Alexander Polikoff in the Chicago Sun-Times, 1973
The Fellowship was created in 1999 to honor Alexander Polikoff, who served as BPI’s Executive Director for 29 years, and Dorothy Gautreaux, the public housing activist who gave her name to Polikoff’s landmark lawsuit.
Each fall, BPI hires a recent law or policy school graduate to become a Polikoff-Gautreaux Fellow for a two-year term, beginning the following fall. Fellows do not create stand-alone projects, but instead are fully integrated into BPI’s staff as attorneys and policy analysts.
After completing their service at BPI, Polikoff Gautreaux fellows have gone on to pursue successful careers in affordable housing law, legal aid, civil rights advocacy, nonprofit leadership, and government.
Please check back soon for information on the 2021 Polikoff-Gautreaux Fellowship.
“One of the big benefits BPI had on my career was the exposure it gave me to the diversity
of stakeholders, all the groups working in the city of Chicago to try to change things. By the time my fellowship ended, I had a really good understanding of how these organizations can work together and ways in which I can continue to work with them.” -Katie Hill, 2007 Polikoff-Gautreaux Fellow
As a result of the range issues BPI’s work addresses and the complex political dilemmas they present, working at BPI requires a variety of skills, creativity, and a willingness to go beyond traditional legal and policy remedies to bring about social change. During a typical day, a BPI attorney or policy analyst might do any of the following:
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