Policy Institute for Civic Leadership

The Policy Institute for Civic Leadership (Policy Institute) is an eight session intensive course designed to educate and train leaders in metro Atlanta. These leaders represent a variety of issues, values, and areas of expertise, that come together to develop a common goal to influence economic and social policy. By developing smart networks of local leaders, the Policy Institute is building a strategic coalition of leaders who share common goals to create an equitable region for all.

The main focus of the Policy Institute is the examination of the relationship between economic policy and social values. By analyzing the power structures within the regional economy, local government, and the community, participants will develop strategies for creating effective systematic change to benefit working communities. The course is lively and interactive, enhanced by a diverse array of participants.
Session topics

  • Hard Work & Hot Air: How Atlanta has developed as a Region
  • Understanding YOUR Government: Local, State, and Regional Governance
  • The Axis on Which the South Revolves: Race, Power, and Politics
  • Shaping Your Neighborhood: Using Land Use and Zoning Policy Effectively
  • Show Me Our Money: Understanding the Governmental Budget Process
  • Getting the Bang for Our Buck: Creating Equitable and Accountable Economic Development
  • Your Community Empowerment Toolbox: Community Benefits Agreements and Other Useful Tools People = Power: Organizing Your Community

Class Project
The class project allows participants to begin putting their new knowledge and relationships to use. Together, the group develops new strategies to achieve their individual and collective goals. Using time at the end of each session, participants develop a project that they work on throughout the class, and often complete after graduation.

Policy Institute participants are grassroots leaders, activists, emerging leaders, and individuals from communities throughout metro Atlanta. The participant range includes elected officials, neighborhood activists, Neighborhood Planning Unit leadership, leaders of community based organizations, faith leaders, and leaders of local labor unions. While participants represent a broad range of the economic and political sectors of the region, special consideration is given to nominees who represent communities and organizations that serve people who are disenfranchised, under represented, or marginalized.  Participant selection is highly competitive, and offered by invitation only.

Instructors for the Policy Institute come from a wide array of distinguished academic and research institutions and are practical experts in their fields. Past instructors include:

  • Dr. William Boone, Clark Atlanta University
  • Dr. Kathryn Brice, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Bronaugh Bridges, Former Budget Manager, City of Atlanta Department of Planning & Community Development
  • Dr. Hasan Crockett, Brisbane Institute, Morehouse College
  • Professor Michael Dobbins, Georgia Institute of Technology & Former Commissioner of Planning, City of Atlanta
  • Sarah Beth Gehl, Georgia Budget & Policy Institute
  • Dr. Kelly Hill, Nexus Research Group
  • Dr. Kendra King, Oglethorpe University
  • Dr. Harvey Newman, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

This is a fee-based course. Discounts for non-profits and limited scholarships are available. Grassroots community leaders are invited to apply for the Don Allen Memorial Scholarship, given to one leader per course.

The Policy Institute is held twice a year, once during the Spring and once during the Fall.
The Spring course is held on four Saturdays from 9am-3pm, while the Fall course is held on eight consecutive weekday mornings from 9am-12noon.

How to Apply
Participation in the Policy Institute for Civic Leadership is by nomination only.  To nominate yourself or someone else please contact Georgia STAND-UP.