Project LEAD

Join the Class of 2023

Applications are due by Sunday, December 11, 11:59 PST. If the cost of this program is prohibitive, scholarships are available.


What is Project LEAD?


Project LEAD empowers people who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) to take the first step toward board leadership.

Too many people of color are left out of leadership roles. We must change who is at the table in order to achieve racial equity in our community.

For more than 30 years, we’ve been doing something to change that. Project LEAD—Leadership Effectiveness and Diversity—is a nonprofit board training program open to skilled, passionate and equity-centered BIPOC individuals.

The 1,200+ Project LEAD graduates are a testament to our community’s commitment to service and diversity. It’s crucial that we take a stand to make sure our community’s boards are representative of the communities they serve and that all voices have an equal seat at the table. You can be a part of that change.

“Project LEAD is an amazing opportunity to grow my knowledge of how to be a responsible and effective leader in my community. It is also a great way to meet like-minded people that want to help their communities as much as I do.”

—Vanessa Villa

“Project LEAD has been so instrumental in my personal journey on so many levels from connecting with someone with whom I share my nationality, a rarity for me, to connecting with some brilliant people from all spectrums of the profit, nonprofit and public sectors. The coursework we completed was challenging, thought-provoking, methodical and especially informative. I can honestly say I left with much more than I brought.”

—Chisulo Mulenga

“I hope to see more collective organizing and power building in our community than just organizations working in silos. I hope to see more intentional intergenerational leadership and mentorship.”

—Thanh Nguyen

“Project LEAD is a must for every BIPOC community leader, whether they have been serving their community for a few months or 20 years, because it isn’t just about learning the concepts or practicing the new skills. It is so much more. For me, it was like a one-of-a-kind pit stop where I could rest, be hydrated and energized, and learn that it is OK to just be me. It was an incredible bonus to share space with so many amazing leaders who are inspiring and fun!”

—Maya Subramanian

“It was so heartening to see people of color like myself that are so intelligent, smart and driven, all ready to take a seat in a boardroom to make important decisions that affect us all!”

—Modester Chatta


How It Works


During this month-long intensive training, participants show up ready to listen, learn and participate. The program concludes with a graduation ceremony and board networking event, where graduates can meet representatives of nonprofit organizations that are seeking new members for their boards. Training sessions are held on nights and weekends and include topics like:

  • Issues facing nonprofit organizations
  • Board operations and protocol
  • Collaboration and conflict resolution
  • Fiscal management
  • Strategic fundraising with a racial equity lens
  • Creating bold organizational strategies
  • Managing legal risk
  • Equity leadership

Sponsor Project LEAD


By sponsoring Project LEAD, you will be investing in working toward a better, more racially equitable future for our community and signaling to others that your organization is committed to supporting more equal leadership opportunities.

Thank you to our Project LEAD sponsors:

Project LEAD 2022 Sponsors: Brighton Jones, K&L Gates