Rockwood Leadership Institute

Rockwood Leadership Institute Transformative personal leadership development for nonprofits & social changemakers. Rockwood Leadership Institute is building a network of powerful and collaborative leaders to help transform our country and our world.

Our transformative personal leadership development trainings are creating stronger, more focused and more effective individuals, organizations and networks working for the common good. Rockwood has trained over 4,500 leaders since 2000.

Operating as usual

"We're ready for the other side of enough.  Enough for never another parent to bury their child. Enough food, enough wat...
08/11/2021
Meditations on Enough

"We're ready for the other side of enough. Enough for never another parent to bury their child. Enough food, enough water, enough land, enough air. Enough to invest in people instead of prisons, housing instead of wars, education instead of incarceration. Enough for us all to thrive." ~ Cat Brooks

#WednesdayWisdom from YES! Magazine.

5 meditations on what “enough” means, from food to rest to diversity.

"But to really make the workweek fair and humane for all Americans — and give us more time to do things that aren't work...
07/21/2021
The five-day workweek is dead

"But to really make the workweek fair and humane for all Americans — and give us more time to do things that aren't work — the country will need systemic changes to help workers take back their power. Otherwise, only the most privileged will benefit from the new interest in shorter workweeks — if anyone benefits at all."

It’s time for something better.

It's with love, hope, and solidarity that we introduce the 2021 cohort of the Building Power for Healthy Communities fel...
07/07/2021
Announcing the 2021 Building Power Fellows – Rockwood Leadership Institute

It's with love, hope, and solidarity that we introduce the 2021 cohort of the Building Power for Healthy Communities fellowship.

Photo by Sushobhan Badhai In this critical moment, social equity leaders and their communities are calling for space to cultivate a sense of purpose, enthusiasm, and momentum towards more resilient communities across California. This sentiment remains the same as it was four years ago as The Califor...

"All too often, organizers aren’t equipped or supported to engage in generative conflict, principled struggle, and accou...
06/22/2021
Community Safety in Tumultuous Times | The Forge

"All too often, organizers aren’t equipped or supported to engage in generative conflict, principled struggle, and accountability strategies to transform harm and violence within our movement spaces [... but], transforming harm and engaging in generative conflict are as critical to movement building as planning actions, doing political education, and conducting outreach."

The work of addressing harm, violence, conflict, and abuse is central to building trust and maintaining alignment among abolitionist organizers.

Alum in the News -> Deepak Bhargava co-authored this piece about democracy and philanthropy with Gara LaMarche for The C...
06/21/2021
Foundations, the Solution to Our Democracy Deficit Lies in Plain Sight

Alum in the News -> Deepak Bhargava co-authored this piece about democracy and philanthropy with Gara LaMarche for The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Conservative grant makers have done an outstanding job of training their leaders. Now progressive funds need to do the same — and put the focus on what activists of all generations need most.

"But the rub of it is: there is no going back. As Octavia Butler wrote in Parable of the Sower: 'All that you touch you ...
06/16/2021

"But the rub of it is: there is no going back. As Octavia Butler wrote in Parable of the Sower: 'All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change.'"

Read more of "There Is No Going Back": https://bit.ly/35tFNLe

"But the rub of it is: there is no going back. As Octavia Butler wrote in Parable of the Sower: 'All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change.'"

Read more of "There Is No Going Back": https://bit.ly/35tFNLe

"We all need to wrestle with this phenomenon that I am going to call Retroactive Allyship Theater (RAT). This is a type ...
06/15/2021
What is Retroactive Allyship Theater, and are you guilty of it?

"We all need to wrestle with this phenomenon that I am going to call Retroactive Allyship Theater (RAT). This is a type of performative allyship when someone waits until a critical moment has passed and then tries to act like an ally, when the risks are no longer as significant. Here are a few ways it manifests."

[Image description: A brown and white puppy with a black nose and big, soulful eyes, laying down on what looks like a bed, with their head between their forepaws. Image by T.R. Photography on Unspl…

Loving this #WednesdayWisdom from Norma Wong & Resonance Network:"What are you called to do? How do you want to spend yo...
06/09/2021
On worldbuilding

Loving this #WednesdayWisdom from Norma Wong & Resonance Network:

"What are you called to do? How do you want to spend your time? What do you have the most heart and energy for and brings you the most energy? There is no wrong answer… just choices on what part of the collective effort you will focus on."

