The Better Selves Fellowship

You did it! Together we raised more than $35,000 at our benefit concert to support the 2019 Better Selves Fellowships. Thank you so much!

For those working 24/7 to change the world, who haven’t had a moment to reflect or to dig deeper into what matters most, we offer you a free fellowship to re-think the promise of your work and regain your better self at our Refuge.

Refill Your Well

This is a fellowship for individuals working in the fields of social justice, human well being and conservation who can benefit from time to pursue a specific project, question or need.  You have the goal; we provide you with inspiring accommodations, work space, healthy food and our supportive community environment to pursue your goal.  This self-guided Fellowship is awarded to 40 people who can attend their choice of two summer sessions.

  • Fellowship retreat is seven days, six nights.
  • The dates for our 2018 sessions are July 8-14 and August 12-18.
  • Applicants ideally work in the fields of social justice, human well being and conservation.
  • Aim to arrive with a goal and a project in mind and to direct your own experience and schedule during the fellowship.
  • We will provide 3 meals a day, and you will have full use of our Refuge facilities.
  • You will have a retreat job of no more than 1 hour a day to help us keep our community going; there are other welcome opportunities to get involved on the land if you wish.
  • Travel costs to and from Knoll farm are borne by the Fellow.

2018 Better Selves Fellowship

Roger Allbee

Roger Allbee has an extensive background in agriculture and food systems at the state, regional, national, and international levels.  He has held many positions, most recently Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency for the State of Vermont. He resides with his wife Ann on land, which was a part of the farm that he grew up on in Southern Vermont.

 

Josh Arnold

Josh is a community organizer in the Ossipee Mountain Region of NH where he directs the nonprofit, Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.).  G.A.L.A. is building a Makerspace & Incubator for bringing people together to discover passions and cultivate skills that enrich rural lives and livelihoods. Josh and his wife Molly live in an old Grange Hall where they host music, potlucks, puppet shows and other community events.

Andrea Bogomolni

Andrea Bogomolni considers herself a community scientist. Her efforts are directed towards understanding and interpreting the interdisciplinary connections of marine mammal, human and ocean health. Her goal is to be able to provide the knowledge needed to mitigate human impact on marine species, understand risks of these impacts and facilitate collaborations. She is currently a postdoctoral investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the co-founder and chair of the Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium, and teaches science courses to students of all ages.

Nate Brown

Nate Brown is a federal employee working in a coalition of public, private and university stakeholders that are cooperating to identify, develop and commercialize sustainable fuels that can dramatically improve the environmental impact of aviation, while also supporting rural economic development and energy diversity. He is passionate about understanding the complexity of human development and sustaining the ecosystem we live in and depend on, and is interested in how best to bridge the gap between innovation and broad uptake of solutions that can simultaneously address environmental and economic challenges.

 

Tara Brown

Throughout her career, Tara has worked through nonprofit and government organizations to build opportunity for people left behind economically. A native of West Virginia, Tara now lives in New York City where she works as Senior Program Manager at the Center for NYC Neighborhoods and serves on the board of the Cooperative Economics Alliance of NYC.

Jane Calvin

Jane Calvin is the Executive Director of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, an urban land trust that focuses on environmental education, historic preservation, and urban forestry.  Jane holds graduate degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Jane is passionate about creating community through conservation.

Veronica Ciambra

Veronica Ciambra is a mother, grandmother, gardener, cook, and ex-lawyer.  She started Addison Allies Network (AAN) in April 2017 to respond to the needs of migrant farm workers living in the shadows in Addison County, Vermont.  AAN volunteers teach English, provide needed transportation and help farm workers access whatever is available to them.

Stuart Clarke

Stuart Clarke is the Executive Director of the Town Creek Foundation, which makes grants to support environmental advocacy work in Maryland. Town Creek’s work focuses on restoring the Chesapeake Bay, facilitating the state’s clean energy transition, and building a food system reform movement. Stuart also serves as Co-Chair of Maryland’s Climate Change Commission, a Trustee of the Blue Mountain Center, and the Finance Chair of Greenpeace US.

George Cofer

George is a sixth-generation Austinite.  He loves the great outdoors, especially hiking, kayaking, sleeping under the stars and swimming in the Frio River at the family ranch in Texas. George has spent the past thirty years helping to conserve the natural environment through advocacy, policy work and executing conservation easements in the Texas Hill Country. For fun, George reads, writes, watches crazy movies and surfs hurricanes.

Jazmin Delgado

Jazmín Delgado is an organizer with the Sanctuary Advocate Coalition, which is fighting to realize an expanded vision of sanctuary among Black and Brown communities in Philadelphia. They are also completing a Ph.D. in U.S.-American literature at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lisa Fitzpatrick

Lisa is an infectious diseases physician, medical epidemiologist and public health activist who is launching a health care start up for low-income communities. She loves tennis, biking, yoga, traveling, photography and dining, especially to try new foods.

