Minority Political Leadership Institute

Diverse group of Alumni posing in Downtown Richmond with the General Assembly in the background

About | Program Objectives Program Highlights FAQs Alumni

About

The Minority Political Leadership Institute is a collaborative initiative of The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus.

The Minority Political Leadership Institute (MPLI) is an intensive eight-month experience designed to promote leadership development for individuals interested in issues important to minority communities including: community economics, political climate, civic engagement, and equity. MPLI offers insights regarding leadership legacy and culture, personal leadership, policy and legislative processes, responsible stewardship, public service, and integrity for future leaders. Each program year, participants engage and interact with communities across Virginia and learn about unique strengths and issues facing different regions of the Commonwealth

The 2020 program locations include: Richmond, Farmville, Lynchburg, Norfolk, and Washington, D.C.

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Program Objectives

The Minority Political Leadership Institute is designed to:

  • Identify cutting-edge solutions to challenges affecting minority communities across the Commonwealth
  • Expand knowledge regarding the nature of public policy, legislative structures and political entities in Virginia
  • Assess and enhance current leadership skills in relationship to community needs, coalition building, conflict resolution, transformational leadership, cross-cultural competencies and creating a vision for progress
  • Use skills in consensus building, conflict management, critical thinking and ethics to become a more effective leader in political systems
  • Understand the significance and impact of traditional and new media in political life
  • Gain valuable insights in personal leadership style
  • Experience politics in action to garner networks, contacts and resources for effective information sharing, collaboration and decision-making
  • MPLI participants work in project teams to complete a equity impact analysis of legislation from the General Assembly to examine how specific legislation promotes or reduces disparities on minority communities within the Commonwealth of Virginia 

Program Highlights

Participants expand their understanding of the nature of leadership, public policy and community change, and gain inspiration and practical guidance from seasoned leaders and professionals through a series of intensive sessions.

Featuring Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Foundation legislators, faculty from participating universities, and noted leaders and experts from community, state and national arenas, the Minority Political Leadership Institute explores the spectrum of leadership challenges and opportunities facing Virginia’s future.

Participants will:

  • Meet and directly interact with Virginia Legislative Black Caucus legislators, senior elected officials, appointed officials in the governor’s office, local officials and leaders across the Commonwealth
  • Experience politics in action and garner effective networks
  • Engage communities across Virginia in intensive and interactive program sessions
  • Develop a broad awareness of the roles and challenges — as well as the potential opportunities — for minorities and others to provide leadership for Virginia’s future
  • Expand your understanding of the nature of leadership, public policy processes and community change
  • Actively participate in public-service projects addressing a current need within a minority community
  • Gain applied knowledge from seasoned leaders and professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the mission of the Minority Political Leadership Institute?
Held in partnership with the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, the mission of the Minority Political Leadership Institute is to offer insights and concepts regarding personal leadership, policy and legislative processes to cultivate a deeper understanding of legacy, responsible stewardship, public service, and integrity for future leaders.

Who may participate in Minority Political Leadership Institute?
The Minority Political Leadership Institute is designed for all aspiring leaders interested in issues affecting minority and underserved communities.

How many sessions are offered and when are they scheduled?
Six sessions are offered during the months of April, May, June, September, October, and November. Each session lasts two days, usually starting at 11 a.m Thursday and continuing until 5:30 p.m and starting at 9 a.m Friday and concluding at 4:30 p.m Friday. Lodging and meals on program days are included in the tuition.

What is the cost of the program and what is included?
The program tuition is $1750. This fee covers all program costs including program materials, intensive leadership assessments, lodging and meals on program days. Participants are responsible for securing their own transportation.

Are there any available scholarships to help cover the tuition for the program?
No. Individuals are responsible for securing their own funding. Payments can be made by sponsoring organizations or by individual participants. 

Do participants receive credits that they can later transfer to a post-secondary institution?
No, we do not offer academic credit for participating in Minority Political Leadership Institute. However, we offer Continuing Eucation Units (CEUs) for full program participation.

Do participants receive continuing education credit?
Yes, participants can earn up to 8 Continuing Eucation Units (CEUs) for full program participation.

Does the applicant have to be interested in running for office in order to apply?
No. The Minority Political Leadership Institute works with participants who have community or political leadership aspirations to provide them with the tools they need to serve. 

Do participants interact directly with current political leaders?
Yes. The Minority Political Leadership Institute is privileged to collaborate with the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, Virginia legislators, faculty from participating universities, noted state leaders, and experts from community and national arenas.