California Studies Association

The latest news, events, and perspectives from the CSA

Multicultural Fellowship Program — The San Francisco Foundation


Multicultural Fellowship Program — The San Francisco Foundation.

2008-09 Multicultural Fellows.JPG

In an area with such a wealth of young talent, it is essential to cultivate the next generation of community leaders to reflect the diversity of our region. In our Multicultural Fellowship Program, we select young professionals of color with the promise and passion to create significant social change. By working in our grantmaking teams and contributing to numerous projects across the Foundation, fellows gain dynamic hands-on leadership experience. Former fellows now serve as executive directors and development directors in nonprofits, as program officers in foundations, as government officials, and as professionals and academics who serve or work with nonprofits.

The Fellowship taught me the dynamics within a region or community that have been really helpful when thinking about how you can make change at a national or state policy level.

-Recent Fellow

The San Francisco Foundation’s Multicultural Fellowship Program aims to increase diversity in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. The Program provides young professionals of color with challenging work experiences and leadership opportunities in the areas of grantmaking and community building. The Fellowship includes an intensive curriculum, individual coaching, mentorship, access to local service sector leaders, and countless opportunities to build a professional network.

Photo: The 2008-09 class of Multicultural Fellows are [pictured above, L-R] Grace Ma, Navin Moul, Josaphine Stevenson, Gloria Bruce, Vanessa Camarena-Arredondo, and Nacala Jendayi.

Applications for 2010-2012 Fellowships Due on March 22nd

We are now accepting applications for the 2010-2012 Fellows in Arts and Culture, Education, and Environment Program areas. Please read the following carefully for complete application information and to learn about the upcoming information sessions.

General qualifications:

  • Self-directed, team-oriented, and leadership qualities.
  • Demonstrated interest in fundraising, donor development, and nonprofit or public service.
  • Volunteer and/or work experience in a specific Program area as specified below.
  • Eagerness to learn about the philanthropic sector.
  • Ability to interact effectively with diverse audiences from varying socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills and analytical skills.
  • Ease in producing high quality work in a high-production, multiple-project environment.
  • Strong computer/software skills, including Windows and Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge a plus.
  • A Master’s degree in a relevant area or equivalent research and analysis experience preferred.
  • A minimum of five years of related work experience is required in addition to the specific requirements for each of the program areas noted here.

Arts and Culture Program Fellow Qualifications: Deep knowledge of visual, performing, media, and/or literary arts. A background in the arts and nonprofit experience is important. An understanding of the issues facing arts organizations and individual artists is essential.

Education Program Fellow Qualifications: Knowledge of child and youth development issues with an understanding of schools, childcare, or youth-serving programs required. Knowledge of school reform issues is desirable. Background in organizational development, policy analysis, or evaluation is especially welcome.

Environment Fellow Qualifications: Education and experience in the area of environmental advocacy, environmentally sustainable economies, environmental health and justice, land-use, smart growth, and policy work. A background in Bay Area environmental justice issues and environmental sustainability is desired. Knowledge of climate change policies and programs will be helpful.

$46,000-$50,000 annually

Application Deadline:
Monday, March 22, 2010. Emailed applications must be received by 5:30 p.m. Mailed applications must be postmarked by the deadline date.

How to apply:
Applicants must submit the following three items:
1. Cover letter
2. Résumé
3. Responses to the Fellowship Application questions. Download the questions here.

You may email your application to OR mail it to:

Multicultural Fellowship Program
The San Francisco Foundation
225 Bush Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94104

Please submit your application only via one method; do not email and mail your application. Every application received will be acknowledged within two business days. Please note, all three application items must be received by the deadline to be considered for an interview. Applicants selected for an interview will be contacted by April 15, 2010.

Special Information Sessions:
The San Francisco Foundation is holding two Fellowship information sessions at our office, at 225 Bush Street, Suite 500, San Francisco, CA 94104.

Thursday, March 4, 2010
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Monday, March 8, 2010
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon

The information sessions are an opportunity to meet our current Fellows, Program Officers, the Fellowship Coordinator, and other staff, while acquiring additional information about the Fellowship Program. No RSVP required.

If you have questions regarding the Fellowship Program or the recruitment process, please contact Jamillah Washington-Weaver at 415.733.8557 or

Multicultural Fellowships: A Model to Strengthen and Support Emerging Leaders of Color

There is growing recognition that leadership within the fields of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector are not reflective of the racial/ethnic diversity of the nation as a whole. The 2009 cohort of The San Francisco Foundation Multicultural Fellows drafted a paper, entitled “Multicultural Fellowships: A Model to Strengthen and Support Emerging Leaders of Color,” detailing how the Fellowship can be used as a program model to encourage the development of leaders of color in nonprofit, governmental, and philanthropic sectors. The San Francisco Foundation’s commitment to supporting emerging leaders of color, as well as the longevity and success of the Fellowship Program, puts the fellows in a unique position to share our experience and offer recommendations on how similar fellowship programs could be developed in other sectors and foundations. The paper includes reflections from former and current fellows and is specifically focused upon the impact that the Fellowship Program has had on our careers and capacity as leaders. Click here to download a PDF of this paper.

Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ Report on Diversity in Action

In July 2009, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors released its report entitled “Diversity in Action: Strategies with Impact.” This report highlights ideas, approaches, and programs from CEOs and trustees of foundations who have implemented solutions to ensure greater reach into diverse communities, including The San Francisco Foundation’s Multicultural Fellowship Program. With an aim to promote best practices, leaders share perspectives on both the rationale and the methods of their diversity strategies. Click here to download a PDF (1.7 MB) of this report.

Our 2009-10 class of Multicultural Fellows

Navin Moul (Social Justice)

Before joining The San Francisco Foundation, Navin was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley in the Ethnic Studies Department. Her doctoral research looked at citizenship and belonging using the deportation of Cambodians living in the United States as a case study for understanding incorporation and identity. As a Fulbright Fellow, she lived and conducted field research in Cambodia, interviewing “returnees” who were forcibly removed from the U.S.. While in Cambodia, she also worked as the program director for Global Youth Connect, an organization that works to build and support a community of youth who are actively promoting and protecting human rights, and to educate and inspire the next generation to work for peaceful change. Prior to graduate school, Navin taught first grade at Spruce Primary in Washington State. She holds a Master’s degree in Ethnic Studies from University of California Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in American cultural studies from Western Washington University.

Vanessa Camarena-Arredondo (Arts and Culture)

Before transitioning into the fellowship, she was a program assistant in Education and Community Development at the San Francisco Foundation. Prior to this, she was the program coordinator at the Latina Breast Cancer Agency. Additionally, Vanessa worked with the California Faculty Association at her university in a collective effort to address state budget cuts. She worked for two years with Self Help Graphic Gallery and Print Shop on the Day of the Dead celebration and Deaf Children’s Arts Festival. Vanessa also interned with the Mark Taper Forum’s Latino Theater Initiative, and was a youth program coordinator at Bienestar, an HIV education and service center serving the Latino community. Vanessa sings with Las Bomberas de la Bahia and is a student at Los Cenzontles Mexican Cultural Arts Center. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American studies from California State University, Los Angeles.


2 thoughts on “Multicultural Fellowship Program — The San Francisco Foundation

  1. please do inform me of current fellowship programs.Thanks.

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