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Rockwood Leaders Fellowship

Incarceration and recidivism rates in the United States are the highest in the world. Formerly incarcerated people are denied many of the aspects of being a citizen, including voting rights, access to decent wages, and ability to serve on a jury.

This fellowship provides leadership development opportunities to formerly incarcerated, emerging leaders to transform the stigma of incarceration while upholding the dignity and humanity of all people, regardless of relationship to the criminal justice system.

About The Fellowship

This fellowship will provide:

  • A rich opportunity for self-reflection and increased self-knowledge;
  • Networking opportunities and integration into a larger community of social justice leaders;
  • Practices and resources to develop essential leadership skills;
  • Increased confidence to continue holding positive leadership roles in their lives, families, and communities.

SESSION 1: Art of Leadership

To launch the program, fellows will attend Rockwood’s Art of Leadership in smaller sub-cohorts. For this five-day training, the sub-cohorts will be joined by participants who have applied to the training separately from the fellowship, including activists, organizers, program directors, and other nonprofit leaders working in environmental organizations, labor unions, community groups, and many other diverse sectors.

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:

  • May 14-18, 2018, Sonoma, CA
  • June 4 – 8, 2018, Sonoma, CA
  • August 27 – 31, 2018, Sonoma, CA (Women-identified participants only)
  • November 12 – 16, 2018, Sonoma, CA

SESSION 2: All Cohort Gathering

For the second session, Fellows will attend a three-day, two-night, residential convening as a full-cohort group. This full-cohort Session 2 will start after lunch on the first day, and conclude after lunch on the last day.

Additional Program Offerings

Peer Coaching

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


With generous support from the Agnes Varis Trust, tuition as well as double-occupancy room and board for the two training sessions is covered. Fellows may receive funds for travel reimbursement as needed.

Pay it Forward!

Help make Rockwood’s trainings available to grassroots leaders today.