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Leadership Academy Year 5: Building Community Leaders Who Can "Do More with Less"

  ·  Sara McElmurry

2011 Academy ParticipantsYear 5 of the Illinois Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy will be the largest in the program’s history, with 34 participants from 19 Illinois-based Latino-serving nonprofits set to participate in the intensive nine-month program.  Embracing the cultural strengths of the Latino community, the Academy invests in leadership to remedy two conflicting trends: the growth in the Latino population and the decrease in resources available to the organizations that serve them.  

Even as the Latino population remains one of the fastest-growing segments in the country, just 1 percent of total foundation funding in the US has been dedicated to serving Latinos over the past decade, according to a collaborative report from the Foundation Center and Hispanics in Philanthropy. And at the state level, even as Illinois’ Latino community has grown 33 percent since 2000, funding to Latino organizations (via the Department of Human Services) dipped nearly 30 percent between FY 2009 and 2012, according to Latino Policy Forum analysis.

“Today’s nonprofit leaders are continuously asked to do more with less,” says Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum. “The Academy fills an urgent void in leadership development here in the Midwest, engaging organizations across a spectrum of size, budget and mission. We are delighted to add these 34 new participants to our alumni network of 90-plus Latino leaders.

Year 5 participants were selected from a pool of Latino-led, Latino-serving organizations by a panel of past Academy participants, stakeholders and funders, based on their organizational mission and ability to both contribute to and benefit from Academy activities. All participants will complete a series of three 3-day retreat sessions, scheduled in August, November and March, and will receive one-on-one consulting and mentoring, tailored to their organizational and individual leadership needs. Participating organizations represent a diverse, interdisciplinary group of organizations from across Northern Illinois: 

 The Latino Policy Forum thanks The Center for Leadership Innovation (TCLI) for developing the model for the Illinois Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy. The Forum is also grateful for funding support from The Allstate Foundation, American Express, The Boeing Company, and The Chicago Community Trust.

Applications for Year 6 of the Academy will be available next spring.

(PHOTO: Olga Lopez)

Posted In: Leadership, Strengthening Leadership