Summer Leadership Institute - Women's Foundation California


An online training, our Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) empowers young women of color and femme-identifying folks ready to take their leadership to the next level. Throughout the training, we grow our collective power to advance social justice together. The summer-long program is available for free to all participants through California Women Rising.


Meet our 2022 Summer Leadership Institute cohort! This formidable group of over twenty young feminists between the ages of 14 and 18 are dreaming, reimagining, and co-creating California’s intersectional feminist future.

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Key Dates

Application Opens

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2022

Application Deadline

Wednesday, June 8th, 2022

Program Dates*

July 12, 2022 to August 4, 2022

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5:00 – 6:30 pm PT

Who it’s for:

  • Young women of color and femme-identifying 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

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, the Summer Leadership Institute cultivates a better understanding of storytelling, advocacy, and stronger leadership skills.



  • Authentic leadership
  • Healing practices
  • Relationship building


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


Eligibility is open to young women of color and femme-identifying folks who live in California, are between 14 and 18 years old, and are engaged in social justice work in their community.

  • 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

SLI is composed of 8 mandatory training sessions. Each session is 1.5 hours long. Sessions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays between Jul 12, 2022 through Aug 4, 2022 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm Pacific Time. All sessions are held on Zoom. The extract training dates are below:

    • Tuesday, Jul 12, 2022
    • Thursday, Jul 14, 2022
    • Tuesday, Jul 19, 2022
    • Thursday, Jul 21, 2022
    • Tuesday, Jul 26, 2022
    • Thursday, Jul 28, 2022
    • Tuesday, Aug 2, 2022
    • Thursday, Aug 4, 2022

Fellows must have access to the Internet and a computer with camera and audio capabilities to participate in training sessions.

Applicants will receive a decision by June 20 and should confirm their acceptance by June 27.

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

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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