Q&A with Zen teacher and movement strategist, Norma Wong.

"I know it can feel like a far-off goal, maybe even an unreachable one, and that’s why we need a collective movement, on...
06/09/2021
The Privilege of Getting to Rest: Let’s Shift the Balance — Rest For Resistance

"I know it can feel like a far-off goal, maybe even an unreachable one, and that’s why we need a collective movement, one in which we help one another move closer to the bedpost, where we can collapse and catch up on the healing we need."

We all deserve healing. Yet many of us are still fighting for that basic ingredient, rest. Each decision to resist capitalist pressures, to disengage from harmful systems of power and truly rest, is a transcendental moment. But who has the power to make that choice?

Alum in the News -> Zander Keig was interviewed by Out & Equal about LGBTQ+ people and mental health for Mental Health A...
06/07/2021
Mental Health Awareness Month: Conversation with Zander Keig, MSW, LCSW | Out & Equal

Alum in the News -> Zander Keig was interviewed by Out & Equal about LGBTQ+ people and mental health for Mental Health Awareness Month.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a time to raise awareness of those living with mental health issues, aim to eliminate the associated stigma, and encourage individuals to practice habits…

"Transformation isn't linear, and is rarely calm. The paths toward it bend and loop, and the way forward is often obscur...
06/03/2021
Breathing and Opening, Softening and Reaching – Rockwood Leadership Institute

"Transformation isn't linear, and is rarely calm. The paths toward it bend and loop, and the way forward is often obscured, sometimes even by our tears."

I’ve been wanting to curl up in a ball and cover my heart lately. The world feels especially cruel right now, and particularly hard on black folks. I know that pulling in and shutting down is not the way we’re going to get through hard times. The world is not well served when I close my heart. S...

#WednesdayWisdom from Interaction Institute: "When the snapback of the old calls you,StopSeeLoveSlow downAnd ask yoursel...
06/02/2021
Pandemic Anniversary Reflection: It’s time to Reimagine Before It’s Too Late - Interaction Institute for Social Change

#WednesdayWisdom from Interaction Institute:

"When the snapback of the old calls you,

Stop
See
Love
Slow down
And ask yourself,

What can I do right in this moment to bring in a new normal that centers humanity, equity, and living?"

Are you feeling a bit weary and maybe even crumbling? You’re not alone. We’re almost at the one-year anniversary mark of the pandemic, a few months out from the storming of the US Capitol, and ten months out from the murder of George Floyd. If you’re working from home, you’re lonely, and if ...

Alum In The News -> Yi Chen directed "First Vote," part of America ReFramed.
05/31/2021
First Vote

Alum In The News -> Yi Chen directed "First Vote," part of America ReFramed.

A look at Chinese American electoral organizing in North Carolina and Ohio.

Looking for leadership news, tips, & inspiration? Check out this month's From The Network post and find out what Rockwoo...
05/28/2021
From The Network: 10% Discount On Upcoming Trainings, Alum News, Job Postings, & More – Rockwood Leadership Institute

Looking for leadership news, tips, & inspiration? Check out this month's From The Network post and find out what Rockwood's incredible alums are up to!

”“[Rockwood] helped me see in a new way just how much it matters to invest in my leadership and the leadership of folks around me!” ~ Virtual Art of Leadership alum We are in a moment of transition, both as we shift into summer and as we begin to imagine a post-pandemic world. Ease your transi...

"But being a nonprofit professional should not translate to being a martyr; it should not mean—figuratively or literally...
05/26/2021

"But being a nonprofit professional should not translate to being a martyr; it should not mean—figuratively or literally—giving up your life for a cause. We should not view dysfunctional work habits or work conditions as necessary burdens of the nonprofit world."

This article from 2016 is still very relevant today, even though the world feels really different now than it did then. Read more here: https://bit.ly/3wDbzRB

"But being a nonprofit professional should not translate to being a martyr; it should not mean—figuratively or literally—giving up your life for a cause. We should not view dysfunctional work habits or work conditions as necessary burdens of the nonprofit world."

This article from 2016 is still very relevant today, even though the world feels really different now than it did then. Read more here: https://bit.ly/3wDbzRB

Alums in the News -> Monica Simpson & SisterSong were featured in Marie Claire's Changemakers 2021: Working Towards Well...
05/25/2021
Presenting Marie Claire's 2021 Changemakers List

Alums in the News -> Monica Simpson & SisterSong were featured in Marie Claire's Changemakers 2021: Working Towards Wellness list, which was curated and written by alum Raquel Willis.

