Leadership Development 2018-08-02T17:28:49+00:00

2017 Lead the Way Fellowship:  Building the Pipeline of Women of Color leaders in the Social Sector



Lead the Way was the first executive leadership program where I felt like I could show up as my whole self.”

–Joanne Smith, Founder and Executive Director of Girls for Gender Equity


APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Thursday, August 9, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. EST

To Download the Application, click here: 2017 Lead the Way Application

Connect. Sharpen. Rejuvenate.

It is no secret that that the nonprofit sector is at a significant leadership crossroads

Lead the Way is a unique capacity building and leadership initiative for women of color mid-level managers and emerging Executive Directors. Through a competitive process, CR2PI selects two national cohorts of 15-20 Fellows each to participate in a five-day intensive leadership retreat and continued learning throughout the year. Over the fellowship year, participants receive over 60 hours of instruction, technical assistance and one-on-one coaching. Since it’s inception in 2004, more than 150 exceptional women of color leaders have participated in the program.


The inter-related goals of the program include:

  • Provide women of color nonprofit leaders with the opportunity to sharpen their skills so that they can advance in their careers and effectively manage and sustain nonprofit organizations;
  • Promote networking and share best practices among organizations with similar goals and missions;
  • Identify women of color leaders with high potential and establish an on-going support network to exchange information and resources;
  • Create a diverse pipeline of talented nonprofit leaders who will be prepared to take up leadership roles once transitions occur in organizations; and
  • Identify challenges and barriers to success for women of color working in the nonprofit sector.


 What emerges at the end of the 12-month Fellowship are more confident leaders who are better prepared to not only influence their organizations, but the field more broadly.”


Lead The Way is supported by American Express Philanthropies. In the past, it has been funded by the Ms. Foundation for Women, Megan E. McLaughlin, and the Ford Foundation.