2020 Minority Political Leadership Institute

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The Minority Political Leadership Institute (MPLI) is an intensive eight-month leadership development experience for individuals interested in issues important to minority communities including: community economics, political climate, civic engagement, and legislative processes, leadership legacy and culture, responsible stewardship, public service, and integrity for future leaders. Each program year participants engage and interact with communities across Virginia and learn about unique strengths and issues facing different regions of the Commonwealth. MPLI is a collaborative initiative of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Foundation and The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute.


April 9-10 | May 14-15 | June 11-12 | September TBA | October 15-16 | November 20



  • Meet and directly interact with Virginia Legislative Black Caucus legislators, senior elected officials, appointed officials in the governor’s office, local officials and leaders across the Commonwealth
  • Experience politics in action and garner effective networks
  • Engage communities across Virginia in intensive and interactive program sessions
  • Develop a broad awareness of the roles and challenges – as well as the potential opportunities – for minorities and others to provide leadership for Virginia’s future
  • Expand your understanding of the nature of leadership, public policy processes and community change
  • Actively participate in public-service projects addressing a current need within a minority community
  • Gain applied knowledge from seasoned leaders and professionals.

MPLI applies the leadership principals of the Institute and is based on contemporary research and practice in leadership and social equity. MPLI has been extremely successful in addressing the following priorities since its inception in 2004:


Participants will receive tools to become more effective and impactful in their overall leadership abilities. They will learn to identify their uniquely exploitable strengths and confidently utilize them to lead others. They will be equipped with tools to effectively communicate, collaborate, and manage conflict among diverse groups. Participants learn to adapt the leadership approaches they take in each situation to effectively achieve results.


Participants examine the ways in which race plays a critical role in shaping access to political processes and outcomes, and the ways in which policies promote, reduce, and impact racial and ethnic disparities for communities of color within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the historical and contemporary public policy issues affecting communities of color with the hopes of gaining a greater understanding of the relationship between race, ethnicity, and policy outcomes in Virginia.


Participants develop and strengthen skills to be responsive and proactive about issues facing communities of color, and learn how to best advance equity beyond emphasis on disparities. Tools are provided to encourage the development of a more equitably-minded body politic seeking to influence the formulation, implementation, and critical evaluation of public solutions.


Participants will work to collaborate successfully around equity by building the foundation for leadership theory and practice. The interactive sessions and readings focus on the development of skills around collaborative leadership. Participants acquire a greater understanding of shared leadership processes and learn effective strategies for engaging multiple communities to explore race and politics in Virginia.


The $1750.00 participant fee covers all program costs including intensive leadership assessment, single person lodging, and meals on program days. Participants qualify for 8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for full program participation. Tuition may be paid by either a sponsoring organization or the individual. Participants are responsible for securing their own transportation to program sessions.