PERE/CSII Project Manager, Rhonda Ortiz awarded with the Rockwood Fellowship for a New California: Developing Leaders of Immigrant Communities

The Rockwood Leadership Institute, a leading national organization that provides transformative, powerful training in leadership and collaboration, is proud to announce its newest program, the Fellowship for a New California.  This new program cultivates a community of leaders engaged in advocacy for justice, opportunity and fairness for California’s newest residents.

“I’m looking forward to building new, and strengthening existing, relationships,” says Rhonda Ortiz. “The program provides a space for CSII to strategize and think about new ways that research can impact California’s immigrant rights network in the future.”

The fellowship is designed to support leaders who are working to make California’ s communities more welcoming and inclusive for newcomers to our state who are here to make a better life for their families through their contributions to our economy and culture.

“For generations, California has attracted people seeking the opportunities that only the golden state can offer,” says Akaya Windwood, President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute.  “This program supports the leaders who are making sure that California is welcoming, inclusive and fair to newcomers, who make incalculable contributions to our economy and culture when they come here to make a better life for their families.”

The program provides leadership development to foster collaboration and cultivate the leaders who are ensuring that California’s policies and practices are keeping pace with the changing demographics of our state. The inaugural cohort of 24 members work for 24 organizations in 16 cities and counties throughout the state.  The group includes organizers, advocates, faith leaders and more.  They speak 14 languages and represent people who came from all over the world with shared hopes to make their California dream a reality.

“No place is the American Dream more vivid than in California,” explains Maria Rodriguez, Statewide Youth Organizer from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (CHIRLA). “My family came here to make a better life, but also to build a better community.  I am committing to this fellowship because I want to continue paving the way to a future California where there are more opportunities and justice for immigrants, who contribute to this state in fundamental ways every day.”

Learn more about the Fellowship for a New California 

Learn more about Rhonda Ortiz 

  • Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)
  • 950 W. Jefferson Blvd., JEF 102
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1291