Summer Leadership Institute - Women's Foundation California


Our Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) empowers young feminine and nonbinary folks ready to take their leadership to the next level. Throughout the training, we grow our collective power to advance social justice together. 

Key Dates

Application Opens

Thursday, March 14th, 2024

Application Deadline

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

Program Dates*

July 29th, 2024 to August 1st, 2024

  • in person in Sonoma, CA

Who it’s for:

  • Young feminine and nonbinary folks
  • Who:
    • Live in California
    • Are between 14 and 18 years of age
    • Engage in social justice work in their communities
    • Are ready to attend all training sessions

Who should apply:

  • Young leaders who want to: 
    • Develop their unique leadership style 
    • Strengthen their voice with authentic storytelling 
    • Deepen their commitment to social justice 
    • Participate with a collaborative spirit
    • Do all of the above and have the time availability

Deadline: April 16th


This year, SLI 2024 will be in-person at the Westerbeke Ranch Conference Center at 2300 Grove Street, Sonoma, CA 95476.

Monday, July 29th to Thursday, August 1st, 2024. 

On Monday, July 29th sessions will start at 5 pm and will end by 3 pm on Thursday, August 1st. Fellows will be expected to participate in all scheduled sessions except for those listed as optional.

Eligibility is open to young feminine and nonbinary folks who live in California, are between 14 and 18 years old, and are engaged in social justice work in their community.

Yes, you will need to attend the entire program. We will be prioritizing youth who will be able to commit to being there for its entirety. You and your parent/guardian will also need to attend a mandatory one-hour virtual orientation meeting in advance.

Travel to the retreat location will be arranged for you. Fellows will travel together in small groups accompanied by a chaperone. 

Yes, the cost of transportation, lodging, and meals for fellows will be covered.

Yes, fellows will receive a $500 stipend after they have completed the program.

  • Fellows will engage in storytelling practices to heal, to build individual and collective power, and to impact social change through advocacy.
  • Fellows will collaborate with one another and community leaders in a way that informs their own leadership journey and practice  
  • Fellows will practice how to provide public comment in order to support rules and regulations that empower their communities

Fellows will be notified via email by TBD.

Please email Nina Lopez at ninal(at) if you have any questions.

As someone who has done community organizing for about four years within her community, this program has definitely made me think what I do.  I…(organize) for the women in my community and the women around me. Coming to this realization really makes me want to help more women in Orange County.”

-Emily Fuentes, 18, Santa Ana



We believe in the power of stories. Whether it’s through art or poetry, SLI cultivates a better understanding of narrative building, advocacy, and leadership.



Authentic leadership

Healing practices ✨

Relationship building


Graduating fellows join a statewide network of collaborators and supporters deepening their leadership journeys.


Meet our Summer Leadership Institute Alum!

This formidable group of over 80 young feminists between the ages of 14 and 18 are dreaming, reimagining, and co-creating California’s intersectional feminist future.

Read More

This work is powered by you.

The feminist future we are building together in California is going to be built by all of us sharing our time, our money, and our skills.  Please consider contributing today.

Together We Are Unstoppable.

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