The Center for Neighborhood Leadership’s (CNL) Organizing Academy trains grassroots leaders and supports community organizations with the skills, resources, and networking opportunities needed to strengthen their potentials to affect sustainable community change.

Why This Matters

ANHD established CNL’s Organizing Academy in 2009 because we found that the community organizing movement needed a better infrastructure to attract, develop, and retain leaders who are dedicated to building collective power, and tackling pressing neighborhood-based and citywide issues. CNL has gained a reputation among grassroots organizers and community organizations for its thoughtful design and planning, inclusion of theory and practical application, and authentic relationships built among cohort members and alumni.  It is the only training community of its kind in New York City.

What We're Doing

CNL’s Organizing Academy is a 10-month paid program for individuals currently doing community-organizing work who are interested in supplemental formal training to expand their skill sets, experiences, and networks. There is both an Introductory Course and an Advanced Course.


CNL Organizing Academy: Introductory Course

The Introductory Course offers participants an overview of community change and organizing. During the course, participants deepen their understanding of social conditions as the context for organizing; explore different models of organizing historically and currently; develop their understanding of how to engage community in improving their own conditions; develop skills for building the leaders of community; and increase capacity for organizers to lead successful campaigns that win concrete changes for people. The course meets from 10 am to 1 pm, two Fridays each month starting in September and runs through the end of June of the following year.

Session Topics include: base building, leadership development, work planning/time management, meeting facilitation, campaigns strategy, and much more.

2018-2019 Tuition: $2,000 ANHD & New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)

members / $2,500 non-members.


CNL Organizing Academy: Advanced Course

The CNL Organizing Academy's 10-month Advanced Organizer Course is an intensive course for experienced organizers that provides participants with the space to read, reflect, and explore ways to deepen their analysis and practice of community organizing. We designed the course to help organizers elevate and deepen their institutional and individual opportunities for growth. It is structured by five topics that all look at developing staff and creating a culture of excellence; the five topics include Base Building, Leadership Development, Political Education, Coalitions and Campaigns, and Institutional Growth.  For each topic, the class explores theoretical frameworks, reflects on current practices for their strengths and challenges, identifies new practices to try, and then reflects on implementing them. The class is participatory and discussion-oriented, rather than lecture-style. Participants, the instructor, and additional advisers all contribute to the on-going development of the course. The course meets from 10 am to 1 pm, two Fridays each month starting in September and through the end of June of the following year.  

2017-2018 Tuition: $2,000 ANHD & NYIC members / $2,500 non-members.


Applications for the next round of the Organizing Apprenticeship will be available Winter/Spring 2019. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document for more information. If you have any additional questions, please contact Ericka Stallings at ericka.s@anhd.org.