Our Community Leadership Institute is a fellowship program that supports, trains and places emerging leaders from low-income communities and communities of color to sit on local boards and commissions.

Most leadership programs prepare people for elected office, advocacy, and organizational leadership. However, moving a regional equity agenda requires an ability for long-term participation in government functions, especially in advisory bodies like boards, commissions, and even task forces.

We have seen time and time again that barriers to entry into positions of decision-making power greatly hinders our capacity to influence long-term planning and policy in the region. In particular, people of color are under-represented on the boards, commissions and advisory bodies that influence major decisions at the local and regional level.

Patrice Thomas, 2015-2016 CLI

Our Community Leadership Institute is a six-month long fellowship rooted in a values based curriculum focused on racial and social justice.

The fellowship trains emerging leaders in issues such as affordable housing, land use, transit, climate and economic development. Graduates learn the nuts and bolts of local government processes, such as municipal budget, parliamentary procedures, and lawmaking as well as advocacy, storytelling and communication skills.

Interested in applying?

Applications are now open for Puget Sound Sage’s Community Leadership Institute! The Community Leadership Institute will launch in October 2017 and end in April 2018. 

Community members who are representative of, and accountable to, communities of color, especially the African American population, the immigrant and refugee population, the LGBTQ population, and the low-income population of South Seattle, South King County, and Tacoma are encouraged to apply. If you have questions regarding the application, please contact Myani Guetta-Gilbert at myani@pugetsoundsage.org.

The application deadline is April 3, 2017.

Program Success

We have successfully placed ten graduates on boards and commissions in Seattle and King County, including the Seattle Women’s Commission, Move Seattle Levy Oversight Committee, Seattle Planning Commission, and the Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board.

As commissioners, they hold a critical role in the future of our movement; bringing powerful voices centered on racial justice and equity to key policy tables that affect our communities.