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Leadership Evanston
Signature Program 

Leadership Evanston XXXI is now closed for applications. We will accept applications for Leadership Evanston XXXII starting May, 2023. 

For the past thirty one years, Leadership Evanston has connected community members willing to roll up their sleeves to get things done for Evanston.

The Evanston Community Foundation established this signature program in 1992. 800+ individuals have completed the program and 80% of them are still here, actively engaged in the Evanston community.

LE XXXII begins in September 2023

Running a full academic year, from September to June. Signature Leadership Evanston participants must:

  • Live or work in Evanston
  • Intend to remain in the Evanston area for at least five years
  • Be able to attend all class sessions
  • Be willing to spend four to six hours per month outside of class on a team project

Tuition: $1500 ( Once a candidate is accepted to the program, limited financial assistance and scholarships are available. NO ELIGIBLE Candidate is turned away due to financial hardship.)

Leadership Evanston participants include staff of local companies and institutions, educators, clergy, small business owners, and volunteers involved in non-profits, schools, sports organizations and faith communities.

For further information, contact Karli Butler, Leadership Evanston co-facilitator.

program structure

The program follows safe, CDC guidelines. We have designed a hybrid model to include a combination of online and small group convening.

FULL COHORT: The first session of each month, we will meet on ZOOM from 3:00pm - 5:00pm. The second session of the month, we meet as a group in person from 8:30 am — 12:00pm (Lunch optional until 1 PM).

HOME BASE: A small discussion group of 5/6 participants who will meet one hour each month and will become the Project Team.

PROJECT TEAM:  Each team will be required to connect to a community challenge in collaboration with external community leaders. In May 2024, each team will present their work in a team project presentation.

rich experience

Leadership Evanston Signature Program:

  • We believe in understanding the history of our community to better understand the systemic and root causes of inequity.
  • We believe in Asset Based Community Development where we center the voices of our community to understand how systemic change might happen.  
  • We believe in preserving hope as we learn and engage with thought leaders who collaborate on how to face challenges.
  • We believe that getting uncomfortable is an important step towards transformation of self and the community.
  • LEXXXI cohort will build trust through facilitated interactions in a safe and respectful environment.
  • LEXXI will meet with a comprehensive array of Evanston leaders through in-depth, forthright, and thought provoking conversations including one-on-one interviews, research, readings, encounters, exercises, and discussions.
  • LEXXXI will learn more broadly and deeply about Evanston and acquire skills to be effective citizen leaders. 
  • LEXXXI will engage in a variety of facilitated exercises and experiences to develop a “tool box” of leadership skills to use within the community after the program has ended.

program focus

Each month, participants use Evanston as a learning laboratory. During the two monthly sessions, participants meet and work with Evanston leaders, from elected officials to grassroots organizers. In addition, participants have reading and experiential homework. 

LE XXXII will focus on three areas to help participants grow as local leaders:

  • Training in community leadership skills, including foundations of adaptive leadership, effective advocacy and organizing, successful team building, restorative practices and interpersonal communication, creative problem solving, and conflict resolution, as well as visioning, consensus building, and public speaking.  
  • Broadening participants understanding of Evanston and its assets and challenges.
  • Building a network of concerned citizens to strengthen the community.

It is through these trusted relationships, our community grows stronger one cohort at a time.