Rising Leaders Fellowship 2022

Justice Outside advances racial justice and equity in the outdoor and environmental movement. We shift resources to, build power with, and center the voices and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color because the health of current and future generations demands it. We recognize that within the environmental movement, efforts need to be supported that will attract and retain people of color and other communities who have had historic and systemic barriers to accessing the outdoors. To this end, we deliver the Rising Leaders Fellowship.

We are currently accepting applications for the 2022 Rising Leaders Fellowship!

Click here to apply for the 2022 Rising Leaders Fellowship

Apply here by the priority deadline March 4, 2022. The final deadline is March 18, 2022. We are running an in-person Bay Area cohort and a national virtual cohort. You are welcome to apply for either or both cohorts!

What is the Rising Leaders Fellowship?

The Rising Leaders Fellowship supports the continued career development of individuals in entry- to mid-level positions within the outdoor/environmental/ environmental justice sector. Specifically, Justice Outside seeks to engage Black, Indigenous and People of Color and allies who are committed to effecting culture change within their organizations, in order to ensure that communities of color are authentically seen, valued and connected to the outdoors. The Rising Leaders Fellowship builds professional capacity while creating a supportive network of like-minded leaders through a project-based cohort series that focuses on social justice and racial equity in the outdoors.

The 2022 Rising Leaders Fellowship will host two cohorts: one in-person in the Bay Area and one entirely virtual. As such, applications will be open to participants throughout the U.S. See below for specific dates and times.

Program Overview

Two cohorts of up to 20 fellows each will be selected to participate in an eight-session series that runs monthly from April through November 2022. Participants commit to participate in all three of the components outlined below. The Fellowship will culminate with participant-led presentations on the benefits of increased racial equity, justice, and cultural relevancy to connecting communities to the outdoors. A schedule with specific dates and times of each session is provided below.

Monthly virtual sessions: The monthly virtual sessions will consist of capacity-building modules, peer coaching, and community building. These sessions will focus on personal and organizational development. Participants will be encouraged to bring internal documents for learning purposes. A list of topics and the required documents can be found below.

Increased Equity and Relevancy Project:  Fellows will be asked to identify opportunities for increased cultural relevancy within their organization (or, if not with an org, another initiative) and develop a plan of action that addresses one or more identified opportunities. Inside smaller groups, fellows will serve as peer coaches to one another through this process and will present on their efforts and findings at the culminating session.

Individual Coaching: Each participant will have the opportunity to receive up to three hours of individual coaching. The purpose of coaching is to explore areas of personal and/or professional development in a supportive environment.

Topics & Objectives*

  • Social Justice – Explore related concepts and practices to move toward a just society; examine the historical context of exclusion in the United States and how this impacts communities.
  • Power & Privilege – Examine power and privilege dynamics and the impact these can have on communities; explore opportunities to leverage power and privilege.
  • Intentional Communication – Examine effective and intentional communication strategies for authentic relationship building between staff and program participants.
  • Strategic Planning – Analyze organizations’ strategic plans and if/how racial equity and inclusion are incorporated into the plan; explore opportunities to ground strategic plans in racial equity.
  • Trauma-Informed Programming – Explore the concept of trauma-informed approaches and identify opportunities to increase inclusion and cultural relevancy in programming.
  • Curriculum Development – Analyze curriculum for implicit bias and explore avenues to incorporate community voice in curriculum and programs.
  • Fund Development – Examine the ways in which community narratives are being communicated; explore how deficit-minded fundraising can harm communities.

*Subject to change

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicant is doing work within the outdoor/environmental/ environmental justice sector.
  • Applicant holds an entry- or mid-level position within their organization, if applicable (this may include direct program staff, program leads, program coordinators, or middle management).
  • Applicant is committed to effecting change within their organization, if applicable, and the outdoor field at large, and to promoting cultural relevancy as a framework for increased equity and inclusion within the outdoor field.
  • Applicant is committed to being fully present at each session, and to their own personal and professional growth.
  • Applicant can commit to full program participation, including attendance of all in-person sessions and peer check-ins.

Program Schedule

In-person Session 1: Thursday, April 21, 2022
Virtual Session 1: Thursday, April 28, 2022

In-person Session 2: Thursday, May 19, 2022
Virtual Session 2: Thursday, May 26, 2022

In-person Session 3: Thursday, June 23, 2022
Virtual Session 3: Thursday, June 30, 2022

In-person Session 4: Thursday, July 21, 2022
Virtual Session 4: Thursday, July 28, 2022

In-person Session 5: Thursday, August 18, 2022
Virtual Session 5: Thursday, August 25, 2022

In-person Session 6: Thursday, September 22, 2022
Virtual Session 6: Thursday, September 29, 2022

In-person Session 7: Thursday, October 20, 2022
Virtual Session 7: Thursday, October 27, 2022

In-person Session 8: Thursday, November 10, 2022
Virtual Session 8: Thursday, November 17, 2022

Time: In-Person, 10 AM to 3:30 PM (Pacific Standard Time) Lunch provided.
Virtual, 8 AM to 12 PM (Pacific Standard Time)

Session Location: In-person sessions will take place in Oakland, CA as circumstance permits. We will follow county guidelines for Covid-safe gathering, and will remain open to pivots as needed. Virtual sessions will take place online through Zoom.

Individual Coaching: Meeting dates and times will be scheduled between coach and participant.

Time Commitment: The total time estimated for participation includes the following:

  • 8  online sessions (4-hour sessions) or 8 in-person sessions (5.5-hour sessions including lunch)
  • 4 to 8 peer check-ins (participant-established timeframes)
  • 1 to 3 individual coaching session (3 hours)

Application Process: All applicants must fill out the application form. If your employer is supporting your participation in the program (i.e. you can attend sessions during work hours, reference organizational documents for learning modules), we ask that a supervisor or appropriate organizational representative fill out the employer form.

Registration Fees: Participation is free of cost.

Application Priority Deadline: All applications must be submitted online or to dylan@justiceoutside.org by end of day, Friday, March 4, 2022.

Application Final Deadline: End of day, Friday, March 18, 2022

Interviews: February 18 – March 28, 2022

Selection Announcement: April 1, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Am I still eligible to apply if:

  • I’m passionate about this work, but currently in transition between organizations?
    • Yes, please include this information in your application.
  • I identify as white, not as a person of color, nor as someone who has experienced historic barriers?
    • Yes, we encourage everyone to apply regardless of how they identify. We do, however, prioritize the participation of professionals of color. Here’s why.
  • I’m currently working at more than one organization, or working at an organization part time?
    • Yes, please include this information in your application.
  • I know that I’ll have at least one date conflict?
    • Yes, if you are invited to interview, please let the program team know the date.
  • I’m unable to obtain one or more of the required documents from my organization?
    • Yes, you are still eligible to apply.

Priority Deadline:

  • What does it mean?
    • Applications submitted by the priority deadline will be invited for an interview, and should your application and interview be successful, you will be guaranteed a spot in the cohort.
  • What happens if I submit my application after the priority deadline of March 4th?
    • Your application will be reviewed as long as it’s submitted before the final deadline on March 18th. Should your application and interview be successful, you will be offered a spot, IF there is space remaining in the cohort after priority applications are reviewed.

Employer Form:

  • What if my employer is not supporting my application?
    • You can still apply, as long as you are able to fully participate in the program (i.e. attend all session dates)

For more information about the program or questions regarding the application or employer form, please contact Dylan Kiyo Kennedy at dylan@justiceoutside.org