I suspect you may have seen here before — or in the print magazine — that the National Review Institute has regional fellows programs in a number of cities around the country. You may not have considered it because maybe it sounded like something other people do — that conservative professional class that seems to exist and may even seem like a mysterious mess with politics the way it is today. But National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. was all about building on the gifts we have been given and investing in the future while being good stewards now. And with the regional fellows program — dubbed “Burke to Buckley” — NRI is running with that legacy. So far, about 450 people are part of its alumni network. They are people in all walks of life — I get excited when I meet the teachers and doctors and stay-at-home mothers when I visit the various cities’ gatherings. These are not professional conservatives or activists for the most part. The program runs over eight nights — dinner and discussion — over the course of a fall or spring, depending on your city.
The deadline has been extended to December 23 for the upcoming sessions in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. (That gives you some weekend time to get it all filled out.) You can take a look for details and the application here.
I’d love to meet you — I’m already booked to talk with the fellows about gratitude in each spring city. The readings for that night include Bill Buckley and G. K. Chesterton. In Chicago right before Thanksgiving, I was overwhelmed by the gratitude people had for reading Chesterton for the first time.
San Francisco is always amazing, as people seem so starved for conservative conversations and friendships out in the open! In Dallas, there is such a living faith and sense of civic responsibility that comes to the surface from the start of the conversation (even before!). But that’s the fall. Maybe I’m planting the seed — look out for the application call some months down the line in 2020.
For now, if you are in New York, D.C., or Philadelphia, give the NRI Regional Fellowship program a consideration. We’d love to have you, and I think you’ll find yourself feeling less powerless and more hopeful about the future and your role in it having spent the time.