What is CCL?

The Center for Community Leadership (CCL) trains grassroots leaders and supports community organizations with the skills, resources, and networking opportunities needed to strengthen their potential to affect sustainable community change.

Why This Matters

Effective organizing requires organizers to refine their skills and capacities continuously. The consequences of consistently failing to support the growth of entry through senior-level organizers are staff burnout and ineffective campaign strategies. Most troubling, it contributes to the underrepresentation of marginalized people in leadership positions within the community development and social justice movement overall by making success and advancement more difficult to obtain. The Center for Community Leadership helps organizers build their abilities and resilience so they can stay engaged in social justice work for the long term.

What We're Doing

In 2009, The Center for Community Leadership (CCL) began as an effort to develop “infrastructure for recruiting, training, and supporting organizing that could dramatically build the power and capacity of the city’s community groups to tackle our most pressing issues, neighborhood by neighborhood and citywide.”

Today, CCL provides sustained training and support for organizers and leaders committed to Building Community Power in New York City. It offers courses, training, and peer-support spaces allowing participants to deepen their skills and engage with applicable concepts across issue areas. CCL engages program alums, organizers, and others committed to movement-building to generate opportunities for strategizing and practicing solidarity.

What You Can Expect

Theory & Practice: While engaging in conceptual learning about the elements of community organizing, participants in CCL programs also practice what they’re learning on the ground and with the communities they’re organizing with. CCL instructors craft learning spaces where organizers can delve into community organizing history, theory, concepts, and key tools and resources to build up, apply, and reflect on their organizing skills.

Cohort-Based Learning: CCL courses bring together cohorts of organizers, providing opportunities for collaborative learning, digging into key questions, reflecting, and sharing about the work of organizing and their development in it. Our courses are spaces where organizers can build and deepen supportive relationships they can lean on in the ongoing movement-building work.

Expertise: CCL instructors are deeply committed to organizing and movement-building, having honed their expertise and craft over years of on-the-ground experience and organizational leadership. Grounded in their in-depth knowledge of organizing and a broader commitment to supporting the learning and development of individual organizers, their organizations, and the communities they work, CCL instructors facilitate a thorough curriculum and offer mentorship, coaching, and feedback to help participants improve their skills and practice.

Organizational Capacity Building: CCL programs are a valuable resource and investment in the onboarding, training, and ongoing development of organizers and organizational leaders, contributing to the overall capacity of ANHD member organizations and other partners and allies.

Networking and Peer Learning Opportunities: CCL courses, workshops, and trainings provide opportunities to gather and connect with a vast network of practitioners and organizations.

The Organizing Academy

CCL programs are designed around a guiding framework for community organizing as a power-building practice and strategy that works to win concrete changes in people's lives and communities.

Our three cohort-based programs are:

  • The Introductory Course
  • The Organizing Apprenticeship
  • The Advanced Seminar

Introductory Course

The CCL Introductory Course is a 10-month cohort-based training and support program designed for newer staff organizers seeking to develop foundational principles and skills.

Session topics include:

  • Base Building
  • Leadership Development
  • Work Planning/Time Management
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Campaigns Strategy

The course meets from 10 AM to 1 PM, at least two Fridays each month, starting in September and running through the end of June of the following year.

2023-2024 Tuition

  • $2,000 ANHD Members
  • $2,500 Non-Member Organizations


  • Applications for the 2023-2024 Intro Course are closed. Sign up for updates on when applications open for 2024-2025 here.


  1. Fill out the written application
  2. Selected applicants will be invited to a group interview with the course instructor
  3. Accepted applicants will be notified over the summer
  4. Course begins in September

Organizing Apprenticeship

In 2024, the CCL Organizing Apprenticeship is a 6-month training and support program for community members interested in learning about community organizing.

During the program, Apprentices:

  • learn and work for 20 hours a week for 6 months (January-June) with a $12,000 stipend
  • gain on-the-ground community organizing experience with an ANHD member organization
  • attend the CCL Introductory Course and other trainings and workshops to learn foundational organizing skills and principles
  • get career development support and resources through the ANHD and CCL networks
  • For more information, see our one-pager!


