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Obama Foundation Opens Applications for Community Leadership Corps for Young Leaders to Tackle Local Issues

April 30, 2018 at 12:01 PM CDT

Community Leadership Corps builds upon pilot training programs to bring together rising leaders ages 18-25 to identify and address community issues

Program will take place this summer in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Columbia, South Carolina

CHICAGO, IL - The Obama Foundation today opened applications for a program designed to empower and train emerging young leaders to tackle local challenges. Building upon the Foundation’s pilot trainings, the Community Leadership Corps (CLC) program will bring together motivated young leaders ages 18 to 25 in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Columbia, South Carolina who are seeking opportunities to grow as civic leaders  and eager to address issues in their communities.

CLC is a six-month community leadership development program for young leaders looking to engage more deeply in civic work. The program will include in-person trainings and online programming. Those selected for the Community Leadership Corps will develop a project to address an issue in their communities, and meet other civically-minded individuals they can collaborate with moving forward. These convenings include:

  • A two-day introductory kickoff in June where CLC participants will take part in training activities designed to encourage self-reflection and build a basic organizing framework. After the kickoff event, CLC participants will recruit at least two other people in their network to join their project team in order to tackle an issue they identify.

  • A three-day bootcamp in August for the CLC participants and their project teams to receive feedback on their plans, get trained on the specific skills needed to implement their action items, and identify the resources needed to support their work.

  • Community-based work in September and October, when CLC teams will work in their communities to implement the project they have designed. The Foundation will continue to support CLC participants with online learning and check-ins on their project implementation.

“From leaders who are making an impact, to people who are interested in becoming more involved, but don’t know where to start, the Foundation’s mission is to make our programs accessible to anyone, anywhere,” said David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation. “That’s why we’ll be on the ground in Chicago, Phoenix, and Columbia to work with the rising generation of civic leaders looking to make a difference in their communities. Together, the Community Leadership Corps will practice the skills to tackle important local issues and help create the communities they want to live in.”

The application for CLC can be found HERE. The application will close on Friday, May 11 at 11:59PM CT.

Following the success of pilot training days last year -- three one-day introductory civic  trainings in Boston, Chicago, and Tempe for 150 participants and 25 peer advisors -- the CLC program will offer an in-depth and multi-event experience for individuals who would benefit from skills development, relationship building, and the opportunity to work collaboratively on projects with other young people in their community.

Over the last year, the Obama Foundation launched several exciting and innovative programs to help advance its mission to empower active citizens to create positive change in their communities, and connect with young leaders around the world. This includes an inaugural global Summit in Chicago and events with emerging leaders in Brazil, Germany, Indonesia, India, Singapore, and New Zealand. The Foundation recently announced the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program, bringing together 200 emerging leaders from across Africa to participate in a year long training program.

This year, the Obama Foundation partnered with the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy to create the Obama Foundation Scholars Program. This group of rising young leaders from around the world will come to Chicago to earn a Master of Arts degree focused on International Development and Policy, while also taking the work they’re doing in their communities to the next level.

Finally, the Obama Foundation recently announced its first class of Fellows — 20 outstanding civic innovators from 11 different countries and five regions. This two-year, nonresidential program will kick off by bringing the Fellows together for their first convening in Chicago next month.


Contact: Sam Michel, [email protected]