The Collective Leadership Institute is inspired by our radical hope to strengthen the leadership of formerly incarcerated and directly impacted women, and expand their capacity to contribute to the women’s justice movement to end mass incarceration.
The Women Transcending Collective Leadership Institute (CLI) offers leadership development that includes: capacity building, legislative and advocacy tools, community organizing, and communication skills. We also include workshops on the history of different women’s movement, healing practices, and Participatory Action Research throughout the year.
One year commitment includes:
- 3 four-day, in-person learning sessions (Thursday evening through Sunday noon – dates TBD)
- Two Beyond the Bars Conferences
- Two webinars
The learning sessions and Beyond the Bars Conferences will take place in New York City. The CLI is open to people from across the country. All travel to New York City is paid for.
Check back for the next application cycle.
Meet Our Collective Leadership Institute 2021-2022 Cohort
Location: Seattle, Washington
Executive Director of Sacred Community Connections
"I was brought to this work through a program to write trans women who were incarcerated. I had several pen pals all trans folks who wrote about the lack of understanding around the nuances of subcultures inside the jail system. Those letters changed my life. Now my org SCC helps to make sure trans folks have access to safe housing upon release as well as case management."
Location: Ashland, Oregon
Founder of The Freedom Exchange
"Incarceration should not disqualify anyone from the opportunity to do better and be better in life. There's always more to the story so I encourage people to get curious and explore someone's experience because compassion and connection will often be the result."
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Organizer with VOTE
"Being apart of this cohort means that I have now joined forces with women across the world who has the same passion, and their will to fight is EPIC. I wanted to join to enhance my leadership skills and get groomed for the many battles up ahead."
Location: Tacoma, WA
Co-director of New Connections
"I wish people knew how unnecessary, unsafe, traumatic and damaging incarceration is/can be for women. Punishment that never truly ends is not the best solution our society can come up with in order to stop someone from the destruction they may be doing, or accused of doing, to themselves, their families and their communities."
Location: Huntington, NY
New Hour for Women and Children
"I am a beautiful woman who made some mistakes in my life, but you will never know who I am if you don't time to find out. Give people a chance, give what you would want to receive."
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Founder of RestoreHER
"I served a 78 month federal sentence while pregnant, and was shackled which caused me to fall and miscarriage. I was then placed in solitary confinement. This experience motivated me to become the Founder of RestoreHER US"
Location: Portsmouth, VA
CEO of ECE Firm, LLC
"After losing my mom to her addiction less than 24 hours of her release from federal prison, I vow to help restore mother daughter relationships that are broken and help mothers who are incarcerated heal/recognize the tie in their childhood traumas and their incarceration and supply them resources to help aid their choices."
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
National Organizer with Fight to End incarceration of Women and Girls
"Because we as Women and Girls don't belong in prison, we can't heal in prison. We belong with our children, families and communities."
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Coach, Facilitator, Consultant with New Direction Coaching & Consulting, LLC
"Women hold an important role in their families as well as their communities. It is important to listen to the voices of the women impacted as well as their families. They should be in a place of leadership and providing guidance in moving things forward."
Meet Our Collective Leadership Institute Cohort 2020-2021
Director of Advocacy for the Northwest Community Bail Fund
"I joined CLI because I wanted to connect with other women who have shared similar experiences as mine, learn how to effectively heal myself and my community from the generational trauma caused by the criminal punishment system, and dismantle it."
Co-founder, Reaching and Educating for Community Hope (RECH) Foundation
"Women incarcerated/formerly incarcerated women are no different than any other woman...We have the same emotions and feelings, family issues like other families. We deserve respect and treatment as other women"
Community Advocate and Reentry Coordinator
"As a woman and mother with similar experiences of lost children in the system, dealing with homelessness and substance use disorder, I understand firsthand the need to bring those experiences to the forefront and to the tables of government officials in order to enact policy change and support."
Communication and Community Engagement Coordinator, Alliance for Higher Education in Prison
"I wanted to join CLI because let's face it, there is very little to help for formerly incarcerated people who are seeking leadership positions, even less specifically for women by women. Programs like this run by directly impacted leaders in the higher ed in prison community are a necessity to elevate members of our community."
Director of Policy, Advocacy and Outreach for Prison Cells to PhD