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About the Leadership Institute

CAP’s Leadership Institute goal is to increase the participation of progressive people of color among the thinkers, shapers, and planners of policy at every level of government, nonprofit organizations, and groups that influence public policy.

We will assist members in developing:

  • Links and networks between the members and the progressive policy world, including grassroots organizations, media, and government
  • Methods to introduce policy ideas to diverse groups and move policy ideas from inception to permanent mainstream change by employing field operations, research analysis, legislation, nonprofit collaborations, and tactical messaging

Program dates

The third Leadership Institute will begin September 24, 2015, and continue through May 20, 2016. Sessions will be held on a monthly basis. Program dates will be made available before the program starts.

Coursework and curricula

The Institute will present a program of engagement for members that includes seminars, policy organization observation, visits to policy and media hubs, networking events, dinner discussions, and an assigned policy project.

Session topics will include:

  • Executive Leadership and Strategic Planning
  • Communications: Messaging, Media, and Outreach
  • Progressive History
  • The Role of Polling and Research
  • Development and Grantwriting
  • Policies for a Changing Nation: America in 2050
  • Immigration
  • Poverty Reduction
  • Civil Rights and Justice
  • International and National Security
  • Lobbying and Government Affairs

Participant profile

Leadership Institute applicants should be highly motivated individuals seeking to expand their skills, perspectives, and networks to impact progressive social change. Successful applicants will have a demonstrated interest in filling the gaps that exist between traditional public policies and communities of color. All members must have at least three years of experience in policy or public service fields. If currently employed, applicants should secure written support from a supervisor affirming their participation in the program’s activities. It’s highly preferable that members live in the Washington, D.C., area or be capable of commuting to the area for monthly two-day meetings during the program period.

Application process

  • Leadership Institute application form (PDF)
  • Resume and personal statement: No more than two pages indicating the reason(s) you are applying for this membership, what you hope to gain from the experience, your background in the policy arena, and your goals related to working in the field of policy planning.
  • Two (2) current recommendation letters: Letters should speak to your relevant background and skills.
  • There is no monetary compensation or stipend associated with this institute. All chosen participants must be able to attend all Leadership Institute sessions.
  • The application deadline for the Center for American Progress Leadership Institute: July 24, 2015.