Neighborhood Leadership Institute

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What is the Neighborhood Leadership Institute?

The Neighborhood Leadership Institute, or NLI, is a free program designed to both teach community members about how Charlottesville City government works and to provide opportunities for people to get more involved with the City.

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.

Who is Involved?

The Neighborhood Leadership Institute is for anyone who wants to learn more or make a difference in their communities and neighborhoods. Participants range in age from 18 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 9 out of 12 program sessions and will be challenged to undertake a class project that will be presented 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 for NLI will become available online two months prior to the start date of the next session. Class size is limited to 30 participants per year. The program is open to anyone over 18 years of age. For more information email or call Miriam Dickler at or 434-970-3129

  • “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”