Physical and mental well-being cannot be separated. These changemakers are working to ensure you have both.

"We heal ourselves, and we can support others in doing the same because we heal on our own terms. This is not to promote...
05/19/2021
Be Like Water, An Abolitionist Relationality

"We heal ourselves, and we can support others in doing the same because we heal on our own terms. This is not to promote an individualist framework for healing. Our healing must also be collective or done in community and as a community."

What does abolition mean for the everyday ways we relate to ourselves, to other humans, to the land, and to the more-than-human world?

How can we support ourselves and our teams to emerge from this pandemic with deeper connection, stronger purpose, and mo...
05/18/2021
Is Your Staff Crumbling in 2021? With Fraying, We Must be Braiding - Interaction Institute for Social Change

How can we support ourselves and our teams to emerge from this pandemic with deeper connection, stronger purpose, and more hope?

Interaction Institute for Social Change offers a framework of gradual braiding, with 7 concrete steps nonprofits can take to decrease or avoid staff burnout.

If you or the people in your organization are fraying or even crumbling, ask yourself why wouldn’t you be? After over a year of a vicious virus, political disruption, and continued racist trauma, of course we are unraveling. What does fraying look like in organizations? Staff needing to call in si...

Alum in the News -> Vanita Gupta was confirmed as associate attorney general, making her the first woman of color in the...
05/18/2021
Vanita Gupta confirmed as associate attorney general

Alum in the News -> Vanita Gupta was confirmed as associate attorney general, making her the first woman of color in the role and the second highest ranking official at the Justice Department.

Senator Lisa Murkowski broke with Republicans to join all Democrats in voting to confirm Gupta.

"I don't think I really understood how this idea of 'productivity' led to my habits of overworking myself, pushing mysel...
05/12/2021
We are not machines — Rest For Resistance

"I don't think I really understood how this idea of 'productivity' led to my habits of overworking myself, pushing myself too far, not scheduling in breaks — because that's what always worked and got me to places that others deemed to be 'successful.' Now I realize that it was because I had run myself down as if I was not human — as if I were a machine — and that was what they valued."

We require physical rest, emotional connections, daydreaming, food, laughter, purpose. And all of these things prevent us from fitting neatly into a machine model.

"We hire staff for their talent, skills, and experience. They have rent, student debt, and bills to pay—and those yoga c...
05/11/2021

"We hire staff for their talent, skills, and experience. They have rent, student debt, and bills to pay—and those yoga classes we keep saying will help with self-care aren't free. Let's pay our staff what they are worth, and pay them well."

5 myths that perpetuate burnout across nonprofits: https://bit.ly/3uHkXmq

"We hire staff for their talent, skills, and experience. They have rent, student debt, and bills to pay—and those yoga classes we keep saying will help with self-care aren't free. Let's pay our staff what they are worth, and pay them well."

5 myths that perpetuate burnout across nonprofits: https://bit.ly/3uHkXmq

Rockwood is hiring! Do you have experience with customer service and event planning? Do you love creating systems that b...
05/05/2021

Rockwood is hiring! Do you have experience with customer service and event planning? Do you love creating systems that bring joy & ease and helping people on their journey of transformation? The Enrollment Manager position might be for you!

Learn more: http://bit.ly/2u6pHWB

Rockwood is hiring! Do you have experience with customer service and event planning? Do you love creating systems that bring joy & ease and helping people on their journey of transformation? The Enrollment Manager position might be for you!

Learn more: http://bit.ly/2u6pHWB

"Liberation isn’t something that affects just some of us, it affects all of us because we are interconnected within thes...
05/04/2021
Moving through It:

"Liberation isn’t something that affects just some of us, it affects all of us because we are interconnected within these systems of oppression/privilege and whether we like it or not, benefit from the oppression of humans and other sentient beings. We need to move towards co-liberation, thinking strategically and re-imagining how we build organizations that embody equity towards liberation at the heart."

Finding Our Way Towards Equity in Organizations, Together

Alum in the news -> Aisha Nayandoro & Magnolia Mother's Trust partnered with Ms. Magazine to launch a series called Fron...
05/03/2021
Putting Poor Black Mothers Front and Center - Ms. Magazine

Alum in the news -> Aisha Nayandoro & Magnolia Mother's Trust partnered with Ms. Magazine to launch a series called Front & Center.

