Applications are now open for participation in the Oishei Fellowship for Leaders of Color, hosted by The John R. Oishei Foundation in partnership with the Oakland, California-based Rockwood Leadership Institute. Now in its third iteration, those chosen will participate in Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership training, to be held virtually because of health and safety considerations due to the pandemic from October 25-29, 2021. More details on the application process can be found here.
The application process is expected to be competitive as it was for the first two cohorts. Self-identified nonprofit leaders of color across a spectrum of professional experience and life are invited to apply immediately up to the May 24 deadline. Past applicants who were not accepted are encouraged to reapply. Like the first two cohorts, this group of the Oishei Fellowship for Leaders of Color will be comprised of 24 Fellows at no cost to the participants. The program is supported in full by The John R. Oishei Foundation.
The training, characterized by current Fellows as “transformational” and “life-changing,” teaches critical personal and organizational leadership skills, including visioning, listening, speaking, presentation, coaching, collaboration, and feedback necessary for successful, sustainable, and humane leadership. As the Rockwood Institute has moved all programs online for 2021, it is holding itself to its traditional high standards of excellence and has spent the last several months refining the online curriculum that is rich and rigorous. Participants in Cohort 2 who also participated virtually, have given the program high marks despite not convening in person.
According to Karen Lee Spaulding, Vice President of Philanthropic Support at the Oishei Foundation, “The events of the past year, including the harsh realities of racial disparities underscored during the pandemic, and the protests in support of racial justice, demand action. We believe that providing a framework and practice for personal and professional leadership development for nonprofit leaders of color is required now more than ever. As evidenced by our past cohorts and their strong connection, The Art of Leadership program helps to build a network for communities of color that continues to grow, learn, and collaborate together in generous and powerful ways.”
Fellows will be chosen through an application process, vetted solely by Rockwood Leadership Institute, which will identify individuals who:
- Demonstrate readiness to learn new leadership skills;
- Are interested in participating in a rigorous learning experience to explore personal vision, increase sustainability, and build relationships with other nonprofit leaders of color;
- Demonstrate a commitment to improving the wellbeing of all people in the Buffalo Niagara region; and
- Who represent a diversity of racial/ethnic communities and a cross-section of nonprofit professional backgrounds, experiences, and sectors within the Foundation’s focus areas.
In addition to the virtual retreat, Fellows will also participate in a 360-degree leadership assessment, receive a comprehensive workbook filled with tools and processes to use with their own organizations, and will connect with a deep network not only with current Oishei Fellows but also within the international and national network of Rockwood’s 7,000+ members. As follow-up to the five-day training, Personal Learning Days for professional development and informal gatherings are planned as a way to support the growing community of Oishei Fellows.
The application process will open on May 3rd and extend until June 1. The application can be accessed here. For more information, please contact Lisa Olszak Zumstein, Fellowship Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724.679.9261.
Cohort 3 Application Details
Cohort 3 Application