Community members seeking to work with a Host Organization in a 6-month paid position are either nominated by an ANHD member organization or apply independently to be matched with a group.

Participants in the Organizing Apprenticeship are trained as community organizers in a cohort-based model, form relationships with fellow organizers across issues areas, and deepen their knowledge of organizing and advocacy in New York City. 

Apprentices participate in the Introductory Course along with additional sessions and workshops to support their development as staff organizers.


  • Applications for 2024 are now open and due by November 17th!


  1. Fill out the written application
  2. Interviews: Either
    • Matching Fair (*if applying independently) 
    • Individual interviews (*if nominated by an organization)
  3. Accepted applicants will be notified in December
  4. Course begins in January

Host Organizations

Open only to ANHD Member organizations—the Organizing Apprenticeship is a capacity-building opportunity for groups committed to training, supporting, and developing emerging leaders.

Organizations apply and either nominate a member leader in their organization to host as an Apprentice or go through a matching process to be matched with an interested applicant. Host organizations gain increased staff capacity to further local campaigns while receiving targeted support throughout the program. Apprentices work with them in a 6-month paid position.

Host Applications for 2024 are closed.

Advanced Seminar & Intensive

The Advanced Seminar is a course for experienced organizers to read, reflect, and explore ways to deepen their analysis and practice of community organizing. The seminar is designed to help experienced organizers get to the next level and dig deep into individual and institutional opportunities for growth.

Participants explore theoretical frameworks, reflect on current practices for their strengths and challenges, identify new practices to try, and then reflect on implementing them. The class is participatory and discussion-oriented rather than lecture-style.

Over the past few years, we have redesigned the structure of the Advanced Seminar to better meet the needs and interests of participants and organizations.

In 2024, the Advanced Seminar will run from January to June and consist of monthly group sessions. We will also offer the Intensive, which offers 1-1 personal sessions for Seminar participants who want additional support. 

Session topics include:

  • Membership structure
  • Leadership development
  • Popular education
  • Supervision
  • Institutional Growth


  • Applications for the 2024 Advanced Seminar and Intensive will open soon. Sign up for updates on when applications open here.

Other CCL Programming

Our Alumni

We continue supporting CCLers and the organizing movement post-graduation with ongoing educational and networking opportunities. Alums of our cohorts stay connected through our Organizing Update newsletter, Google Group, LinkedIn page, and Facebook Group. If you’d like to be added, please contact Jennifer Lopez (Jennifer.L@anhd.org).

Workshops & Trainings

CCL offers organizing trainings and workshops open to the broader ANHD community by CCL instructors and other guest facilitators. Past trainings have included: Building Community Power - Organizing 101; Supervision for Organizers; Making Memorable Meetings.

Check out upcoming trainings from CCL and other ANHD programs, including the Affordable Housing Institute, on our ANHD Training Series page.

All participants in the Organizing Academy courses have free access to all ANHD trainings for the duration of their classes.

The Impact and Network Created

Since 2009, over 250 participants have gone through a CCL training program, and over 100 community organizations have been involved in this opportunity.

Examples of campaigns participants have worked on include:

  • #HomelessCantStayHome
  • NYS Rent Law Reform
  • Right to Counsel in Housing Court
  • Basement Apartments Safe for Everyone Campaign (BASE)
  • Policing Reform Campaigns & Ending Solitary Confinement
  • Stand For Tenant Safety, Department of Buildings Reform Campaign
  • Certificate of No Harassment (CONH)
  • Comprehensive Immigration Reform
  • Lift the Caps Street Vendor Campaign
  • NYC Rent Freeze/Roll Back Campaign
  • Predatory Equity Campaigns
  • Climate Justice

And so much more! Click here for the full list of community organizations we have worked with through CCL.


If you have questions about the Center for Community Leadership or its programs, please contact Program Coordinator Jennifer Lopez (Jennifer.L@anhd.org).