Leadership Development Institute

Leadership development, especially in Somerville’s more vulnerable communities, is a key driver in assuring the socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity in the city.  

In 2008, we launched the Somerville Community Corporation Leadership Development Institute (LDI). The institute is an intensive four (4) half-day training program for emerging community leaders. Annually, we’ve run the institute for 20 to 25 participants.

The training helps veteran leaders sharpen their skills. And it introduces new concepts to those just getting involved in community organizing.

The 2017 LDI included a remarkable group of participants. Check out more photos from the first day on the SCC Facebook page.

Program Goals and Content

The goal of the institute is to cultivate a strong base of leaders within the SCC community and to create strong relationships between participants that will lead to community action. Over the course of four half-day sessions, we typically cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to Leadership: What does it mean to be a leader and why is this important for building a strong community?
  • Relationship-Building: How do strong relationships help us become better leaders? How do we develop those relationships? How do we create clear messages so that others understand what we are trying to do?
  • Power: How do we relate to power in our work, personal life, and community activism? How do we build power for action?
  • The Local Context: How does government work in Somerville? Who has power in the city and who does not? What kind of work is already being done to make change?

We will also offer supplementary sessions on public speaking and other topics for LDI graduates and community members after the four LDI sessions.

Who Should Participate?

We believe that there are many styles of leadership, and that leadership is something that can be developed in everyone. Therefore, LDI is open to the Somerville community-at-large. People of all languages are welcome. We provide interpretation.

Each year we have at least eight nationalities represented in our cohort, and conduct our sessions in three to four languages simultaneously, where everyone in the room wears a headset, and can speak in their first language. 

We especially encourage people who have been or would like to be involved with SCC to apply: residents of our housing, graduates of our classes, committee members and other SCC members. We count on our members and leaders to shape the future of the organization and community. 

Leadership is a serious commitment. Participants are required to attend all four half-day sessions.

To inquire about participating in LDI, please contact Rene Mardones, rmardones@ somervillecdc.org or 617.410.9913.


NOTE: We also sponsor four to five one-time leadership development workshops per year on topics ranging from public speaking to understanding economic injustice.
See also: General, English