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Leadership development, especially in Somerville’s more vulnerable communities, is a key driver in assuring the socioeconomic, racial, ethnic and linguistic diversity in the city.

In 2008, we launched the Somerville Community Corporation Leadership Development Institute (LDI). The institute is an intensive four (4) half-day training program for emerging community leaders. Annually, we’ve run the institute for 20 to 25 participants.

The training helps veteran leaders sharpen their skills. And it introduces new concepts to those just getting involved in community organizing.

Program Goals and Content

The goal of the institute is to cultivate a strong base of leaders within the SCC community and to create strong relationships between participants that will lead to community action. Over the course of four half-day sessions, we typically cover the following topics:

Introduction to Leadership: What does it mean to be a leader and why is this important for building a strong community?

Relationship-Building: How do strong relationships help us become better leaders? How do we develop those relationships? How do we create clear messages so that others understand what we are trying to do?

Power: How do we relate to power in our work, personal life, and community activism? How do we build power for action?

The Local Context: How does government work in Somerville? Who has power in the city and who does not? What kind of work is already being done to make change?

Who Should Participate?


We believe that there are many styles of leadership, and that leadership is something that can be developed in everyone. Therefore, LDI is open to the Somerville community-at-large. People of all languages are welcome. We provide interpretation.

Each year we have at least eight nationalities represented in our cohort, and conduct our sessions in three to four languages simultaneously, where everyone in the room wears a headset, and can speak in their first language.

We especially encourage people who have been or would like to be involved with SCC to apply: residents of our housing, graduates of our classes, committee members and other SCC members. We count on our members and leaders to shape the future of the organization and community. 

Leadership is a serious commitment. Participants are required to attend all four half-day sessions.

NOTE: We also sponsor four to five one-time leadership development workshops per year on topics ranging from public speaking to understanding economic injustice.
Learn the story of SCC - watch the mini documentary:

Members of the community in Somerville, MA come together for an illuminated walk to bring attention to gentrification and housing affordability in East Somerville. Produced in collaboration with the Somerville Community Corporation and Mister Francis. Written, directed, and edited by Andrew Eldridge. Produced by Elizabeth Eldridge, Andrew Eldridge.

For tenants of the 100 Homes program, if you are in need of an urgent repair please call 1-617-410-9915. For life-threatening or other emergencies please call 911.

Somerville sits on the original homelands of the Massachusett, Wampanoag, Naumkeag, and Nipmuc tribal nations. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory, and we honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we live and work.

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