“Leadership development can have a true multiplier effect; thereby enabling the scale we believe is required to achieve real and lasting change.”(1)
CALCASA has been working with two cohorts of women of color executives and emerging leaders in the anti-violence against women field through the Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals (LEAP) Project, in partnership with the Women of Color Network (WOCN). LEAP is a leadership development program with the primary goal to develop more women of color leaders by enhancing the professional and performance skills and capacity of emerging executives and aspiring leaders of color who work within the anti-violence against women field.
LEAP Fellows attended the LEAP National Summit in San Diego, CA on May 19, 2015, where they received skills building sessions such as working with boards and connected with one another to expand, build their networks. The gathering was a time to also share and acknowledge successes as a result of participating in the 12-months long LEAP Project. Many successes were shared, one particularly, a LEAP Fellow was recently accepted as a Move to End Violence Fellow (MEV) joining an outstanding 2015 cohort roster, that includes the former first-ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, CALCASA’s Director of Prevention, David Lee, and other exceptional leaders “building movement for social change”.
We are so very proud of the 2015 LEAP Fellows’ accomplishments. They have worked very hard in their leadership development along with their coach, cohort Fellows, and LEAP Project staff. As one LEAP Fellow shared, “LEAP has provided access to skills development and networks from which women of color in the movement are often excluded. The hallmark of the program, though, has been the opportunity to develop deep, meaningful, supportive relationships of sisterhood, collegiality, mentorship, and friendship. I believe that when I look back at this opportunity, it will stand out as the defining pivot of my career. LEAP has provided the space for me to grow beyond playing small and to grow into the leadership I have to offer in this movement.”
When LEAP Fellows leave the project fully equipped to be the leader to offer in the movement to end violence against women, then the LEAP project has succeeded. We look forward to what more they will accomplish to “achieve real and lasting change”.