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Multicultural Leadership Academy

The MLA provides a series of leadership workshops to community, policy, arts, and culture leaders sponsored by organizations committed to social change, policy impact, and community improvement that serve communities of color throughout Illinois.

Meet the Multicultural Leadership Academy
2023 Cohort Graduates

About the Program 

The Multicultural Leadership Academy (MLA), formerly known as the Illinois Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy, is a program that aims to provide a diverse group of civic leaders with the leadership skills needed to facilitate collaboration between Latinos and African-Americans through intercultural collaboration and social actionEach year, around 24 civic leaders are selected to participate in our six-month leadership training program. Applicants must be sponsored by organizations committed to serving communities of color throughout Illinois. 

Program Curriculum

The Academy’s core learning competencies for participants and their organizations include: 
  • Arts Expression: Using the arts as a catalyst for individual and group creativity and innovation. 
  • Intercultural Understanding: Fostering an understanding of Illinois’ Latino and African-American communities and identify their common interests. 
  • Social ChangePolicy Action & Community Improvement: Collaborating via ‘affinity groups’ on how to create a better, more equitable Illinois through social change, policy action, and community improvement. 
  • Transformational Leadership: Leading the way for change by uplifting, motivating, and inspiring others with a clear vision and establishing a compelling moral and ethical framework. 

Participant Benefits

The Academy will:  
  • Foster a space where multicultural leaders can develop their skills as leaders and visionaries while enhancing their effectiveness as agents of social change, policy impact, and community improvement. 

  • Contribute to a cohesive network of leaders committed to improving their communities through the establishment of intercultural relationships and trust. 

  • Understand how racial and ethnic groups become assets to transformational leadership and collaborative social action. 


Participants will be selected regardless of their ability to contribute to the financial cost of the program. The Latino Policy Forum subsidizes 70 percent of tuition. A contribution of $2,500 per individual is requested. Scholarships are available to cover the individual contribution based on the need of the applicant/organization. 

For more information, contact NiCole Ward at academy@latinopolicyforum.org