Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship
The Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship honors the lifelong work of the founder of Rosie’s Place. The Fellowship is awarded annually to a woman to develop and carry out a special project in New England that will improve the lives of poor and homeless women and further the mission of Rosie’s Place.
Eligible projects could include the following:
- A policy initiative or campaign
- A creative arts program
- The development and implementation of a needed service
- The creation of an innovative project aimed at reducing poverty, promoting social justice and empowering poor and homeless women.
The Fellowship is 12 months long and is awarded on a one-time basis to an eligible woman. Fellows are paid a $40,000 stipend.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship?
This Fellowship provides a unique opportunity for a woman with new ideas, talent and energy to develop and carry out a project that will improve the lives of poor and homeless women. This project can address poverty and homelessness in any New England community and does not have to center specifically on the women at Rosie’s Place.
What types of projects are sought?
Desired projects could include a public policy initiative or campaign, a creative arts program, the development and implementation of a needed service, or the creation of an innovative project aimed at reducing poverty, promoting social justice, or empowering poor and homeless women.
What are the guidelines for creating a project?
Projects should be innovative and unique, i.e. those being carried out for the first time anywhere, are similar to other projects but implemented in a new way, or created for the first time in a particular location. Projects need to have a clear plan for sustainability after the Fellowship year is over. Also, projects that are completed after one year will not be considered (e.g. creation of a book, thesis, resource guide or film).
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Can a project take place at Rosie’s Place?
Yes, but there is no guarantee that Rosie’s Place will be able to host the project due to space and time limitations. An applicant should explore the feasibility of arrangements with other sites. Once the Fellowship is awarded, the Fellow would need to seek approval from the Executive Director, should she want the project to include Rosie’s Place.
What are the parameters of this Fellowship?
The Fellowship is awarded to a woman who demonstrates passion for a unique idea. The concept/proposal is to be created independently by one woman, not a partnership or a group. The $40,000 stipend is given directly to the Fellow, who manages the budget and all other aspects of the project. It is not intended to fund an existing organization or a staff position within an agency. The project can be implemented within the context of another organization, from which the Fellow may receive additional financial and technical support. However, the autonomy of the Fellow must be clearly defined.
Who is eligible?
Any interested woman age 21 or over is eligible to apply. She and her proposed project must be physically based in New England (MA, VT, CT, RI, ME, NH). There are no educational or occupational requirements. Suggested skills include oral and written communication skills, computer literacy, planning and organizing skills, the ability to outline and secure project costs, and the passion, excitement, and commitment that will enable the applicant to create the project and see it through to completion.
May Rosie’s Place staff, board members, volunteers and guests apply?
Yes. Rosie’s Place staff and board members would need to resign their position at Rosie’s Place upon commencement of their Fellowship.
What is the application process?
Applicants should submit a one-to-two page concept paper describing their project via email only to email@example.com. Email confirming receipt sent to all applicants within five days. If the concept paper is approved, a full proposal will be invited. Full proposals consist of a brief summary of the project, a detailed project proposal, a timeline for implementation of the project, a personal statement, a description of work/education or other experience relevant to the proposed project and/or the mission of Rosie’s Place, and three references. Semi-finalists will be invited to attend a meeting with the selection committee to answer questions and provide guidance prior to the preparation of the full proposal. Applications will be judged on the quality and significance of the proposed project, the applicant’s skills and experience, and the relevance to Rosie’s Place philosophy and mission.
May an applicant submit materials in other than written form?
Yes, audio and/or videotapes are acceptable for submission.
Who selects the Fellow?
The Fellow is selected by the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship Committee, a group comprised of Rosie’s Place community members, which may include board members, volunteers, Rosie’s Place staff and guests.
Are information sessions about the Fellowship available?
Yes, several in-person sessions will take place early in 2016 at Rosie's Place. Conference call sessions are also available. For phone-in details and more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are the benefits of the Fellowship?
The Fellowship shall be limited to 12 months. The stipend is $40,000 paid in 12 monthly installments. It is our intention that the Fellow be covered by adequate health insurance throughout the term of the Fellowship. The Fellow may obtain coverage independently or use part of the $40,000 stipend to participate in the Rosie’s Place health and dental plan. Pending availability, a fellow may request administrative support; however, the Fellow will be responsible for her own clerical needs.
Will Rosie’s Place pay for any of the project costs beyond those outlined above?
No, but the Fellow is encouraged to seek additional funding if needed.
Are the products of a Fellow’s term the property of Rosie’s Place?
May Fellowships be extended beyond 12 months?
What are the reporting requirements for the Fellowship?
The Fellow shall meet with the committee three times during the year, submit monthly written reports (including financial statements), prepare a final report summarizing the results of the project, and make a short presentation to the Rosie’s Place staff.
Under what circumstances may a Fellow be terminated?
Rosie’s Place may terminate a Fellow at its discretion. Similarly, a Fellow may give notice and forgo the outstanding portion of the Fellowship at any time.
May Fellows represent themselves as employees or agents of Rosie’s Place?
No. Fellows are not employees of Rosie’s Place, but are independent contractors responsible for their own tax, insurance and other work-related expenses. Fellows are not agents of Rosie’s Place, and may not represent themselves as such to foundations, media, political leaders, businesses, community organizations, or any other individual or group.
Are there any guidelines as to the content of press/media releases dealing with a Fellow’s work?