Clyde W. Ford

Clyde’s from Bellingham, Washington. He’s an award-winning author of books from body-mind healing to the environment. An avid outdoorsman he’s equally at home backpacking in the Cascades as cruising the Inside Passage. He’s just returned from delivering a yacht up the Inside Passage to Ketchikan, Alaska.

Sarah Gannett

Sarah has been a public defender for more than twenty years.  She resides in Baltimore, Maryland, but serves clients across the country.  Her work focuses on the federal death penalty and is driven by an abiding belief that nobody is as bad as the worst thing they have ever done.

Brent Godfrey

First Responders for Change, New Orleans, Louisiana

Maya Higgins

Maya Higgins is, at her heart, an adventurer, a community-builder, and an educator. In 2016, Maya was named one of National Geographic’s 20 Under 30: the Next Generation of National Park Leaders while working as an educator and Site Manager for NatureBridge in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Currently, Maya designs student programs as a Director for Putney Student Travel, National Geographic Student Expeditions, and the New York Times Student Journeys. Maya is passionate about youth empowerment and conservation and is currently working on a project to empower youth voices in her home state of New Mexico to protect one of the last remaining ‘wild’ rivers in all of the Southwest, the Gila River.

Michele Holt-Shannon

Michele Holt-Shannon is a co-founder and Director for New Hampshire Listens in the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Michele’s work on and off campus is focused on responding to controversial issues and social crises in ways that increase collaboration, restore trust, and center equitable outcomes.  She works to bring people together across perspectives and backgrounds to solve problems and create solutions for their communities. Michele’s dog Archie has the job of walking her several times a week.

Lesley Iaukea

Lesley Iaukea is a crewmember and educator for Hokule’a,  examining the first year of the Malama Honua World Wide Voyage: Hawai‘i Legs.  Lesley believes that the fundamentals that are learned in voyaging can teach the connection between man and environment through the concepts used in understanding the dynamics of voyaging. She is working toward developing a K-12 cultural-based curriculum for the schools in Hawai‘i.

 

Kimya Jackson

Kimya S. Jackson, M.Ed, is a second grade teacher  in West Orange, New Jersey. She will be working on her PhD in Teacher Education and Teacher Development in the fall of 2018. She is a co-author of #HELPME: A Parent’s Guide to Navigating the School System Through the Eyes of Teachers and a curriculum developer for BAZANED.

Blaze Jones-Yellin

Blaze is an urbanist helping to grow more resilient communities. He formerly managed the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance after Superstorm Sandy, expanded The Nature Conservancy’s Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future program and currently leads equitable development planning for the Lowline underground park in New York City.

Arani Kajenthira

Arani is an environmentalist and social sector strategist who is passionate about water and agriculture. With professional experience in academia, philanthropy, and management consulting, Arani hopes to use her time in Vermont to explore the role of local food systems in improving the quality, sustainability, and economics of available foods.

Maisha Khalfani

Maisha Khalfani joined Harlem Grown in October of 2017 as the Office Manager. She is a mother of four, a native New Yorker and Harlem resident. Maisha believes health and wellness are the keys to a better future for Harlem youth. A former Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor, Maisha holds a certification in Fitness Nutrition Coaching from NESTA. She received her Associate’s degree in Psychology from the University of Phoenix and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Business, with a focus on Project Management. Maisha’s goal is to increase the visibility of Harlem Grown through community engagement and expand its programming throughout Harlem.

Gopi Krishna

Gopi Donald Shelton Krishna is A Lover of Our Human connections to Source (deep self) I can attest to a Heartfelt Warm drawn from being a spiritual warrior in forward movements for reparations for POC locally in W. Massachusetts and beyond. I’m Building alliances and networks of POC and assisting conscious creative socially just communities one day at a time. My “Earthdance” is Life threatening and Challenging work in this Amerikkka.

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is the pastor of New Rochelle United Methodist Church and is passionate about the intersection of religion and the environment. She is the director of the Peace Garden Project that looks at the intersection of Food Justice with other justice issues. She is an award winning filmmaker, and has a film in production. Michelle also hosts a radio show that examines connecting our spirituality with daily life. Michelle is the first woman of color to hold joint Master’s degrees in Religion and the Environment from Yale.

Gina Luster

Gina Luster, a lifelong Flint resident, lost her job after getting sick from the drinking water. She’s found a new calling among the city’s activist “water warriors”—and recently announced plans to run as a commissioner in Genesee County.

