When you invest in people from the community, true economic and social change will take place.
To identify leaders within a community and provide them with the mentoring, networking and skill-building resources to amplify their impact in the neighborhoods in which they live, work, and lead.
The Westside of Chicago is full of talented individuals who know all too well that opportunities and resources are not always evenly distributed among their community. They are often the frontline community organization, public sector or government workers dedicating their lives to the vulnerable population they serve. Their expertise, commitment and enthusiasm are the very qualities that make them successful. Their career path, however, is often stalled in direct service work with no clear roadmap to executive level leadership within their organization or agency.
They are the untapped talent in Westside communities. Community Leadership Fellows seeks to change this dynamic by breaking down the barriers that prevent upward mobility for the talented citizens of the Westside. As talent scouts and leadership development experts, CLF’s approach is to work within the community to identify local leaders and amplify their skillsets. Identify + Amplify = Diversify
Through Fellowship participation and ongoing alumni support, we expect that each Community Leadership Fellow will gain valuable knowledge, skills, relationships and preparation necessary to take meaningful steps towards equity.
By the end of programming, Fellows will have outlined a five year action plan towards racial equity . We commit to supporting Fellows as alumni so they can successfully implement their plan. Steps in that plan may include:
Leadership begins with community and so does CLF. Prior to launching Community Leadership Fellows, we met with nearly 100 community residents and leaders to understand the needs, gaps, and best practices of grassroots leadership. This report summarizes their voices.
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