Developed in collaboration between the New York State Office for New Americans (ONA) and Welcoming America, the Civic Leadership Program launched in 2023 as a pilot. Welcoming America is a national nonprofit leading a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by ensuring everyone belongs, including immigrants.
The Civic Leadership Program has created a civic leadership curriculum for new Americans. Over the course of seven modules, participants will bring questions and problems they see in their community and discuss how to address these problems. Modules will build toward participants identifying a problem to tackle together as their project. Participants will use the knowledge of United States’ governmental systems, and relationships developed in the early modules to work together to find creative solutions to address their problem.
The Civic Leadership Program will:
- Strengthen participants’ trust and connection to institutions in their community, including local and state government,
- Elevate immigrant community voices,
- Be a model for communities to use in New York state and across the nation
The Civic Leadership Program has been delivered by three pilot sites in the state of New York. The pilot sites are community-based organizations which have recruited community members, delivered the curriculum, and partnered with local institutions to successfully prepare participants for the completion of the program. The pilot sites are located in the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and New York City.
The translation of the curriculum into Spanish and simplified Chinese has been sponsored by the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council in recognition of the Program’s support of the mission of the ONA Ramirez June Initiative.