//*Photo for social media sharing*// //*Javascript*//

Judith C. Jones Fellowship for Trainers of Color

The Judith C. Jones (JCJ) Fellowship for Trainers of Color advances the leadership of trainers and organizers of color working at the grassroots to build power, skills and knowledge in their communities.

Fellowship Structure

 

With the support of a TFC coach, Fellows create a one-year work plan outlining learning goals throughout the Fellowship. This plan can include development of training designs, new tools, planning training programs, receiving feedback, incorporating reading or theory into their work, and writing, among others.

Fellows use the support of their coach to track their progress throughout the year and identify additional learning opportunities such as attending TFC workshops, debriefing training experiences with other trainers, or taking workshops in other training modalities. Fellows are encouraged and invited to work with each other on projects and participate in other TFC events. The Fellowship is a one-year commitment, from January to December, with an opportunity to renew for the second year.

 

As part of the Judith C. Jones Fellowship, each Fellow will receive:

  • One-on-one mentorship and coaching, on a monthly basis
  • Support to develop new tools, handouts and articles
  • Opportunities to participate in and lead webinars on various themes around using experiential education for social change
  • A retreat in Philadelphia to meet and build relationships with other Fellows, Fellowship Co-Coordinators and TFC trainers
  • Full scholarships to any TFC workshops during the Fellowship.
  • Connection to the wider TFC network
  • An opportunity to renew for a second year of the Fellowship program

Learn more about the impact of the Fellowship from previous JCJ Fellows in this 2015 Video:

Meet Our 2017 Fellows!

Nicole Ektnitphong

Nicole Ektnitphong

Nicole Ektnitphong is an educator, organizer, youth worker, and trainer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota with roots in Thailand and Laos. She dreams of intergenerational building and ways to continue centering healing in movements. Raised in Southwest Minnesota, Nicole’s organizing community has grown + blossomed through her relationships and work with youth of color in her hometown of Worthington, the Divestment Student Network, the broader climate justice movement, Voices for Racial Justice, and Asians for Black Lives. Rock climbing, eating noodle soups, writing, and planning adventures are nourishing ways of being for Nicole’s soul.

Heidi Lopez

Heidi Lopez

Heidi Maria Lopez is a first generation, queer, Quiskeyana who believes in people and our power to shape our lives, heal and create new possibilities. Heidi Maria builds relationships that change this world so that Black and Brown people, particularly poor Black and Brown people, take back was has been taken from us, (re)claim our history and shape our own lives without the intervention of racist and oppressive systems.

Heidi Maria has had paid work in a variety of settings from youth development to higher education and city government; she brings organizing, healing, love and liberation into all the settings she’s in. Ms. Lopez has a GED and an MSW. Heidis’ current organizing is as a racial equity and liberation facilitator all over the world and in the gatherings she hosts in her hometown of Washington Heights that center ancestral wisdom, racial equity, healing and building community.

Nico Fonseca

Nico Fonseca

Nico Fonseca is a gender variant disabled fat femme nuyorican from Brooklyn. They’re a cultural worker and brujx with deep commitments to ancestral work, legacy and knowledge and connecting those to political strategies towards liberation. Their pronouns are they, them and papi. They practice healing, resilience and resistance through laughter, dancing and learning from their peoples in struggle.

Cleopatra Acquaye-Reynolds

Cleopatra Acquaye-Reynolds

Cleopatra (aka Cleo aka Cleopatra From The Bronx) is an African-American Femmeboiant Queer who was born, raised, and lived in The Bronx, New York for 28 years. As a first-generation born child of Ghanaian immigrants, education and access has always been a huge focus in Cleopatra’s life and she aims to make both priority issues in all areas of her life. Cleopatra hopes to collapse universes that hold our collective oppression and trauma in effort to make space for truth and new galaxies that build our values of resiliency and abundance. Cleopatra’s pronouns are She, Her, and Sir. She describes her facilitation persona as a Top Femme Daddx. When Cleopatra isn’t organizing, she can be found not finishing her Cosplay* for the comic book convention that is two days away.

Ashley "AG" Green

Ashley "AG" Green

AG is a movement organizer and trainer focused on working at the intersections of racial and economic justice. They are an Atlanta-native, but have spent the last few years invested in growing community power across the state of Florida with the Dream Defenders. This includes campaigns like Kids Not Criminals, focused on ending the school-to-prison pipeline in Hillsborough and Pinellas County. They cut their teeth in movement building as a student organizer at Rollins College, fighting for LGBTQ safety and inclusion on campuses in Central Florida. From there, they had a brief stint as a political organizer, working on local, state, and national campaigns, including the successful campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama in 2012. It’s in their work with Dream Defenders, and in the Childs Park community, that they’ve found their greatest sense of purpose. They remain steadfast and committed to building a world where black and brown youth can see their dreams and aspirations fully realized, free from fear of jail cells or the trap of poverty. Ashley is also a life-long lover of comic books and hopes to one day run a Black-centric novelty shop.

