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photos by Mel Ponder and Chantel Baker


Legacy of Leadership Cohort

Preparing Our Next Generation of Community Leaders

Designed for emerging professionals, the Legacy of Leadership Cohort nurtures the next generation of community leaders and advocates that serve the Native population of King County, Washington. The program brings together a group of individuals to complete one-year of monthly leadership training sessions addressing issues and topics relevant to the urban Native population. Participants engage in activities intended to strengthen their leadership skills while expanding knowledge and networks. Cohort members work within an assigned group to create a project intended to benefit the Native community, and are paired with a mentor to assist them with their project development and outcomes. At the end of the program, cohort participants are celebrated at a public graduation ceremony, and each team presents their completed project to the community at large. ​


The Legacy of Leadership cohort program was developed in response to the community needs assessment in United Way of King County's 2014 report - A Vision for the Urban Indian Community. The report recommended that Native organizations develop leadership training and leadership mentoring opportunities to allow for the next generation of leaders. Read the full report online at


  • Up to 20 cohort participants are selected through an application and interview process.

  • The full cost of tuition is $1,500. If selected, $1,250 is covered by Native Action Network through a scholarship from our sponsors. Cohort members are responsible for the remaining $250 tuition fee, which can be paid by employer or participant.  

  • Full participation by each member is critical. Please ensure that your employer understands and supports your participation commitments, including time off for monthly day-long engagement sessions.

Curriculum Topics

  • History of Native activism, particularly the Gang of Four and American Indian Women's Service League

  • Project planning and team development

  • Nonprofit management as a leader, fundraiser, and manager

  • Visits to El Centro de la Raza, the Wing Luke Museum, and other cultural sites

  • Finance 101 and managing personal finances

  • Community building and community engagement

  • Development and what it entails

  • Meetings with City of Seattle and state elected officials

  • Native health and education systems

  • Self care and personal development

  • Branding and presentation skills

2017-2018 Cohort

Inaugural cohort members include Misha Averill, Alicia Durkin, Tleena Ives, Chelsea Jones, Gail Morris, Shanoa Pinkham, Elizabeth Rideau, Maggie McCarty Sanders, Adriel Searcy, and Asia Tail.

2019-2020 Cohort

Cohort members include Sarah Anderson, Breanna Foulkes, Chelsea Hendrickson, Kateri Joe, Britany Lindley, Karen Lizzy, Tanya Marceau, Francesca Murnan, Candi Ruckman, Zizi Stewart, Julia Wilson, and Edna Wyena.