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Eighth Annual Neighborhood Leadership Institute


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA – This will be the eighth year that the City of Charlottesville has offered a series of workshops and speakers aimed at promoting citizen participation in our community. Each year, 25-30 City and County residents successfully complete the program. This year’s Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI) will begin in January 15, 2014 and will offer classes twice a month for four months. The program, is coordinated through the Neighborhood Development Services Department. Classes are on Wednesdays from 6pm to 9pm and are free of charge. Dinner is provided.

NLI will provide its participants with information on a range of subjects including City boards and commissions, affordable housing and transportation as well as training sessions on community organizing, collaboration and effective communication. NLI's
aim is to equip participants, through information and training, to take action and to mobilize others to engage our community in a positive way.  Graduates of the program will also be presented with diplomas at a graduation ceremony.

Why Participate in NLI?

The range of interests among students and alumni reflect the concerns of community residents as a whole. Among them are: development issues; transportation and environmental concerns; bridging the gap between citizens and their government; and providing opportunities for all citizens to take an active and involved role in their communities.


  • “This is a very good learning experience… very educational, very effective program for free, very large turnout, expand.”
  • “I would invite back every single one [speaker], they all had something great to offer. I learned so much from each speaker”
  • “Thank you for offering this program. What a valuable contribution to our community”
  • “Group projects were very worthwhile. They provided another exercise for different participants to get to know each other and collaborate. They also offered a way to study more in depth, something of interest about the city”

Who is Involved?

Neighborhood Leadership Institute has attracted everyday citizens who want to make a difference in their communities and neighborhoods. Participants range in age from 21 to over 60. Some students are lifelong residents of the city/county, while others are newcomers. The desire is for the class makeup to represent the diversity of Charlottesville. Regardless of the differences, all participants share a common passion to become a leader or a more effective leader in Charlottesville.

What is Required?

Participants are required to attend 8 out of 10 program sessions and will be challenged to undertake a class project that will be presented in a formal way to City leaders at the conclusion of the series. Class projects are group efforts in which participants research, recommend or implement projects that will improve the Charlottesville community. Sample project presentations are below.

Group Project 1 - Affordable Exercise

Group Project 2 - Neighborhood Resolution Team

How to Apply?

Applications to participate in the program will be accepted from October 1st - December 31st, 2013. Class size is limited to 30 participants per year. The program is open to all ages. For more information email or call Ebony Walden at or 970-3182

NLI Application

NLI Schedule 2014