Fellowship for a New California

Historically, immigrant communities have come to the United States seeking opportunities for a better life for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, today, they continue to face powerful obstacles – in local, state and federal policies – for their full participation in society.

With California being the state with the highest proportion of immigrants in the country,  the work of California immigrant rights advocates and organizers affects the larger movement for fairness and democracy across the country.

Rockwood Leadership Institute is proud to announce a second year of the Fellowship for a New California: Developing Leaders of Immigrant Communities (formerly the Fellowship for California Immigrant Rights Leaders) with the support of the California Wellness Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Irvine Foundation and Weingart Foundation.

The Fellowship provides leaders with tools to:

  • Deal more effectively with leadership and organizational challenges,

  • Create and sustain compelling visions for their organizations, and

  • Engage in a learning community of leaders in the immigrant rights movement, working throughout the state of California


This ten-month intensive leadership program is designed to teach powerful visioning, listening, communication, coaching, team-building and feedback skills to leaders engaged in civic engagement, advocacy, and organizing for the immigrant rights movement. The program includes one 5-day residential retreat, two 3-day retreats, professional and peer coaching sessions, and additional leadership support.


ART OF COLLABORATIVE LEADERSHIP | June 24-28, 2013, Serra Retreat Center, Malibu, CA

Art of Collaborative Leadership is an intensive retreat workshop in which participants will 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 California immigrant rights movement.

SESSION TWO: October 14-17, 2013, Mayacamas Ranch, Calistoga, CA

This second Fellowship retreat builds off the tools and experience of the Art of Collaborative Leadership, with continued opportunity 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, personal and organizational sustainability.

SESSION THREE: December 2-5, 2013, Marconi Conference Center, Point Reyes Station, CA

This final Fellowship retreat will be designed based on the feedback of Fellowship participants to continue to foster movement building and to deepen the transformational leadership practice.


Coaching is both an important leadership skill and resource for social change leaders. In the Fellowship, leaders will be partnered with two other Fellows to engage in a peer coaching relationship over the course of the program. Fellows also will receive 2 hours of professional coaching.


To reinforce the tools of the Fellowship Program, Rockwood has designed leadership practice "assignments" and will provide course materials about leadership, partnership and organizations.


Helen Kim is an organizational development consultant, facilitator and executive coach with 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 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. Yeshi has a Masters degree in History and a Masters degree in Public Health.


  • Deal more effectively with leadership challenges

  • Manage relationships to increase personal and organizational effectiveness

  • Sharpen and sustain compelling visions for your work

  • Inspire and align others to work effectively towards common goals

  • Increase sustainability and engage with tools to prevent burnout

  • Build partnerships inside and outside your organization


Ideal candidates:

  • Self-identify as being a part of the California immigrant rights movement.

  • Are recognized as current or upcoming “key influencers”.

  • Play a leadership role within their organization.

  • Are committed to building partnership and collaboration within the immigrant rights community.

  • Possess a personal/professional readiness to learn new leadership skills.

  • Represent a diversity of ethnic immigrant and refugee communities, regional focus, and change strategies.

  • Commit to full participation in the program, including attendance at all three retreats.


The actual value of the program, including three residential retreats, professional coaching, and travel stipends is approximately $15,000 per person. Rockwood requests a nominal participant fee based on a sliding scale:

 Organizational Budget

 Fellowship Participation Fee

 $2,000,000 or up


 $500,000 or to $1,999,999


 $0 > $500,000



Deadline for applications is Thursday March 21, 2013. To request an application form, please contact tc@rockwoodleadership.org. Applications will be reviewed and screened based on above listed Fellow criteria. Select applications will be invited to participate in a phone interview. Twenty-four leaders will be selected.


TC Duong

[T] 510.251.2500 ext. 104

[E] f4nc@rockwoodleadership.org


Sources: "Just the Facts: Immigrants in California," Public Policy Institute of California, 2008. 

"Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State," California Immigrant Policy Center.