Susan Schecter Fellowship

Creating a world where women and children around the world could live free from violence was Susan Schechter’s dream. As one of the most accomplished and respected leaders in the domestic violence prevention movement, Susan was one of the first to seed what has become a worldwide movement to end violence.

Picture1The Susan Schechter Leadership Development Fellowship was created in 2005 to honor the rich history of the movement, foster new generations of leaders, and provide opportunities for current and emerging leaders to take the movement to the next level. The program has changed over the years in response to the needs of the field and has focused on supporting individual leadership development and implementing a graduate level, interdisciplinary, course curriculum that seeks to increase the number of trained professionals working to end family violence.

From 2005-2009, FUTURES awarded four individual leadership development fellowships to Sharwline Nicholson, Andy Wong, Holly Mattson, and Patricia Duncan Hall to focus on a variety of issues.

With the desire to reach more emerging leaders, in 2009, FUTURES collaborated with Simmons College’s School of Social Work, to create the Leadership Development in Anti-Violence Work: The Susan Schechter Social Action Seminar. The course has also been offered at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. The course has been offered ten times and over 160 students have completed the class. Each semester’s class brings students of various disciplines together, both graduate and undergraduate to: learn about Susan’s innovative work, to develop their own voice, ask new questions and test their leadership skills. Over the semester students delve into emerging questions in the field of violence prevention and the connection to topics such as community violence, trauma informed care, youth organizing, reproductive health, child sexual abuse and many others.

Picture2The course culminates in a poster session presentation where the students present their action plans and the process they went through in developing their project. Course evaluations reveal a deep and positive impact on the students that have taken the course. Alumni were also able to apply to FUTURES for additional resources to continue their work and to present at national conferences related to their area of interest.

On the horizon, FUTURES is dedicated to embedding Susan’s vision within higher education with the hope of reaching hundreds and even thousands of emerging leaders. We are currently looking for new partners to expand and deepen the Fellowship’s impact on the next generation of leaders and continue to share Susan’s innovative work with the field.

Donate to the Susan Schechter Leadership Development Fellowship to foster a new generation of leaders in anti-violence work.

For more information about the Susan Schechter Social Action Seminar please email Leiana Kinnicutt at