When a Fellow is interviewed or asked to submit comments to the media, she must mention Rosie’s Place and the Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship as her sponsor. All media contact must be pre-approved by the Rosie’s Place Director of Communications. The Fellow must abide by the press rules and policies that will be provided to her after the Fellowship is awarded.
Fellowship Project Summaries
The Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship has been awarded since 2001. Below are summaries of Fellowship projects, from the first to the current project.
Read Project Summaries
1. This project focused on drug treatment services in the Commonwealth. The Fellow surveyed all drug treatment programs in the state and created a comprehensive list of the services provided, eligibility requirements, application procedures, etc. She also ran a support group at Rosie’s Place for women in recovery, researched state legislation that pertained to drug treatment services, and organized several meetings with staff members from other agencies interested in legislative advocacy on the topic. This project subsequently became the foundation for a full-time legislative advocacy staff position at Rosie’s Place.
2. This Fellow addressed the surprising lack of shared knowledge and communication between services for homeless women in MA and services for women who have experienced sexual assault, given the high incidence of women who experience both homelessness and sexual violence. She formed a coalition of these two groups and developed a manual that combined information for both sets of services.
3. This Fellow created quilting groups for poor and homeless women at different agency sites. The women made quilts reflecting their own personal life issues and shared their stories with one another. A small number of them turned this skill into a money-making enterprise.
4. This project, implemented by a lawyer in Maine, provided legal assistance, including representation in court, on eviction issues to approximately 300 impoverished women. She also provided legal assistance and information to women living in a shelter and held training sessions for social workers and others who work with poor women in the community, including lawyers and judges. She was appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Housing in ME and her program was expanded statewide after the Fellowship ended.
5. This Fellow used the art of theater as a tool for empowering homeless, poor and marginalized women. She began the program at Rosie’s Place by providing a safe and nurturing environment for the women to tell their stories. By utilizing basic theater technique classes and bringing guests to local theater productions, she helped the women create original pieces that were performed for the public. After the Fellowship year ended, the leader moved Girl Talk Theater (www.girltalktheater.org) to other venues and it continues to thrive as a way to give voice to those less fortunate.
6. This Fellow created and implemented the “WELLness” Program at the Preble Street Shelter in Portland, ME. Her goal was to offer classes and events at the shelter which would bring women from the shelter together with those from outside. Her classes and events (book clubs, quilting classes, computer skills courses, yoga, etc.) were well-attended and successful in meeting her goals. She instituted an “each one teach one” process where women shared their skills with others. The Fellow, who had been homeless herself, developed organizational skills for running her Board of Directors, learned basic computing skills, tapped into many local organizations to come in to run classes and strengthened her financial management skills.
7. The “Found in Translation” project provides poor and homeless bilingual women an opportunity to become professional medical interpreters and to begin to cross the bridge from poverty toward self-sufficiency, opportunity and hope. The mission of the project is two-fold: to seek to increase the economic independence and quality of life of impoverished bilingual women and to decrease racial, ethnic and linguistic barriers in healthcare by filling the growing need for medical interpreters. The project received non-profit organization status and continues to grow (www.found-in-translation.org).
8. “SPARC” (Support, Partnerships and Real-time Communication) is a hands-on educational and motivational program for women based on developing and using writing and communication skills. Eight-week sessions are offered to women throughout the year with content divided between creative writing exercises and practical skills including computer training. The purpose is to empower women to reach their highest potential by enhancing their ability to write and communicate.
9. “Simple Design Share” taught women how to sew simple, affordable clothing and accessories without using a sewing machine during three hour-workshops. Participants were provided with a work bag with basic sewing supplies and were guided to create one simple piece during a single session. This project evolved into the women creating accessories to market online, thereby learning basic marketing as well as sewing skills.
10. The Migrant Advocacy Network works to validate the impact of the migration experience by providing recently arrived immigrants with orientation, information and guidance through community outreach, workshops, and individual meetings. The project offers scholarships that will enable individuals to acquire the power of language and communication through ESOL classes. The goal is to build a network of mentors and volunteers to provide advocacy and support to immigrant communities so that members can be better able to actively engage in American civic and economic life.
11. The Dorothea Advocacy Project, named for and inspired by the work of Dorothea Dix, a woman who pioneered mental health reform in New England, offers representation to women in New Hampshire county jails and state prison, and to recently released women struggling with re-entry issues. Initial efforts will focus on helping the women apply for benefits before they are released, so they can leave incarceration prepared to be healthy, housed and productive on the outside. Each client is paired with a female attorney or law student who can provide personal advocacy and serve as a support system and positive role model.
12. Money School is a five-week financial empowerment program that helps low-income survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Berkshire County build their financial futures. The workshops operate on what Money School calls the “three c’s:” competence, confidence and connections. It equips participants of the program with foundational financial knowledge and skills in goal setting, budgeting, credit and debt, savings and investing and maximizing income. At the same time, it connects women directly with resources in their communities, such as banks, credit unions, matched savings programs, employers and legal aid advocates.
13. CURRENT PROJECT: “LEGIT.yoga” is a program that seeks to empower women survivors of trauma by providing Trauma-Informed Yoga classes in the Boston community. The weekly hour or hour and a half classes will take place in area shelters, public housing developments and community programs. The primary goal of the project is to provide these classes and groups to “non-traditional” communities, making yoga a healing, transformative and standard part of the lives of marginalized people who have experienced trauma.