The Better Selves Fellowship is a week of care and support for BIPOC leaders and their allies working for environmental and social change. It’s a chance to rest, replenish, network with others, take risks and go deeper. It rejuvenates them so they go can further with the change work that matters most to them and their communities. This fellowship is about restoring and building people power in a time when people power is essential for liberation and health.
Better Selves Fellows are often aware of their “long work”: work that’s bigger than a job or position or project; work that arises from one’s identity, values and purpose. There are times when that important work, or life calling, is less clear, when it needs to be nurtured and restored. The fellowship is the chance to stop old routines and patterns and to receive new anchors that might arise from old personal practices or from nature, herself. The Better Selves Fellowship is the offer of time to focus and reflect. It helps fellows look at how and where they can do their best work in the world. These are times that ask us to be the most whole and very best versions of ourselves.
Each fellow arrives with certain goals and intentions for a self-directed experience, which they pursue working in a conference room, on walks in the woods, alone with their own integrity, or over a shared meal at the long table in the barn.
We do not teach, and they are not asked to perform. We are a white space with a 20-year learning of how to provide radical hospitality; healthy, natural food; experience of nature and a regenerative farm, space and quiet, and a careful facilitation of the experience. What also often emerges naturally are important peer bonds, friendships, and a sense of group experience.
Successful candidates are:
- People working on or for equity, sustainability and community through a variety of means.
- People who have not had this type of experience before.
- People at a point in life and career to take advantage of a fellowship.
- People with a specific project or idea that could be propelled forward by this week of, space, care and attention.
- People aware of, or on the journey toward, their long work.
Building upon a long history as a refuge in the mountains and a place of learning and transformation, Knoll Farm created the Better Selves Fellowships in 2014. To date, 150 fellowships have been awarded to leaders from 30 states. Knoll Farm has been training and sustaining leaders working for social and environmental justice for twenty years. A core value of the Better Selves fellowship is diversity in all its forms. Our staff and fellowship advisors work hard to ensure that each cohort is representative and inclusive. On-site, our staff and farm team aim to make each fellow feel valued, welcome, and tended to. We are improving this year after year in response to feedback from former fellows and our advisors.
The 2022 Better Selves Program
In 2022, we will be offering 45 fellowships, divided over 3 separate weeks. Fellows will be given the option of participating in a Northeast, regional, all BIPOC fellowship week, or participating in weeks with a racially diverse group of fellows from around the country.
February 4, 2022: Applications Open
March 18, 2022: Deadline for Applications
April 8, 2022: Acceptance Notifications
June 20-26, 2022
July 25-31, 2022
BIPOC Only: August 22-28, 2022
Applications for 2022 are now closed.
Thank you to those who applied for a fellowship in 2022! We will announce awards on April 8, 2022. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your application, please contact us.
Support Better Selves
Your support makes it possible for us to offer fellowships and free weeks of renewal to foster healing and lasting interrelationships. Our land has become a place of social and spiritual renewal to thousands, who take that strength with them back into their communities to work for healthy land and healthy people.
“I feel rooted, I feel thoughtful, I feel quiet inside, I feel rejuvenated. This land has filled me up. I met incredible people, considered the “long work” of my life, sunk my teeth into slowness, and enjoyed the natural evolution of each day.”
“I can’t believe it’s been about a year and a half since I attended the Better Selves fellowship. I still haven’t been able to fully put into words how grateful I am for such a powerful experience. But thank you, thank you for a life changing experience. I still carry the impact of those 5 days at the farm with me, and I want you to know what a positive imprint it has made on my life.”
“I left with more clarity for the next year as well as a new found interest in the intersectionality of race, environment and food”
2017 Fellow, Operations Manager at the Center for Equity and Inclusion
“I walk away with focusing on the journey and the work. Refuge is good for all people. Place matters. ”
2017 Fellow, CHI Elevate Program Manager for the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center
“The expanse of the land, the distance between the yurt village and the barn/office, the nooks around the property and stone slabs with quotes and paintings on them…all of these contributed to a sense of spaciousness and gentle magic. I didn’t feel pressed for time once all week, which is kind of miraculous considering how I feel most of the time at home! I got to remember how it feels to have time. ”