From Scarcity to Abundance: Cultivating Diverse Leadership

Striving to cultivate diverse leadership and participation?

Wishing you could have better results?

NLI's highly acclaimed 5-workshop organizational and professional development series will give you the tools to be more effective.

2017 dates:  Thursdays, March 2, March 30, April 27, May 25 (9 am - 4 pm) and June 15 (9 am - 1 pm)

At the Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins Education Center, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY.

Led by Margo Hittleman, Phoebe Brown, and Michele Jones

This series is designed to help participants strengthen their abilities to build diverse relationships and develop diverse leadership, while simultaneously furthering their organization's mission, goals, and work.

Who should attend:

  • Staff, volunteers and Board members from organizations committed to the inter-related work of building inclusive, just and ecologically sound communities.
  • Leaders are found at all levels of an organization, whether or not they have formal leadership titles. For this reason, we welcome participants from all levels of your organization, as long as they have their supervisor's support to experiment with new approaches to their work and are willing to share what they are learning with others in their organizations.
  • We encourage organizations to send multiple participants to increase impact and foster organizational change.

Limited to 20 participants. Priority given to those working on "sustainability" and "equity" issues such as community development, energy, waste, transportation, land use, green jobs, local economies, climate change, equity and inclusion, community resilience, community capacity-building, etc.

In this series, you will:

  • Develop your skills and confidence to intentionally build and strengthen diverse relationships, while furthering your organization’s mission and work
  • Identify the diverse, untapped pools of natural leaders and potential leaders who already have some connection to your organization, or share interests and goals
  • Identify and implement strategies to systematically build your diverse relationships and develop and retain diverse organizational leadership
  • Learn concrete strategies for leveraging the power of diverse teams
  • Recognize and intentionally use your personal and organizational resources to reach diversity and inclusion goals
  • Develop strategies and habits to more successfully prioritize and integrate diversity and inclusion efforts into your work
  • Define and evaluate “success” so you can account for your relational and leadership development work
  • Begin to develop a “network mindset” and plan for collective impact in this area
  • Build an ongoing leadership support network with other participants

An Intensive Action-Learning Model:

This series is designed to enable you to use in-class time to work with others (within and across organizations) to:

  • Explore new ways of thinking and working
  • Define desired results and identify promising actions
  • Put plans into action
  • Come together to reflect on successes and challenges
  • Refine plans and identify new steps
  • Develop a concrete work plan that integrates cultivating diversity into the work you are already doing.

Between sessions, you will identify opportunities practice new skills, take actions that you have identified, and reflect on what you are learning.

Coaching & Support: NLI facilitators are available via email, phone and occasional face-to-face meetings to provide coaching and support between sessions.

Networking opportunities: We will provide networking opportunities with NLI Grads and other natural leaders interested in building sustainable, socially just, inclusive communities.

Impact:  Past participants have...

  • Increased their knowledge, confidence and skills for building diverse relationships
  • Built new relationships that diversified their professional and personal networks
  • Identified new, innovative ways to use untapped organizational resources to further goals
  • Successfully created new, more diverse community partnerships
  • Increased their awareness and comfort talking about diversity and inclusion across a variety of "isms" 
  • Launched new conversations within their organizations
  • Identified and pursued new opportunities related to diversity and inclusion
  • Created innovative programming that enabled their organization to better meet its mission and goals
  • Found community allies to support them in their work
  • Fostered team-building among the participants from their organization

Certificate: Participants who attend at least 4 of the 5 sessions will receive a Leadership Development Certificate from Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins.

Cost: Fees cover the workshops, handouts, lunch and healthy snacks. Community non-profit rate: $150 for the series (equivalent to $30/session) for the first person from an organization; $75 for additional participants from the same organization. Small for-profit organizations (<5 people): $500. Large for-profit and not-for-profit organizations: $800. 

Note: We are able to offer these highly subsidized rates thanks to a grant from the Park Foundation and support from Cornell Cooperative Extension-Tompkins. Some additional scholarships are available.

Registration Form

Questions? Contact us!



Margo Hittleman
Natural Leaders Initiative Coordinator
(607) 272-2292 ext.167

Last updated February 9, 2017