By Ken Epstein
The Greenlining Academy was established by the Greenlining Institute to empower and develop the next generation of multi-ethnic leaders to advance racial and economic equity and create positive social change.
The program seeks to develop a network of visionary leaders ready to work across racial and ethnic lines to address America’s most pressing problems and develop sustainable solutions rooted in equity and justice.
The Summer Associate program is an intensive 10-week training program that gives young leaders hands-on policy experience. Through leadership development and experiential learning, the program instills participants with the skills, confidence, and social networks to become effective advocates.
“I started in Greenlining’s Leadership Academy many years ago,” said Orson Aguilar, president of the Greenlining Institute.
“I’m still surprised and impressed by each year’s group of Summer Associates — their focus, their dedication, and their willingness to ask tough questions and not settle for half-hearted answers,” he said. “They challenge and embrace new frontiers without hesitation and ultimately drive the work of the organization forward.”
The training is based on combining experiential learning opportunities, individual development and team participation.
Lauren Alexander, a graduate student at the University of California, is one of the Summer Associates enrolled in the academy.
“As a young Black woman with several years of work experience in both the private and public sector I can honestly say that participating in the Greenlining Leadership Academy was the first time in my career I could be my whole self in a professional setting,” she said. “This summer I was immersed in a policy organization invested in leading with, rather than skirting around issues of racial equity.”
During the program, which concludes this week, participants met with local and statewide policy leaders in areas of health, economic equity, telecommunications, environmental justice and energy.
The Greenlining summer Academy program went far beyond building policy and analytical skills, said Kimiko Satterfield, Greenlining Telecommunications Associate. “It challenged and encouraged me in ways that fostered transcending relationships, strong work ethic, and a learning breadth beyond tangible ability.”