Sally Manikian

Sally is a writer, musher, steward of mountains and is deeply engaged in the communities of Coos County, NH. Employed by The Conservation Fund, Sally works in NH and VT serving land and water conservation and economic development. Home is Shelburne, NH, with her disabled brother and sister, for whom she is a caregiver, and the 24 athletes of her racing sled dog team.

Alison McCrary

Sister Alison McCrary, SFCC serves as the Executive Director of the National   Police Accountability Project, a Spiritual Advisor on Louisiana’s death row, a social justice movement lawyer, and a Catholic nun. She formerly served as President of the Louisiana Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the founding Director of the New Orleans Community-Police Mediation Program.

Joe Moll

Joe Moll heads up the McKenzie River Trust in Eugene, Oregon. He has worked in wildlife, land, and water conservation since the early 1990s. He likes to run, hike, fish, explore, and play music. He is married and the father of three sons, high school and college aged.

Rachel Moo

Rachel is a facilitator who looks to connect the world of sport with social justice driven research, education and advocacy through programming and community engagement. Rachel aims to transform the culture of sports from competition to inclusion and to promote a paradigm shift that sports are more  than just the scoreboard and believe sport can bridge cultural gaps, resolve conflict and educate people in a way that few other activities can.

Teresa Niedda

Teresa is the Director of the Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) in Camden, NJ.  CFET operates a retreat center, manages urban gardens, and runs a youth job training program.  She is experienced in non-profit management and grant-writing.   Teresa is an avid gardener.  She is a member of the Collingswood Community Garden and farms a small piece of land on her friend’s organic farm (Philly Chile).

Utē Petit

Utē Petit is a recent graduate from Rhode Island School of Design, where they received their BFA in Textiles and Industrial Design. While at RISD, they worked as President and organizer of the club Black Artists and Designers. They are hoping to continue community- based work wherever they land, while also developing an art practice postgrad. They also have a deep obsession with public transportation, most importantly airplanes.

Joshua Royte

The Nature Conservancy in Maine

Jay Salinas

Jay Salinas is an artist, farmer, educator and co-founder of Wormfarm Institute serving as Director of Special Projects. Wormfarm’s mission is to integrate culture and agriculture to strengthen connections along the rural/ urban continuum, building a thriving region that values its urban and rural parts. Programs include a farm-based artist residency and an annual live culture convergence.

J. Miakoda Taylor

Gender Pronouns: they/our/we

I am a lifelong bridge builder across dis-membered sectors of society, dedicated to supporting individuals and organizations to leverage adversity towards resilience, power, and freedom. I am a dancer, photographer, artivist, meditator, yogi, public speaker, coach, trainer, facilitator, strategy consultant and Founding Director of  Fierce Allies.

Tamara Toles O’ Laughlin

Tamara is an environmental advocate for equity, access and justice issues at the local, regional and national level. She is the executive director of the Maryland Environmental Health Network. Tamara has over fifteen years of cross sector experience. Among her activities, she develops capacity building programs and multimedia campaigns to dismantle privilege and seed opportunities for vulnerable populations to access healthy air, clean energy, and a toxic free economy.

Julie Ulrich

The Nature Conservancy Philadelphia, PA

Maria Vertkin

Maria was born in Russia and lived in Israel before immigrating to the United States. She studied Social Work at Regis College. Before launching Found in Translation, Maria led a pilot program for homeless, unaccompanied youth at the nonprofit Rediscovery. She has also worked with survivors of domestic violence, was a mentor to girls at Big Sister of Greater Boston, a support group facilitator at Parents Helping Parents, a phone counselor on the state-wide Parental Stress Line, and translated for the grassroots media project Alive in Mexico.

Ramik Williams

Directions For Our Youth, Inc.

Steve Wilson

Steve has led family foundations in Michigan and his expertise is in building community collaborations.   Steve collaborated with a colleague in Flint to present at a national conference, celebrating the heroic women of the Flint water crisis. In September, he begins a new role at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy in Grand Rapids.

Alexis Winter

Alexis Winter is a cultural anthropologist with the Keller Science Action Center at the Field Museum in Chicago. Her work is focused on expanding participation in environmental conservation through asset-based, applied research that celebrates the diverse ways that people relate to nature and centers quality of life.

Rebecca Zisook

Rebecca Zisook is a third grade bilingual teacher in Chicago Public Schools.  She is committed to decolonizing the content and methodologies of her instruction, and to providing culturally relevant learning experiences for her students.  Her current focus is to develop units of study that lift up the stories of indigenous peoples, specifically of Mexico, in order to empower her students and encourage their critical thinking.

By joining our community, you become part of the story of this land.

Be the first to know when the berries are ripe, workshops are scheduled, or leadership fellowships are announced.

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