Virginia Progressive Leadership Project
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The Virginia Progressive Leadership Project ('VAPLP") was founded in 2015, with the unique mission to recruit, train and support leaders who reflect the diversity of our beloved state. VAPLP intentionally selects leaders from communities that are often underrepresented in nonprofit leadership and state government. 


Who should Apply

The Virginia Progressive Leadership Project is designed to support experienced leaders from a variety of spaces.  Grassroots activists on the ground in their communities.  Organizers leading nonprofit issue campaigns.  Union members and leaders.  Advocates who have started their own non-profit. Leaders within community organizations.  Super-Volunteers and organizers for political campaigns. PTA-leaders.   

 Cohort 3 after a successful second weekend! 

Cohort 3 after a successful second weekend! 



Women are often vastly under-represented in leadership positions, we are committed to closing the gap by supporting women leaders. 


Diversity is not limited to gender or race. We believe leadership should also reflect a diversity of experiences, sexual orientations, income levels, abilities, geographic location, education levels and gender identities.  Our goal is for leadership in Virginia to reflect the full diversity of the people who live here. 


pEOPLE OF colr 

People of color make up over thirty-percent of  Virginia's population, we believe leadership at all levels in the Commonwealth should reflect the growing diversity of our state.

Limitations to participation: anyone under the age of 18, elected officials, anyone who does not identify as progressive, or current candidates for political office. 

Our Impact

Since 2015, VAPLP has graduated leaders from across the Commonwealth. All of our alumni complete our program with a renewed and strategic commitment to continuing to build a better Virginia.




More than ten alumni are presidents, founders, directors, or serve on the boards of progressive organizations. 



Serving communities

More than twenty alumni are educating, organizing and advocating in communities across Virginia. 



Alumni Network

Forty-five leaders make up the alumni network of the Virginia Progressive Leadership Project. 



Our trainings are held one weekend a month for four months.



Each weekend is dedicated to a different theme.  Our trainings focus on building independent political power, storytelling, how values are reflected through leadership, principals of organizing, fundraising,  the importance of diverse leadership and so much more. 


Weekend training are held together as a leaderhship cohort. Each cohort is carefully selected to bring together the experiences of different leaders from across Virginia.  Cohorts consist of thirteen to twenty leaders. 


Cohort members are given a mentor to help achieve their leadership goals.  The mentors are selected to meet the specific needs of their mentees. Our mentors go through a selection and orientation process. Our mentors are experienced leaders in a variety of areas including but not limited to nonprofit executive directors, union leaders and policy decision makers.


Cost, Dates &  Locations

 Free! The cost of training materials, lodging and meals are free to all participants. The training locations vary during each cohort. Please see project timeline for exact dates.


Alumni Testimonials

The VAPLP program far exceeded my expectations. Even though I was already in a leadership position as the president of the Fairfax NAACP, I never really gave much real thought to broadening my horizons beyond that role. After all, I only had a few years of advocacy under my belt at the time, and know very little beyond what was going on beyond the county borders. So I was honestly still a little unsure of myself. But the VAPLP gave me a ton of confidence, and it wasn't just about the knowledge gained, but because I knew that I was surrounded by a network of passionate supporters who would have my back. I left the program a changed person that knew that the sky was the limit. 

Kofi Annan- Fairfax NAACP, President

Cohort 3


 Kofi Annan  addressing the youth of Fairfax NAACP

Kofi Annan  addressing the youth of Fairfax NAACP

Thank you so much for your great work! VAPLP is the best training program I have ever attended. Not only the contents of the training, but also the people I met in the program. I already started to using the knowledge to organize some events in the community. I will continue to do so. The cohort 3 is a big family, we will help and support each other forever!
Thank you all for helping me being a better person!

Becky Wang-SEIU Virginia 512, Member

Cohort 3
 March for Immigrant Rights- Organized by Becky Wang Cohort 3

March for Immigrant Rights- Organized by Becky Wang Cohort 3