Rachel Gilmer

Rachel Gilmer

Rachel Gilmer is a Black feminist organizer with nearly 10 years experience in advocacy, programs, leadership development, research and writing on issues of racial and social justice. Rachel has been with the Dream Defenders since 2015.

Prior to this, Rachel served as the Associate Director of the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). During her time with AAPF, Rachel helped to develop national advocacy and research campaigns to call for the inclusion of women and girls of color in racial justice frameworks organized under the hashtags #BlackGirlsMatter, #SayHerName, #HerDreamDeferred and #WhyWeCant. Through this effort, Rachel helped to establish a national town hall hearing series focused on creating public opportunities for women and girls of color to break the silence on the challenges they face across a range of issues, including criminalization, school pushout, sexual assault, domestic violence and poverty.

Rachel has organized on issues of racial and social justice in a variety of settings, including schools, prisons, community based organizations and government. In 2013, she led a campaign against the forced removal of Portland’s historically Black neighborhoods which resulted in the allotment of 20 million additional dollars towards affordable housing and the establishment of a right of return policy for former residents of the community.

Rachel graduated from Vassar College in 2010 with a degree in American Culture and Africana Studies. As a fourth year student, she received an award for her thesis, a critical analysis of the rise of Barack Obama as both an emerging hero of the African Diaspora and the new face of American hegemonic power. While researching the project, she received a grant to conduct fieldwork in France, where she worked with various civil rights organizations in Paris, studying the impact his presidency has had on Black French people’s view of themselves and America.

Naomi Doerner

Naomi Doerner

Naomi Doerner is a first generation Latina American feminist. Born in Chicago, she and her then single and undocumented mother traversed the city together, her mother constantly seeking economic opportunity and upward mobility. Naomi and her family’s lived experiences have shaped her career as a social justice and racial equity organizer, urban planner and strategist working within the national transportation community. Over the last ten years, she has successfully advanced safe, accessible and affordable public transportation options with and for communities, particularly historically marginalized communities, through the creation of inclusive planning and participation processes. She recently co-organized, “The Untokening: A Convening for Just Streets & Communities” in Atlanta, GA. Over 130 mobility justice leaders of color and people from other marginalized groups from around the country participated to discuss and identify shared justice values in their collective work. These untokening values will help shape local and national actions and mobility agendas in 2017 and beyond, which she and her Untokening collaborators will continue to organize and facilitate.

Naomi is principal and co-founder of Seneca Planning, an equity and justice-centered transportation research, advocacy and planning consultancy. She holds a Master of Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs and a Certificate of Geographic Information Systems from Kennesaw State University. She serves on the Boards of ioby and PlayBuild. Naomi, her husband and aloof cat live in New Orleans, LA.

Nikki Shaffeeullah

Nikki Shaffeeullah

Nikki Shaffeeullah is a Toronto-based facilitator, director, performer and community-engaged artist who supports people in telling their own stories and facilitates the development of creative communities. Nikki believes art should disrupt the status quo; centre the margins; engage with the ancient; dream of the future; and be for everyone. Her current projects include serving as artistic director of The AMY Project, a devised theatre and arts mentorship program for young women and non-binary youth; associate artistic director of the community arts company Jumblies Theatre, and half of the community-engaged puppetry and music duo Sea Lettuce. She facilitates training for community-engaged artists through programs at Jumblies and AMY and is committed to increased support, training, and resources for community artists who are IBPOC (Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour), particularly those from queer and trans communities. For four years she was editor-in-chief of alt.theatre magazine, Canada’s only professional journal dedicated to the intersections of politics, cultural plurality, social activism, and the stage. She has lead and supported community-engaged theatre and art projects across Canada and internationally. Nikki holds an MFA in Community-Engaged Theatre from the University of Alberta and her thesis Staging Diversity: A Decolonial Praxis of Intercultural Feminist Theatre Creation won the 2013 Canadian Association for Theatre Research in Intercultural Theatre. She is informed by 15+ years of anti-racist organization, 10+ years of feminist and queer organizing; a family who loves music, food, and justice; and an inherited and unshakeable love of puns.

