2017 Neighborhood Leadership Academy

Thank you! The 2017 Academy was a success.

We were excited to have a full class of more than 20 neighborhood leaders – five teams – putting together action plans for making South Bend a better community. This page is an archive of that program.

Interested in an upcoming Academy? Check out the 2018 Advanced Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Sessions begin Thursday, May 3, 2018. Applications open March 19, and close April 16. More information.


2017 Team Presentations & Graduation Reception

Event Program (PDF)

Course Materials

If you’re in the Academy or just interested in following along, you’ll find each week’s course materials below.


Week 1 (Sept. 21):

Week 2 (Sept. 28):

Week 3 (Oct. 5):

Week 4 (Oct. 12):

  • Warm-Up: Think about a team (not your current Academy team!) that you have been a part of that did not function as effectively as it could. This could be in your job, family, civic group or club, etc. In what way did the team not work well? In other words, describe the issue(s) or the barrier(s) that kept the team from being as effective as it could.
  • Session Agenda
  • Team Share #1: Asset Maps. Video, coming soon (YouTube)
  • Survey: Your Questions for Local Government. Team survey; Individual survey
  • Teambuilding Toolkit: Agenda

Week 6 (Oct. 26):

Week 7 (Nov. 2):

Week 8 (Nov. 9):

Week 9 (Nov. 16):

Week 10 (Nov. 23):

Week 11 (Nov. 30):

  • Session Agenda
  • Team Share #3: Power Mapping and Navigating Local Government
  • Servant Leadership: Agenda; PowerPoint slides; Handouts

Week 12 (Dec. 7):

Week 13 (Dec. 14):

  • Final Presentations (see video above)
  • Graduation Ceremony and Reception: The History Museum, 808 West Washington

Take your community higher

Completely revamped for 2017, the Neighborhood Leadership Academy is a free, eight-session program that empowers South Bend residents to make positive change in their communities.

Think of it as ‘boot camp’ for community organizing! The Academy will help you explore your ideas, create a plan for action, get local officials on your side, and build a valuable network.

What you’ll learn

Topics include:

  • Communicating your Vision
  • Recruiting & Building a Team
  • Influencing Local Government
  • Campaign Planning
  • Goal Setting & Project Management
  • Finding and Using your Community’s Assets
  • …and more!

When it meets

The 2017 Academy launches Thursday, September 21, 2017 and meets eight evenings over three months. All sessions are Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Participants will be asked to attend scheduled sessions and take part in a final presentation of their team project. See the complete schedule.


The Neighborhood Leadership Academy would like to thank these local organizations for supporting the 2017 Academy:

West Side Wednesday

American National UniversityCity of South Bend


More information

For additional information, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/SBNRC, contact the Neighborhood Resources Connection at nrcneighbors@gmail.com or 574.287.0425, or contact Scott Palmer, Neighborhood Leadership Academy Program Coordinator at scott@mscottpalmer.com.