The Virginia Progressive Leadership Program (VAPLP) is holding its ninth pod, a small cohort of 12-18 leaders. This year’s program will take place from May – August 2023. The program is composed of three primary components: program weekends, 1:1 mentorship, and core squads. Read more about each of the components below, as well as information around accessibility and the application process.
Each participant must attend all weekends and participate in the entire duration of the weekends (Friday afternoon – Sunday afternoon) to successfully complete the program.
Through window + mirror work, participants will critically reflect upon their identity, the lived experiences within the pod community, and how these identities inform experiences in the outside world. Participants will identify shared values and map themselves along the social change ecosystem. By unpacking social & political movement history in Virginia, participants will imagine a liberatory future for Virginia.
Adapted from the Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy, Center for Story-based Strategy, and the work of Marshall Ganz, participants will write and share their stories of self, practice public speaking, and craft issue-specific messages and narratives.
Participants will unpack their relationship and understanding of power. With learnings from recent and intersectional social movement history, participants will build the foundation of grassroots organizing, campaigns, and the strategy & tactics that win.
Because we center leaders who traditionally do not have access to intergenerational wealth, we reflect on unpacking our relationship with money and build to learning how to raise resources from existing communities and networks through a community-centric fundraising model.
Participants are paired with a mid- to senior-level mentor with shared lived and/or field experience. The mentorship program operates in between program weekends, primarily virtual. Throughout four 60-minute mentorship sessions, participants develop their goal/s and an action plan for next steps post-graduation. Both the participant and the mentor can choose to close or continue the relationship upon completion of the program. Take a peek at past mentors here.
In small groups of 3-5 people, aka squads, participants work to develop a community-based campaign, service, or project throughout the four months of the program. Action squads operate during and in between program weekends. The objective of each squad is based simply around collective action to serve the community. Results or continued next steps are shared with the rest of the pod during graduation.
The Virginia Progressive Leadership Program strives to create an inclusive and respectful space for all participants. To do that, we have incorporated several ways to increase accessibility, including no-cost attendance, travel stipends, language interpreters, all-gender restrooms, physical and emotional accessibility resources, mobility access, sensory/quiet rooms, printed participant guides with visual aids, fragrance-free spaces, and more. We aim to ensure accessibility is not a barrier or determining factor for folx to attend.
Participants are required to travel to the sites on their own. Participants will receive a sliding scale stipend based on distance to sites to cover the cost of travel upon acceptance to the program. The transportation stipend will be calculated based on each person’s home address and the federal mileage reimbursement rate. For participants without a vehicle, there will be a carpool signup for any travel during the program days itself.
We also offer a childcare stipend based on number of youth/children and your regional area.
Regarding health + safety, we acknowledge the pandemic is not over for many folx, especially those who are immunocompromised or with long COVID. The research shows that multiple layers of protection have a higher level of safety for the community. To that end, we’ll require participants & guests to be vaccinated unless there are medical or religious considerations. During the virtual orientation prior to weekend one, we’ll discuss and collectively decide health + safety protocols for the summer.
We don’t assume that we know all access needs or pose this as a comprehensive list of options and needs. As we build this community of care, we welcome folx to share any access needs – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.