Requirements

 

To qualify for the Judith C. Jones Fellowship, applicants must:

  • Identify as a Person of Color. Please contact us with any questions around how we use that language and your eligibility.
  • Have completed our Training for Social Action Trainers OR a Philadelphia Organizing Skills Institute workshop.
  • Have a clear sense of their goals for the Fellowship and areas of growth they have identified for themselves as trainers and activists/organizers.
  • Be working or training in a social change context.
  • Identify a training program, workshop, or ongoing facilitation opportunity that they will be working in during the course of the Fellowship. In other words, applicants must have a context for application of the skills they will be cultivating during the Fellowship.
  • Be able to make make a one-year commitment to participating in the Fellowship program. Fellows will have the opportunity to renew for a second year if they choose.
  • Reside in the United States or Canada.

 

This Fellowship is NOT for…

  • People who have not yet attended a TFC workshop.
  • People who are not part of a network, job or group that will provide opportunities to apply what they are learning as a trainer.
  • People who are looking for administrative or marketing support to start their own business as a consultant.
  • People outside the United States and Canada

 

Every year we get many more strong applications than spots in the Fellowship.

Decisions are made by a committee of Training for Change staff and trainers who consider all aspects of each person’s application, our knowledge of them as a trainer or facilitator, and the overall makeup of the Fellowship cohort. Outside of the above criteria for Fellows, we are open to accepting people who are using training and facilitation skills in different capacities and social change contexts. However, we do often prioritize folks engaged in social change movements through grassroots organizing or community-building, direct action campaigns, or leadership development outside of academia, social service agencies or large institutions. If you are applying, please be sure to include examples of your connection to this kind of involvement in social change.

If you aren’t eligible for this program but want to invest in the development and support of social movement leaders of color, visit our Donate page:

Fellowship Coordinators

Nico Amador

Nico Amador

Nico Amador is a poet, cat lover and taco enthusiast. From 2008-20015, he served as Co-Director of Training for Change and is the founder of the Judith C. Jones Fellowship. Nico has over ten years’ experience as a community organizer, trainer, educator, and coach for other activists. He has led over 300 trainings and trained over 7000 people in skills for movement-building and social change. His prior work includes grassroots efforts to reprioritize spending for education over prisons, win a living wage, support urban farming, and defend the rights of conscientious objectors, among others. In Philadelphia, Nico helped direct a successful grassroots campaign to end a public transportation system policy that discriminated against transgender passengers, and was a part of taking on the casino industry in a community-led campaign to keep predatory gambling out of residential areas. Nico currently lives in Vermont and works on issues concerning mass incarceration and racial justice.

Shreya Shah

Shreya Shah

S​hreya S​hah, MPH is a South A​sian facilitator and trainer​, certified coach, visual artist/designer,​ and writer. Shreya was first politicized as a youth worker, implementing sexual health and anti-violence programming for LGBTQ and homeless youth of color at a Chicago drop-in health center. They have over 10 years of experience in education and facilitation- often working at the intersections of racial, gender, and economic justice – with ​grassroots groups and organizations​, other artists, healers, activists and organizers​. ​S​hreya’s art and facilitation support embodied trauma-healing and resiliency practices for self- and community-determination. Shreya co-coordinates the JCJ Fellowship for Trainers of Color and works across the States with TFC as well as Saltwater​. Shreya loves singing, visiting with the ocean and woods, and laughing loudly with loved ones. Check out www.saltwatertraining.org for more information!

Omi Masika

Omi Masika

Bio coming soon…

Judith C. Jones

Judith C. Jones

This Fellowship program is named in honor of TFC Training Elder Judith C. Jones, Ph.D. Also known as “Diva Bear”, Judith worked with Training for Change for over a decade and for many years was a lead trainer in TFC’s Training for Social Action Trainers and Advanced Training of Trainer workshops. Judith grew up in Philadelphia, received her doctorate in Political Science from Atlanta University and has taught at Penn State University and at Philadelphia University. Judith is also co-author of Two Voices from the Front Line: A Conversation about Race in the Classroom, an article found in the award winning anthology Race in the College Classroom, published by Rutgers University Press. She has led diversity and conflict workshops for a diverse client base and has served as a guide and role model to many of us who have worked with her as up-and-coming trainers.

This Fellowship program is named in honor of TFC Training Elder Judith C. Jones, Ph.D. Also known as “Diva Bear”, Judith worked with Training for Change for over a decade and for many years was a lead trainer in TFC’s Training for Social Action Trainers and Advanced Training of Trainer workshops. Judith grew up in Philadelphia, received her doctorate in Political Science from Atlanta University and has taught at Penn State University and at Philadelphia University. Judith is also co-author of Two Voices from the Front Line: A Conversation about Race in the Classroom, an article found in the award winning anthology Race in the College Classroom, published by Rutgers University Press. She has led diversity and conflict workshops for a diverse client base and has served as a guide and role model to many of us who have worked with her as up-and-coming trainers.

[google-translator]