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Community Progress Leadership Institute


Leadership Instutute

Effective tools and policies to tackle vacant, abandoned, and problem properties are critical, but they are not enough. Strong leadership is key. Public, private, and community sector members must develop an intimate understanding of how existing systems contribute to the deterioration of property. They must also understand the interconnected elements that make up a comprehensive revitalization strategy, and how to manage its implementation. And, to be effective leaders, they must have the vision and courage to drive meaningful change in the face of obstacles.


The Community Progress Leadership Institute (Leadership Institute) exists to seed and support these changes, and develop the leadership necessary to restore vitality to America’s neighborhoods.


In the video below, 2014 Leadership Institute Participant Christal Perry of Huntington, WV talks about how the experience catalyzed positive change in her city and how Huntington's relationship with Community Progress has continued to grow.


The Program

The rigorous four-day Leadership Institute helps participating delegations better understand the causes of vacancy and abandonment, assess the systems that can facilitate the return of properties to productive use, strengthen relationships, develop actionable next steps, and grow in their ability to lead profound change. Each Leadership Institute cohort is, by design, limited in size, making for a low participant-to-faculty ratio and creating opportunity for individual attention tailored to a participating city’s needs. The limit in size also makes for a highly competitive application process.


The Philosophy

The Leadership Institute is steeped in the belief that a team-based approach to creating solutions to vacancy is critical for lasting change. We believe that when individuals from multiple sectors within a city work in tandem on common challenges they make a profound impact that exceeds what any could have achieved alone. We believe that when multiple local- and state-level leaders from within a state come together, they have the opportunity to build a stronger network and work jointly for statewide change. For this reason, the Leadership Institute uses a delegation-based approach to address vacancy, abandonment, and other property challenges both locally and statewide.


We also believe that solving the tough challenges that blight and vacancy pose requires going farther than sharing best practices and providing authoritative expertise. It requires city and civic leadership that effectively challenges entrenched behaviors and ways of working in our communities, in teams, and even within the individual.


In the video below, 2014 Leadership Institute Participant Gregg Hagopian of Milwaukee, WI talks about how the experience has inspired his city to take a proactive approach towards tackling blight and abandonment.


For more information about the Leadership Institute, please email cpli@communityprogress.net