Are you a displaced writer, artist, journalist, cultural worker, human rights defender, or scholar living in the United States? You are not alone!

The Opportunity Network for At-Risk Writers, Artists, Rights Defenders, and Scholars (ONWARDS) is a collaborative effort by civil society groups that support courageous people like you. We are honored to help you work and live in safety, but we know that when your fellowship, sponsorship, or residency is over, you will need to find a way to support yourself and your family.

That means navigating a complicated landscape of visas, job applications, emotional and financial stresses, health insurance options, and other challenges. ONWARDS is unable to help you one-on-one, but we can offer free online workshops, resource lists, and opportunities to connect with other people in similar situations.

ONWARDS is a project of the US Protection Group for Cultural Rights Defenders (CRDs) and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs), an informal network of organizations and institutions that support at-risk scholars, artists, writers, journalists, and activists. The project is coordinated by Ithaca City of Asylum, a project of the nonprofit Center for Transformative Action, and supported by Cornell University’s Scholars Under Threat Initiative, part of Global Cornell.

Active members of the US Protection Group include the Artist Protection Fund, Artistic Freedom Initiative, Black Mountain InstituteCartoonists RightsCheuse CenterCity of Asylum Detroit, City of Asylum Pittsburgh, Cornell UniversityFreedom House, Harvard Scholars at Risk, Ithaca City of Asylum, Logan Nonfiction Center, PEN America Artists at Risk Connection, Penn Cultural Heritage Center, Scholars at Risk, University of Iowa International Writing Program, and the Urgent Action Fund.

Members of the ONWARDS working group are Leona Binz (Scholars at Risk), Gracie Golden (Artistic Freedom Initiative), Carly O'Connell (IIE/Scholar Rescue Fund), Catherine Skolnicki (City of Asylum Pittsburgh), and Omaid Sharifi (PEN America Artists at Risk Connection). The project coordinator is Jonathan Miller (Ithaca City of Asylum and Center for Transformative Action).

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