faroe Islands”.

We also hosted an interesting debate between youth party leaders and the Fellows on the Faroe Island’s role in the World. The debate was moderated by Senior Fellow Tór Marni Weihe and gave us a unique insight into what the youth think are important issues in the Faroes today.

We are very thankful for the insights we gained throughout the entire week and the people who contributed to making it all possible.

“The most insightful and inspiring moments of the Faroe Islands  was having the unique opportunity to get a glimpse of the culture, the country and the society. These are lessons that cannot be taught from afar, but must be understood through experience” Tukuma Egede, 2021 Cph Fellow

2021 Cph Fellow Tukuma Egede. Meet Tukuma here.

We were also very fortunate to have Senior Fellow and former Board Member Brandur Mortensen Nolsøe as our local hoast and guide. Brandur took us on an incredible 7 km hike from Tórshavn to the historically important village Kirkjubø.

To get there, we hiked up the steep, foggy mountains and along the magnificient fjords and we were welcomed by the farmer Jóhannes Patursson who is a descendent of the well known nationalist of the same name. Jóhannes gave us a private tour around Kirkjubø ahere we saw the historic site with ruins of the Magnus Cathedral which dates back to around 1300 and Saint Olav’s church from the 12th century as well as the old farmhouse of Kirkjubøargardur from the 11th century.

 

Pictures from past Copenhagen Fellowships

  • Visit to Saint Olav’s church in The Faroe Islands 2021
  • Panel Debate with Faroese Politicians 2021
  • The 2020 Cph cohort in front of the Statue I am Queen Mary in Copenhagen
  • 2017 Copenhagen Fellows
  • 2018 Copenhagen Fellowship
  • Group work, 2018 Copenhagen Fellowship
  • 2019 Copenhagen Fellows
  • 2020 Copenhagen Fellowship
  • 2019 Copenhagen Fellowship
  • 2019 Copenhagen Fellows
  • What Makes a Humanity in Action Fellow
  • Social entrepenuer Michael Lodberg in 2019
  • 2019 Copenhagen Fellows
  • 2017 Copenhagen Fellows
  • 2018 Copenhagen Fellows
  • 2019 Copenhagen Fellow
  • 2019 Copenhagen Fellow
  • 2019 Copenhagen Fellows
  • 2022 Copenhagen Fellows
  • 2020 Copenhagen Pride panel debate
  • 2020 Fellows at the Youth Island (Ungdomsøen)

Explore our Open Events

Everey year, the Copenhagen Fellowship invites the public in to debate the issues we find important and to strengthen the democratic conversation

The 2020-2022 Copenhagen Fellowship is developed in cooporation with:

 

  • Greenland Representation in Denmark/Kalaallit Nunaata Siniisoqarfia
  • The Representation of the Faroes in Copenhagen/Sendistova Føroya í Keypmannahavn
  • Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen
  • The Raoul Wallenberg institute for Human Rights, Lund

 

Our Fellowship Supporters in 2020-2022

We thank our supporters and partners, host families, Senior Fellows and friends of Humanity in Action. These contributions help to prepare outstanding students for a lifelong commitment to civic responsibility and the promotion of human rights.

Become a Fellow

Every year, new Humanity in Action Fellows come together in six cities across Europe and the United States to study how and why people confront intolerance and protect democratic values.

01 Year duration

06 Locations

135 Fellows per year