Since 2013, Green Foothills’ Leadership Academy has trained local changemakers on how to practice more effective environmental advocacy and take the next steps to build their leadership. The program is characterized by a smaller cohort size, a deep dive into environmental campaign planning, a racial equity foundation, project based-learning, and alumni impact. With the class of 2021 just recently celebrating their graduation on August 8, we have launched the recruitment process for our 2022 cohort. Spread the word!
Applications are now open for our 2022 cohort
Our goal each year is to form a cohort of 20-25 people who represent the ethnic, geographic, generational, gender, and economic diversity of the region and live in or serve San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties’ communities. Accepted applicants are distinguished by their:
- Commitment to be a more effective agent of change
- Desire to work across sectors toward a vision for the region to be a resilient, equitable place where wildlife thrive, everyone has natural beauty to enjoy, and communities live in balance with nature
- Desire to explore and address systemic oppression to increase the power of communities who historically have been disempowered
Do you want to be a stronger advocate for your community and nature? Do you know a local leader who is working to effect change? We have launched the recruitment process for our 2022 cohort, please spread the word.
A Training Program To Cultivate Effective Advocacy
At the heart of each cohort cycle is a core principle of Green Foothills advocacy: relationships come first. In the Leadership Academy, we strive to create a space for our participants to build these relationships with each other while inspiring them to lead their advocacy with inclusion and liberation in mind. Upon receiving lessons such as power mapping and equitable community engagement, participants apply their takeaways to their capstone projects, putting into practice what they learned.
The Capstone Project: Practicing Campaign Planning
Central to the Leadership Academy is the capstone project: the creation of a campaign plan with optional implementation. Designing and leading their own campaigns which advance conservation and anti-racism, the 2021 cohort rallied around five very different local concerns to apply their learnings including:
- Forming Climate Resilience Block Action Teams in North Fair Oaks, San Mateo County
- Resolutions adopted by local cities against the sand and gravel mine at Juristac, the Amah Mutsun’s most sacred site and a critical wildlife corridor
- Regulations that protect water sources from mining activity throughout Santa Clara County
- Equitable community engagement through the the Ravenswood Business District Specific Plan near the bay in East Palo Alto
- Supporting the closure of the Reid-Hillview Airport in East San Jose.
Alumni Impact: Transformative Work
The Leadership Academy’s true impact is reflected in the actions and decisions that graduates take after completion. Recently we launched our Leadership Academy Impact Page, featuring our alumni’s transformative work. We know that alumni are affecting real positive change in our community and are working this fall to reach out to the 200+ alumni. What we know now is that at least 82 alumni have entered a leadership role since completing the program in addition to joining or launching at least 14 progressive campaigns that benefit environmental justice, conservation, and racial equity. In 2020, 48 of our 200 alumni stepped into a new leadership role. At Green Foothills we are building our capacity to better support alumni in their pursuits for conservation and environmental justice.
How you can support the Leadership Academy
We offer sliding scale tuition for applicants to ensure a representative cohort and encourage all interested people to apply regardless of financial means. Nearly full and partial scholarships are available thanks to the financial support of the Knight Foundation, San Mateo County Health System, Green Foothills’ members, and funding sources we are actively soliciting right now. Please consider making a donation to support the Leadership Academy.
As the late Ollie Mayer, a longtime local activist said, “Once I thought the battles would end someday, but I know now that conservation battles never end. We just pass the torch to new generations.” With your support, the Leadership Academy is growing the next generation of conservation leaders and advocates. Spread the word about our 2022 cohort application process today.