Leadership for Social Change
We believe we are responsible for educating and empowering the next generation of women and nonbinary leaders. This leadership program engages young women at the beginning of their careers, helping them understand how discriminatory practices, policies, and beliefs produce various forms of inequity. Armed with insight, program participants are better prepared to speak up and act out on behalf of themselves and others.
Through our 11-month learning experience, emerging leaders engage in workshops with community experts working in organizations that create social change. Experts from grassroots, political, community-based, educational, and nonprofit organizations help participants develop practical and theoretical knowledge about current issues and models for creating change.
Leadership Program Goals
Recruit, Inform and Empower
Recruit, inform, and empower a diverse group of advocates to become the next generation of leaders in Central Ohio, who can identify needs for social change and effectively develop strategies to address these needs
Learn What Perpetuates Inequalities
Educate participants about the critical factors that create and perpetuate inequalities in our community
Connect Young Leaders
Connect young leaders to a network and resources that will support their leadership endeavors for social change
Share Your Spotlight
Across the city and country, in all professional roles and career stages, LSC Alum are change-makers, leaders, and innovators in advancing social change. It is important that we acknowledge and celebrate these efforts. Have you or a fellow LSC alum accomplished something spotlight worthy (i.e. joined a Board, landed a new leadership position, been recognized for your contributions, etc.)? Please share and we’ll highlight an alum each month! And yes! Please feel confident to highlight yourself!!
The Ideal Leadership Program Applicant
The ideal applicant is an emerging leader in their 20’s or their 30’s at the beginning of their career and leadership journey. They desire to be involved in the Columbus community through professional and community service and want to effect positive social change. Applicants will, preferably, have little to no formal leadership development training in academic, community, or work settings. Their passion for social change will align with YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women, and the candidate will be able to fully commit to meeting at least once a month during the 11 month-program. We welcome cisgender women, transgender women, and non-binary individuals who experience gender-based oppression and are comfortable participating in a women’s program to apply.
The application is currently closed.
If you would like to be the first to know when it is open, please fill out an interest form here.
Upon acceptance into the Leadership for Social Change program, each participant is required to pay a program tuition of $300 due no later than Saturday, February 5th, 2022.
Participants will be asked to complete an employer commitment agreement. The commitment is a way for participants to share their acceptance with their employers, ensure they are in agreement about the time commitment, and highlight the participant’s commitment to ongoing leadership development. We encourage participants to explore with their supervisors the possibility of the company sponsoring their participation.
Scholarships are available for those experiencing financial hardships. Please inquire for more details.
25 participants will be selected for the 2022 Leadership for Social Change Program. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussion with each other, workshop presenters, and Columbus community leaders around a myriad of social justice and personal development topics.
The program seeks to support emerging leaders who bring new ideas, methods and energy to social change work. Throughout the duration of the program and beyond, participants will be challenged to do the following:
- Participate in workshops facilitated by those working with social change organizations, particularly grassroots and community-based groups
- Enhance their confidence to actively participate in democratic processes
- Strive to strengthen their ability to help shape progressive policies in the communities in which they live and work
- Develop theoretical and practical knowledge/approaches to leadership and social change
- Identify and build relationships with community members within local social service, education, and governmental agencies as they begin to participate in movement building work
- Contribute to changing discourses in various workplace environments to endorse progressive social justice values
- Participate in group volunteer opportunities that utilize their leadership skills and passions to benefit a local non-profit organization
This 11-month learning experience will include formal and informal learning opportunities for participants. Program components will appeal to a variety of leadership learning styles and may include, but not be limited to, personal and professional development, experiential learning, fundraising, mentorship and networking.
In addition to monthly meetings, Cohort Connections provides voluntary opportunities where participants can connect with one another and the program’s alumni through educational workshops, community building events, and book/movie discussions in book study style format.
The safety and health of all YWCA Columbus program participants is our first concern. 2022 Leadership for Social Change sessions will take place virtually while COVID-19 social distancing recommendations persist.
Leadership for Social Change participants are expected to do the following:
- Miss no more than three of all scheduled meetings and events including the mandatory opening retreat on Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5, 2022 and the mandatory closing retreat on Saturday, November 5, 2022
- Fully participate in all discussions, activities and networking opportunities
- Complete all the requirements of the Board Member Informational Interview
*Participants must conduct an informational interview with a sitting board member, and turn in a one-page written summary of their experience before the Closing Retreat on November 5th, 2022
- Complete the program volunteer service requirement
- Centered around civic engagement
- Will take place during the latter half of the year
- More information to come in the opening retreat
- Be open to new ideas and points of view
Applicants will submit their application by 11:59pm on November 19, 2021.
A completed application will include the following:
- One (1) letter of reference from non-family members (employer, mentor, spiritual leader, community service organization, past LSC graduate, etc.)
Please contact Caroline Woliver, Director of Leadership and Social Justice, with any additional questions. firstname.lastname@example.org, 614-627-1226; Extension: 1226
For more information contact: