2023 Leadership Academy (Virtual)

We are excited to announce that the application period for the 2023 Leadership Academy, Cohort IX, is now open. This year the JustLead staff will be offering a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) specific Leadership Academy experience.

Traditionally Leadership Academy has been a multi-racial space that has been intentionally designed to build and deepen our leadership skills and analysis that allowed us to attend to our collective and identity specific work. Over the last several years we have become increasingly aware of how important it is to cultivate and prioritize BIPOC specific spaces that allow for more time and care to explore BIPOC specific leadership challenges and dedicate meaningful time to healing, renewing, creativity, and joy. We are excited to be able to offer space for BIPOC legal and community advocates committed to transformative change to build strong adaptive leadership skills and lasting relationships. 

We know that identity is complex and within the BIPOC community there is a spectrum of realities and experiences that are impacted by things like being multi-racial, skin tone, proximity to whiteness (white passing/presenting), adoption and diaspora and others. In this experience we are inviting BIPOC leaders to build power by building community. It is our intention to also provide additional caucusing space (i.e. Black, multi-racial, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx) during this cohort for deeper conversations that need to happen within the BIPOC community across specific identity groups.

For our white partners, allies, and community members, we ask that you respect the intention of this space while also staying connected and getting involved in other JustLead opportunities and future multi-racial Leadership Academy experiences.

The next Virtual Leadership Academy will run from March 2023 through September 2023.

Applications Due: Friday, January 27th 2023

As an equity-oriented organization it is paramount that JustLead listen to and uplift the wisdom of communities most impacted by structural harm. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and prior to, the disability and immunocompromised communities have been urging everyone to limit in-person gatherings and to center accessibility for all meetings and engagements. Honoring this wisdom, we will continue to operate online primarily, limiting in-person gatherings, and ensuring safety and accessibility in future planning.

Retreat Details

Leadership Academy retreats will take place virtually via Zoom March  30-31, May 18-19, July 20-21, and September 21-22 (all Thursdays and Fridays). Retreats will typically run from 9:00am – 3:00pm each day. Fellows will also be asked to join half-day workshopping sessions in-between retreats to practice the skills they are developing. Workshopping dates are tentatively scheduled for Fridays, 9am-12pm, on April 21, June 23, and August 18. Applicants must commit to attending all retreats and to completing work individually and in small groups between retreat sessions

As described in more detail below, all program costs are covered as needed.

Selection Criteria for Fellows

  • Commitment to using what you learn to build powerful legal, advocacy, and community-based networks that can effectively include, support, and be guided by individuals and communities who are most impacted by poverty, racism, and other forms of systemic oppression
  • Willingness to participate in cohort learning and dialogue focused on challenging issues, including systems that perpetuate poverty and racism and ways to navigate personal and secondary trauma as well as internalized and horizontal oppression
  • Willingness to serve as a mentor, resource, and or/trainer for future Fellows
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to making yourself a more effective community leader

Commitment to participating in the entire Academy, including attending all four retreats and participating in approximately 3-4 hours per month of between-retreat learning. You should not apply if you are seeking to make significant changes to your life or career that are likely to interfere with full participation.

Goals for Cohort Composition

JustLead works to create a cohort of Fellows that reflects the diversity of the many communities that intersect with the justice systems in Washington. We define diversity broadly to include, but not be limited to, age, years of experience, disability, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, indigenous background, national origin, race, religion, veteran status, gender identity, geographic location, communities served in your work, and size of organization. Note: The Leadership Academy is NOT about positional authority, but instead about a person’s deep commitment to actively engage in powerful leadership behaviors, regardless of their role(s).

To build power and leadership capacity within communities and programs that are often inequitably resourced, Leadership Academy cohorts intentionally include Fellows from organizations operating within the legal system as well as community-based organizations, Fellows from rural and urban communities, and Fellows with lived experience navigating the justice systems. Typically at least ½ of Academy cohorts identify as people of color (this year 100% of participants will identify as BIPOC); at least 40% of Fellows work and live outside of King County.


The Leadership Academy is partially subsidized by a team of funding partners, and participants are selected without regard to their ability to pay. However, contributions from organizations and individuals help underwrite direct and staffing costs and ensure the long-term sustainability of the Leadership Academy. Because significant Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and other continuing education credits are available for participants (approximately 20 credit hours, including 5 or more Ethics hours), Fellows are strongly encouraged to seek contributions from their organizations’ professional development budgets. In no instance will ability to contribute be a factor in accepting applicants.

Suggested Contributions Per Fellow Based on Organizational Budget:

We ask organizations with larger budgets, especially organizations that are historically white-led, to consider the solidarity budget amount to help demonstrate a financial commitment to supporting BIPOC colleagues that will be participating in the Leadership Academy as well as ensuring that other BIPOC leaders in community-based organizations and groups are also able to participate. This solidarity rate helps to ensure that we can address the needs of this cohort.

Organizational BudgetRequested Contribution
Solidarity Rate$2,500
Nonprofits $1,000,000+; Public Sector; Private Sector$2,000
Nonprofits $500,000 – $999,999$1,000
Nonprofits under $250,000$500
Non-sponsored participants and individuals from community-led organizationsNo cost

How to Apply

Applications must be completed and submitted no later than Friday, January 20th, 2023, at 5:00pm. Interested applicants are asked to submit a completed application online through JustLead’s website.  Please contact us if you need to submit your application an alternate way or contact info@justleadwa.org to request assistance with completing an application packet.  Applicants are encouraged to review the following instructions and forms carefully prior to submitting a complete application packet.