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Rockwood Documentary Leaders Fellowship

Developed with the understanding that artists and arts leaders hold a special place within social change movements, this unique Fellowship brings together leaders spanning an array of roles within the film and digital storytelling sector to share in powerful leadership development and build strong partnerships to deepen this critical work. Together, we can amplify the voices of those whose stories must be told, and whose struggles for justice shape the way in which we envision the world. 

About The Fellowship

"I am leaving with a renewed understanding of my unique place and voice in the media arts universe, and new tribe of collaborators who stand with me in the work. This Rockwood thing— it's pretty amazing."

Wendy Levy2015 Fellow

“Rockwood was an exceptional experience of personal and professional transformation that I continue to unpack and practice on a daily basis. It has grounded me as a person with a greater understanding of what I stand for, and how I can engage with others professionally and in my creative work. Thank you."

Michèle Stephenson2016 Fellow

"The Rockwood training program provided a much-needed opportunity to reflect on my role as a leader and community partner, to build relationships with my colleagues in a supportive environment, and to connect with a larger ecosystem of change agents."

Sonya Childress2015 Fellow

“The Rockwood JustFilms Fellowship was a cherished time to nurture my inner self, learn leadership skills by doing, and building an intentional community. I would do this course every 6 months, if I could.”

Maura Minsky2016 Fellow

“My experience in the Rockwood JustFilms Fellowship has profoundly transformed my work and life. I feel more capable of stepping into my role as a leader with a vision, working at the intersection of storytelling and social change. I also have much greater clarity on the connection between my personal growth and collective evolution, and how I can model the change I want to see in the world.”

Luisa Dantas2017 Fellow


Please note that the in-person session and location are subject to change as we respond to COVID-19. We prioritize the safety and well-being of participants and are following the most up-to-date public health recommendations. 

Fellows will attend Rockwood’s Virtual Art of Leadership in smaller “sub cohorts.” These sub-cohorts will be joined by participants who are not members of the Documentary Leaders cohort and will include activists, organizers, program directors, and other nonprofit leaders who are working in diverse sectors. 

SESSION 1, Option 1: Monday, May 15 – Friday, May 19 2023 

SESSION 1, Option 2: Monday, July 10 – Friday, July 14 2023 

For the second in-person session, Fellows will attend an all-cohort convening with just their Documentary Leaders cohort.  

SESSION 2: Monday August 14 – Friday, August 18th 2023, Edith Macy Conference Center, Briarcliff Manor, NY 

Attendance at all sessions is required for participation in the Fellowship.  


Pamela Chiang 

Pamela is President of Chiange, Inc. A community organizer in her political roots, she brings that appreciation with clients, and guides them through personal and organizational transformation for societal transformation. Over the past two decades, she has led organizations and movements for economic and environmental justice and created deep culture and strategic change inside organizations. She is known for a style that aligns people from diverse racial, cultural, gender, generational, and geographic experiences towards common purpose. Influenced by a resilient and dynamic Chinese immigrant mother, she expands perceived boundaries of what is possible for she is, among other things, a cowgirl rancher in Montana where she and her husband raise their two young boys. She is also a trained mediator and holds a BA in environmental science from the University of California, Berkeley. Before joining Rockwood as a trainer, Pamela was part of the 2006 LIO cohort and has been a Rockwood coach for several years.  

J.K. Nelson 

For over 20 years, J.K.’s work has been driven by an essential burning question, “What makes a great leader a great leader?” An organizational development specialist and dynamic facilitator, J.K. is a leading voice in supporting organizations to create a strong culture in which everyone is a leader. In addition to an obsession with leadership, J.K. also supports organizations to adopt and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion best practices into all aspects of their work. 



Coaching is both an important leadership skill and a resource for social change leaders. During the Fellowship, leaders will be partnered with other Fellows to engage in a peer coaching relationship over the course of the program. 


A virtual Community Call will support participants’ relationship building and learning outside of the structured training session time. Participants will have the opportunity to practice tools and skills they learned from the sessions as well as deepen their relationships and connections across the cohort.  


Full tuition for both training sessions are covered and accommodations and meals during the in-person training Session 2 are covered. Fellows are required to arrange and pay for their own technical costs (such as wifi and devices) to participate in the first virtual session and the virtual Community Call. Fellows are also expected to arrange and pay for their own travel costs to and from the second residential training retreat. $2000 per Fellow is available to reimburse Fellows for associated costs to participate, which may include flight costs, ground travel, technical devices, and other access needs for the sessions.  

Rockwood expects that organizations, employers, and supervisors will provide support for participants to be fully present and attend the trainings. We encourage applicants to, as part of the application process, ask their organizations for the additional resources they may need to fully participate in the training.  

Please reach out to Rockwood Program Manager Ally Tufenkjian at with any questions.  



12 leaders in the documentary film sector who… 

  • Actively participate in work at the intersection of film and social justice. 
  • Represent a range of leaders in the film and digital storytelling sector including creative administrators, media impact producers, filmmakers, film directors, curators, critics, archivists, thought leaders, and executive directors. 
  • Play a senior leadership role at their organization; or are well-established professionals in the field. 
  • Are committed to collaboration with other leaders. 
  • See their work as contributing to a broader movement for social change. 
  • Possess a personal/professional readiness to learn new leadership skills, including being open to peer and self-examination of leadership strengths, challenges, and styles. 
  • Have diverse racial, ethnic, and gender identities, sexual orientations, dis/abilities, and organizational resources and strategy, including geographies outside of the bi-coastal regions. 
  • Commit to full participation in the program, including attendance at two retreats, completing required pre-work and post-work, and engaging in at least once per month peer coaching. 


Applications will be reviewed through mid January 2023 and select applicants will be invited to participate in an interview. Up to 12 leaders will be selected for the final Fellowship cohort by March 2023. 

Rockwood Community Call

Cecily Rose Engelhart

Master Certified Life Coach, Speaker, and Designer

September 28 | 12 PT / 3 ET