Leadership Academy

JustLead Washington’s signature program is the Leadership Academy, a nine-month, cohort-based experience designed to build a broad network of community leaders who can effectively and collaboratively work toward equity and justice for low-income and marginalized individuals and communities in Washington. Leadership Academy Fellows are drawn from organizations working within the civil, criminal, and juvenile justice systems as well as community-based social justice organizations. To learn about our 2017 Fellows, please click here.

The Program

The Leadership Academy’s core curriculum is built on the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law’s “Seven Leadership Competencies” model and tailored to fit the distinctive context of Washington State. Fellows participate in four 2.5 day training quarterly retreats as well as online coursework throughout the year.

Cohort Learning

Each year we select cohorts of fellows that reflect the diversity of the many communities served by the justice systems in Washington so that Fellows can draw from each other’s experiences and perspectives and apply their learning to real-world challenges.

The Leadership Academy is NOT about positional authority, but rather, is about a person’s deep commitment to actively engage in powerful leadership behaviors, regardless of their current role. Cohorts include Fellows serving in organizations addressing a wide range of equity and justice issues in Washington such as Alliance for Equal Justice (civil legal aid) organizations, including pro bono programs and law schools; public defender agencies; and other criminal justice, juvenile justice, and legal advocacy organizations.

At least 30% of each cohort is drawn from community-based organizations who work within low-income and marginalized communities and whose work and/or communities intersect with the civil, criminal, and/or juvenile justice system. Typically 1/3 or more of the cohort is comprised of people of color, and Fellows come from counties throughout Washington, including rural and urban communities.

How to Apply

The application period for the 2017 Leadership Academy is now closed. Please check back in September for information about the Leadership Academy. To learn more about the application process generally, please view the attached 2017 Leadership Academy Application Materials.


The Leadership Academy changed the way I look at my community and this great nation. If you care about the future of our collective humanity, JustLead!

Francis Adewale, Spokane City Public Defender’s Office

I have met amazing people and have gained valuable tools. I have a deeper understanding of power structure, privilege and implicit bias and ways to effectuate both systems and social change. My participation has already changed the way in which I engage with my community. It is a critical training for any advocate.

Lisa Waldvogel, Northwest Justice Project, Longview