Women of color sit in a unique position in the US – one that often experiences the brunt of racism,
sexism and other discriminatory stances while simultaneously, too frequently, being expected to manage,
organize, care for and implement processes and practices that move a family, organization, corporation or
community forward. While women of color in general experience these tacit expectations, women of color
organizers and leaders are explicitly tasked with these responsibilities in a professional space that historically
was not crafted for them.
Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership Program (Cultivate) was designed to address this void. Cultivate
is a collaboration between several powerful foundations in Chicago, including the Chicago Foundation
for Women, Crossroads Fund, Woods Fund Chicago, and the Chicago Community Trust. Cultivate has an
intentional focus on race, gender and identity of women of color leaders and organizers in social justice
and advocacy to improve their experiences and trajectory in community organizing and leadership roles.
The program also seeks to cultivate networks, significant relationships and vital leadership skills of women
of color through group sessions on topics chosen by the participants with individual coaching sessions.
To evaluate the efficacy, outcomes and implications of this initiative, Cultivate partnered with Become:
Center for Community Engagement and Social Change (Become). Read our full report CULTIVATING LEADERSHIP.