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Fellowship for a New California

Since 2011, the Fellowship for a New California has brought together over 90 of California’s immigrant rights leaders for an intensive, 10-month leadership development program.

Four cohorts of leaders have completed the fellowship, and continue to convene after finishing the program to stay in touch with their peers, connect with other cohorts, and continue conversations on challenges and opportunities in the movement.

Recent conversation topics have included, but are not limited to: racial equity, criminal justice, anti-Black racism, Muslim communities, LGBT immigrants and refugees, mass deportation, and refugee communities.

This program is currently inactive. If you’re interested in information about this fellowship, contact us. Learn more about creating a fellowships for your network, foundation, or issue area here.

About The Fellowship

Session 1: February 22-26, 2016 – Mary & Joseph Retreat Center, Palos Verdes, CA

Fellows attend the Art of Leadership, an intensive retreat workshop in which participants hone skills related to articulating vision, managing difficult conversations, and identifying personal leadership strengths and challenges. Each participant receives a 360-degree leadership evaluation from peers. The training includes time for participant-driven dialogue aimed at strengthening the California immigrant rights movement.

Applicants will be asked to state their first, second, and third choice among the following Art of Leadership dates. If selected, the fellow will be enrolled in an Art of Leadership based on their expressed preference.

Session 2: June 27-30, 2016 – Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, CA

The second fellowship retreat builds off the tools and experience of the Art of Leadership, and fosters more opportunities for field dialogue. It is designed for leaders to enhance their skills in areas of both leadership and collaboration, including an examination of power (personal, positional and institutional), strategy and performance, and personal and organizational sustainability.

Session 3: November 28 – December 1, 2016 – Westerbeke Ranch, Sonoma, CA

The final fellowship retreat is designed based on the feedback of the fellows to continue to foster movement building and deepen their transformational leadership practice.


Helen Kim

Helen is an organizational development consultant, facilitator and executive coach with over 20 years of experience working with organizations in the U.S. and internationally. She has consulted with numerous immigrant rights groups including Chinese Progressive Association, People Organized to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER), and Partnership for Immigrant Leadership and Action. She immigrated from Korea when she was 12-years-old and is bilingual in Korean.

Yeshi Neumann

Yeshi has been facilitating workshops about women’s leadership, diversity, communication, conflict resolution, organizational development, healing family relationships, and mindfulness for over 20 years. She has worked as a midwife since 1970. In addition, Yeshi has developed a relevant and inspiring curriculum for the grandmothers of our time. She holds master’s degrees in history and in public health.

Additional Program Offerings

Professional and Peer Coaching

Coaching is both an important leadership skill, and a resource for social change leaders. During the fellowship, leaders will be partnered with two other fellows to engage in a peer coaching relationship over the course of the program. Fellows will also receive three hours of professional coaching.

Additional Preparation for Training

Rockwood assigns pre-work in between sessions that will be reviewed and workshopped during the retreats. Pre-work includes, but is not limited to:

  • A 360-degree leadership evaluation from selected colleagues;
  • A leadership style assessment;
  • Various worksheets and exercises on time management, workload, wellness, and more.


The program has an estimated value of $15,000 per fellow. With the support of the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, California Wellness Foundation, California Endowment, and James Irvine Foundation, Rockwood will cover the majority of fees, plus room and board costs. Participants are asked to contribute a nominal fee based on the following organizational budget sliding scale:

Organizational Budget Fellowship Participation Fee
 $2,000,000 or up  $400
$1,000,000 to $1,999,999  $300
 $500,000 or to $999,999  $200
 $499,999 and under  $100