Inaugural Class of Frank Karel Public Interest Communications Fellows Get Started in DC

Jun 22, 2012, 2:03 PM, Posted by

Visitors to Washington, DC, this month have seen an uptick in excitement as this year’s student volunteers and interns and fellows descend on the city and begin their work. Six of those students make up the inaugural class of Frank Karel Public Interest Communications Fellows, a program led by the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, which honors and advances the legacy of Frank Karel, who established and nurtured the field of strategic communications in philanthropy during his 30 years as chief communications officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.

The program will build on Karel’s vision for expanding and diversifying the field of public interest communications. “We couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to be managing this Fellows program,” said Chuck Bean, President of the Nonprofit Roundtable. “We embrace communications as a critical piece of any strategy to advance health and human services, education, the environment and the arts. It’s not enough to simply do the good work that needs to be done; it’s the skill to persuasively communicate that moves ideas into action.”

Projects of the Inaugural Karel Fellows’ class include:

  • Outreach about the Maryland Dream Act for CASA de Maryland, which works to improve the quality of life and fight for equal treatment and full access to resources and opportunities for low-income immigrant communities and organizations.
  • A video sharing a client’s story for Mary’s Center, which delivers health care, education and social services to residents in need in the Washington metropolitan region.
  • A new website, training, advocacy tools and media outreach efforts for the Campaign for Youth Justice, dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing and incarcerating youth under 18 in the adult criminal justice system.
  • Contributions to the social media plan for Aeras, which works on development of effective, affordable and sustainable tuberculosis (TB) vaccines.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.