Leadership program applications due Aug. 15

UH's Ricardo Reinoso, founder of Cleveland Dinners. [photo by Maria Kaiser]

The Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP) is a free community-engagement training program. It’s for residents of Cleveland and its inner ring suburbs who are working on projects within the city of Cleveland, and who are determined to make a positive impact on their communities.

NLDP is currently accepting applications, due Aug. 15, for its 2021 program.

NLDP has helped emerging neighborhood leaders reach their potential by expanding their knowledge base and personal development through education, coaching and ongoing interaction with their peers and other leaders. Participants and graduates have ongoing access to the services of a program coach, who will give advice and support tailored to the needs of the participant.

The program covers topics such as program planning, marketing, communications, fundraising, conflict resolution and negotiation, community engagement methods and more. Twenty applicants are chosen each program year.

Ricardo Reinoso, a NLDP graduate and University Heights resident, launched Cleveland Dinners in August 2020. Currently taking place virtually, due to health restrictions, Cleveland Dinners aims to facilitate dialogue on race and equity, by bringing together diverse individuals, to share a meal.

Since its launch, Cleveland Dinners has hosted several virtual dinners on Zoom. Each dinner includes dialogue in small breakout rooms, with facilitators trained to guide the conversation. (To learn more about Cleveland Dinners, visit www.clevelanddinners.org or www.facebook.com/ClevelandDinners.)

“Looking back at my journey through the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program and where our Cleveland Dinners team is now, the greatest lesson learned was that of resilience through adaptability,” said Reinoso. “Our original plan was to organize in-person dinner and dialogue events on racial equity, but thanks to what we learned at NLDP, instead of throwing in the towel, saying COVID-19 ruined everything we had planned, we simply reassessed how our model could be adapted to fit these pandemic times, all while staying true to our mission. We now have a virtual component that not only helps us stay on track with our mission. but also gives us greater sustainability and a new tool in our racial equity toolbox.”

The 2021 NLDP training sessions will take place on Saturdays at Trinity Commons, at 2230 Euclid Ave., beginning Sept. 18. For additional information, and to view the curriculum and online application, visit www.nldpcleveland.com or call 216-776-6167.

Sandra Kluk

Sandra Kluk, a 35-year Heights resident, it the program administrator for the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 10:15 AM, 08.03.2021