Front and Center are the women of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust: 100 Black mothers in Jackson, Miss., receiving guaranteed income of $1,000 a month.

A springtime practice to guide you in finding where you'd like to focus your leadership and to open up your imagination ...
04/29/2021
From The Network: Questions To Guide Your Leadership, Alum News, Job Postings, & More – Rockwood Leadership Institute

A springtime practice to guide you in finding where you'd like to focus your leadership and to open up your imagination to possibilities, alum news, inspiration & more... all in this month's From The Network.

GIF by Audreyobscura Spring is already shifting into summer across the US, and the transition is bringing much with it. There are flowers and plants in bloom, new life appearing everywhere, and lots of warmth and sunlight. But there are other things in the air, as well. Pollen, for one, but also a s...

"If we are disconnected from our bodies, how do we know how and where feelings of joy and inspiration show up in our bod...
04/28/2021
Embodied Practice

"If we are disconnected from our bodies, how do we know how and where feelings of joy and inspiration show up in our bodies?"

Beautiful #WednesdayWisdom from Resonance Network.

How to bring movement practice into virtual space to foster connection with our bodies’ wisdom

"Fear of open conflict is destroying workplaces, and it's disproportionately harming Black and Latinx women workers. It ...
04/28/2021
If you want a truly equitable workplace, you must get over fear of conflict

"Fear of open conflict is destroying workplaces, and it's disproportionately harming Black and Latinx women workers. It is limiting any possibility for the 21st-century workforce to reflect the demographics of this country. But it's possible to lead in a different way."

Conflict avoidance is stymying your diversity efforts, write Code2040 leaders Mimi Fox Melton and Karla Monterroso.

"Emotional justice is more important than productivity. We define emotional justice as policies that protect the emotion...
04/22/2021
[Guest Post] 8 Practices for a More Emotionally Just Organization – Rockwood Leadership Institute

"Emotional justice is more important than productivity. We define emotional justice as policies that protect the emotional well-being of our staff by centering anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practices in our workplace.

For us, it's better to move slower together than to move fast and leave our friends behind.

If you're interested in shifting your organization's culture in this direction, here are eight practices The Icarus Project uses to be emotionally just."

When I worked in the human rights movement, I often heard the phrase, ”There are no human rights for human rights workers.” Because we had life-saving jobs, we felt like we would put people at risk if we took any time for ourselves. There was a double standard: workers gave intensive support to ...

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Our training programs include:

• The Art of Leadership
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• Art of Leadership for Philanthropic Leaders
• A wide variety of fellowships & programs for specific movements, organizations, and industries

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Sad news to share with those from my Rockwood cohort, about our colleague Elandria Williams.
Rockwood is hiring a Finance Manager!
START THE NEW YEAR WITH NEW FUNDING! Let Emerging Arts Professionals (EAP) help incubate your idea for creating a more empowered and effective Bay Area arts community. Let your imagination soar! We are looking for fun and thoughtful explorations and experiments into arts models that can be done by arts professionals to support the arts community. Join us at 7:30pm on January 24th to learn about EAP’s’ granting program MADE and find out if your idea is right for funding. This virtual session will offer you an office hours style forum to ask questions and gain information about grant criteria, application submission, selection process, and more. With a small application pool, your chances for funding are great! More about MADE: Emerging Arts Professionals (EAP) invites you to PLAY, EXPERIMENT, PROTOTYPE with the practice of arts administration by submitting a proposal to MADE. Selected grant proposals receive up to $1,000 + EAP Networked support to execute the proposed idea. A project could take many forms, but we want you to think about what could be done by this network, for this network. Challenge us, excite us, and take us somewhere new. http://www.emergingsf.org/made/ https://www.facebook.com/events/173983616703808/ JOIN THE INFO SESSION: ONLINE - https://zoom.us/j/303270297 iPhone one-tap - US: +14086380968,,303270297# or +16468769923,,303270297# Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833 Meeting ID: 303 270 297 International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference…
Please allow me to share my interview on my show, Going Beyond Medicine on Empower Radio. I had the incredible pleasure of interviewing Akaya Windwood of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, located in Oakland, California. As we look to new, inclusive and wholesome ways of embracing Leadership, and the Leader within us all, this interview is a breath of fresh air.
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