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Our Goal

To find, educate, develop and encourage environmental stewards to care for our public lands and to advocate for the protection and enhancement of our mountains, forests, rivers, parks, and urban open spaces.

Our Work

The Leadership Academy is a long-term training program that focuses on developing organizing and advocacy skills, civic engagement, and local community action. Established in 2011, the Leadership Academy has thus far, graduated 16 cohorts and a total of 195 individuals. This hands-on training program is focused in low- income and underserved communities, in order to develop diverse environmental leaders. Our curriculum combines direct experience from coalition members and partners on a variety of topics, including direct advocacy, power analysis, public speaking, community organizing and other related topics. Throughout the academy, participants establish relationships among coalition members, partners, and other current environmental leaders, who then support participants through direct mentorship, employment, volunteering, and networking opportunities. Through the academy, participants will be invited to apply for funding (upto $1000) to create a project that furthers our mission to Protect, Create and Connect. Thus far, over 90 community projects have been completed through the leadership academy, and a hand full of these projects continue to be hosted by graduates today. These projects include river restoration projects, Art restoration and improvement projects, ongoing hikes in low income and underserved communities, and many more.  Upon completion of the training and an engaging community project, participants are stipend $500 for their participation.

Winter/Spring 2020 Leadership Academy

The applications for Cohort 17 are now CLOSED! Applications for Cohort 18 open at the End of Summer 2020.

Leadership Academy sessions will take place in San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles on the following days. Participants will be expected to attend all sessions. Attendance of 80% (9 out of the 12) classes and completion of a community project are required , in order to receive a $500 award of completion of the academy. Participants will be given advanced notice of any changes to the session schedule and locations. Below are dates and pending locations for this cohort.

Leadership Academy sessions:

  1. Sunday, January 12: Orientation, 8 am to 3 pm
  2. Wednesday, January 22, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  3. Wednesday, February 5, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  4. Wednesday, February 19, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  5. Sunday, February 23, 9 am – 12 pm
  6. Wednesday, March 4, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  7. Wednesday, March 18, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  8. Saturday, March 28, 9 am- 12 pm
  9. Wednesday, April 1, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  10. Wednesday, April 15, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  11. Saturday, April 25, 9 am – 12 pm
  12. Wednesday, April 29, 5:30 – 8:30 pm
  13. Wednesday, May 13: Graduation, 6 – 8:30 pm

We will announce locations for those accepted to the program.

For more information and pictures on the last two cohorts please visit the Leadership Academy Page or email if you have questions.

Read interviews with Leadership Academy graduates.

Check out our graduates who have made the headlines:

Carolyn Jones from cohort 14 was featured in USC Story Space

Araceli Hernandez featured on LA Daily News for their Academy project: 818Hikes

Joel Glen and Christina Harrington create pictorial messages for Trump: Leave San Gabriel Mountains monument alone

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