In 2009, the Latino Policy Forum launched the Illinois Latino Nonprofit Leadership Academy, a leadership development program. The aim of the program was to engage and train agents of change committed to strengthening the Latino community. After six years, it evolved into the Multicultural Leadership Academy (MLA) in an effort to create a diverse network of established and emerging civic leaders actively involved in social change, policy impact, and community improvements. By providing access to a series of workshops, networking events, and community projects, the MLA strives to ensure that civic leaders serve Latino and African-American communities.

As of 2020, the Latino Policy Forum has trained over 230 leaders from more than 200 organizations through its leadership academies.