Leadership Training Institute for Inclusive Communities


June 14-17 2018 at Cleveland State University  

Cosponsored by North Shore AFL-CIO       

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE. There is no charge to apply.



Demographic diversity has been increasing throughout American society. While membership - and even leadership - in many organizations have reflected this change, power and decision-making often fail to keep up with the racial, ethnic, generational and gender make up of our communities and institutions, including labor unions, local government, and religious congregations. This failure has left us weaker and more vulnerable to attacks from those who do not share our values of inclusion and opportunity.

One reason for this persistent power gap is that we often confuse the visual trappings of diversity and policies of inclusion with genuine integration and political equality. When members of underrepresented groups are appointed to or secure leadership positions, they frequently begin at a significant disadvantage. Generational layers of power, privilege and experience, and networks of formal and informal relationships,are at play in any public arena where leadership matters, power is wielded, and important decisions get made. These dynamics are taken for granted or denied by the powerful, while too often unseen or not easily understood by the powerless. We frequently find ourselves in organizations, committees, boards and leadership structures that are diverse in name and appearance, but in reality are decidedly lopsided when it comes to the exercise of power.

As Frederick Douglass famously reminded us, power never did and never will be given away by those who have it to those who don’t. Building One America’s training does not claim to make people more powerful or institutions more divers, but it does help to equip emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds to better understand and navigate the dynamics of power and politics,  and to have the tools to compete more effectively and further themselves in the public arena. Moreover, it will help individual leaders to recognize more clearly their own potential and motivations to build a powerful and meaningful public life.

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE. There is no charge to apply


Who: This training is for leaders from all over America who want to become more effective in making a difference – including organizers, leaders and volunteers from the faith community, labor unions, electoral politics, public office holders and grassroots rank-and-file leaders. 

What: The training teaches ordinary people to unleash their capacity to impact the social, political, environmental, and economic decisions affecting their lives. The training has been designed and will be conducted by experienced organizers affiliated with Building One America. The training is unique in combining elements of leadership training developed over the past fifty years by national community organizing networks, with a contemporary analysis and strategy for developing multiracial institutional and social power to build more inclusive and equitable communities.

Topics covered include:

  • An orientation and reflection on power
  • Understanding self-interest as a way to build membership, engage adversaries, and become a more focused and self-motivated leader
  • The role, value, and techniques of one-on-one organizing
  • Conducting and understanding a power analysis
  • Distinguishing the “public” from the “private” in order to build an effective public life
  • The key principles and elements of strategy and tactics and issues and action
  • Identifying and developing leaders
  • The importance of organized money
  • Principles and techniques for effective meetings
  • Personal reflection, strategic planning and developing a personal path to power

The training is not just an intellectual exercise. It challenges and helps emerging and existing leaders to identify, reflect on, and overcome internalized attitudes and beliefs that stand in the way of becoming more powerful. The goal is to produce more powerful leaders and to facilitate the expansion of more powerful and more unified multiracial coalitions and power structures.

When:  The training will take place over four days starting Thursday, June 14 and ending Sunday, June 17, 2018. 

Where: Cleveland State University, 2121 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115

Cost: Tuition plus room and board is $450 per participant

Because space is limited, interested individuals must apply to participate in this program.  The application is available online and can be accessed HERE. There is no charge to apply.

Event Date: 

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 9:00am to Sunday, June 17, 2018 - 5:00pm

Event location: 

Cleveland State University

Event Fee: 

Tuition is $450 per participant (including lodging and meals)