The Rainier Valley Corps Emerging Leaders of Color Fellowship Program
People most affected by inequity must lead the efforts to addressing it. Yet, only 10% of nonprofit executives are people of color. Even further, organizations led by communities of color are consistently under-resourced, unable to get the resources of white-led organizations.
In 2015, we launched a fellowship program that addresses both of these problems.
Our fellowship trains leaders of color and places them at grassroots organizations led by communities of color, building the next generation of nonprofits leaders while increasing resources going to grassroots organizations.
We identify a cohort of talented leaders of color, and work with our Community Alliance Partners to give them a two-year, full-time, paid placement at host organizations led by communities of color, and provide ongoing professional development training.
Our fellowship has two results: building the capacity of these grassroots organizations and diversifying the nonprofit workforce. Both of these results create a stronger, healthier nonprofit sector.
The curriculum involves five key areas: nonprofit management, adaptive and collective leadership, advocacy and policy, community organizing, and cultural dynamics. Embedded within the curriculum are discussions on systemic racism, power, privilege, and intersectionality.
Fellows will work in the offices of a grassroots organization. Each Fellow, depending on their host organization, may focus on the following area(s):
- Operations: finance, human resources, IT, office management, legal//risk
- Fundraising and Fund Development: grant writing, donor cultivation, marketing, campaign giving, fundraising events
- Programming: direct services, after school, employment, immigration clinics, etc.
- Advocacy & Policy: understanding of advocacy issues, policy analysis, communications, strategy
- Community Organizing: community outreach and engagement, communications, mobilization, events)
Additionally, Fellows will participate in RVC’s professional development activities. Fellows will help prepare, facilitate, and actively engage in:
- Monthly Training sessions and other professional development trainings
- Brown bag lunches and other roundtable events
- Collective Project
- Professional development and team building retreats
- Monthly Mentor-Mentee Check-ins
RVC selected ten RVC Fellows for the inaugural cohort.