Neighborhood Leadership Program

NLP is a cohort-based program where people explore tenets of self-awareness, working across differences, and taking value-based action as they build power together.

How It Works

NLP Curriculum

Participants explore three core tenets throughout the program year:

  • Learn about the struggles to defend knowledge of land and lifeways of Dakota people on Mni Sota Makoce and reflect on our own relationship to settler-colonial domination.
  • Leverage tools for self-discovery and self-study (reflect on engagement style, strengths, and growth edges).
  • Reflect on our personal values and motivations for community engagement.
  • Explore conflict as invitation for transformation.
  • Practice co-articulation of vision for our future that centers community and the land.
  • Connect concepts of community engagement to various areas of interests (example: housing, human rights, farming, education, abolition, etc.).
  • Engage readings, videos, podcasts, dialogue during sessions to connect the material to our personal reflections of self, our lineages, and sense of purpose.

At the end of the program, fellows are invited to share a final project that responds to three questions: What am I? Who am I in relationship to others? What am I learning about my place here on this earth?

Participant Commitment

  • Required: Attend NLP Orientation, Bdote Immersion, seven Saturday sessions, and Graduation. Complete the final project and schedule a one-on-one with NLP within the program year.
  • Optional: Complete homework assigned to prepare for sessions and attend North Star Black Cooperative study sessions.
  • Stipend: Participants are given a $500 stipend to honor their time and commitment to the program. Half the stipend is given after attending Bdote Tour, and half (prorated based on attendance) is given at the end of the program.

Who should participate in NLP?

Our program is open to applicants who are both early and seasoned in their leadership journey. At NLP, we are more interested in learning about your passions and commitment to shape change in community than popularity, degrees or accolades. Everyone has something to learn and share from and with one another.

Applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older by September 1st, 2023
  • Live in the Greater Twin Cities Metro region
  • Identify as a person who loves deeply, hard, and true
  • Can attend all required program sessions and related activities during the extent of NLP program

2022-2023 Program Dates

Sessions are the second Saturday of the month from 10:00am-3:00pm with the exception of the first session (Bdote Tour) on September 30th. Participants are required to attend all program sessions and events.

  • Orientation – September 16th
  • Session 1: Bdote Tour – September 30th (9:00am – 4:00pm)
  • Session 2: Personal Values – October 14th
  • Session 3: Insights Self-Discovery – November 11th
  • Session 4: Navigating Conflict – December 9th
  • Session 5: Soil Strategy – January 13th
  • Session 6: Mycelial Network – February 10th
  • Session 7: Solidarity Economy – March 9th
  • Session 8: Bridging Past to Present – March 23rd
  • Session 9: Final Project Share Out – April 13th
  • Graduation – April 27th

Capacity Acknowledgement

It is important that our program participants have not only the passion and willingness to join NLP, but also the time and capacity to fully participate. We understand that life can be a lot of things for us, including stressful, traumatic, and isolating. NLP staff work hard to support cohort members to participate as much as they can.

If you are feeling stressed about your spiritual, emotional, and mental capacity, or if you may have competing demands during program times, we encourage you to skip NLP this year year. NLP will be around next year, and we would love to have you when you have the energy and time for it.

Connect with the Neighborhood Leadership Program.