Leadership Racine

The Leadership Racine program builds community trusteeship through the development of strong, diverse and knowledgeable leaders.


This 9-month program is designed to recruit promising leaders and help prepare them for positions of public influence and decision-making in the greater Racine area. The program provides a unique learning environment through a curriculum where participants will:

  • Strengthen leadership skills
  • Foster community service
  • Develop a sense of community trusteeship

The Program

On average, 28 individuals are selected each year from a pool of applicants to build a class representative of the greater Racine area. The result is a class of professionals who are ready to hone their leadership skills and talents and connect them to community causes and agencies they are passionate about.

The program is a balanced combination of a 2-day retreat, monthly program sessions and a team project. In September, a mandatory two-day retreat helps participants focus on team building. The retreat is complemented by eight monthly sessions that focus on the significant challenges to the Racine community building community awareness as well as highlighting leadership skills that are needed to be an effective civic leader.

Other Details

Your completed application serves as the sole source of information used in our selection process. Therefore, it is critical that the application is thoroughly and thoughtfully completed. There may be phone interviews used as needed. Applications due May 31.

Recruitment Period: February – May 31

Selection & Notification: By the 4th of July

Time Commitment: September – May. Mandatory 2-day opening retreat in September followed by one full weekday per month (2nd Tuesday of the month) from October through April. Closing with a mandatory ½ day session and evening graduation in May. In addition to the monthly sessions, participants are involved in a team project in conjunction with a local nonprofit. Time devoted to the project is outside of the regular curriculum and varies according to the project scope. Participants must participate in a team project with the goal of completing the project by May.

Program Cost: Tuition covers all materials and session costs – including retreat and graduation – $1,500

Team Projects

The team projects are a significant component of the Leadership Racine program, providing hands-on experience for servant leadership, teamwork and collaboration. The projects are intended to give participants the opportunity to make a difference in the community and to get to know local nonprofit organizations on a much deeper level.

The team project process is designed to enhance awareness of community issues, identify systems and methods to initiate change, and develop participants’ project management, team and presentation skills. While the outcomes of the team project are important, the primary goal is to make the project a valuable learning experience, focusing on building leadership skills and community knowledge. The completion of a team project is highly valuable and often ends up being one of the most memorable parts of the program for participants.

Seeking Project Partners

Over the summer each year, we reach out to nonprofit organizations asking them to submit project proposals. LR is able to provide a service to existing project opportunities for an established nonprofit that align with a team from the incoming program class participants. A project committee works to make a successful match between the vetted nonprofit projects and the LR teams.

Sample Annual Curriculum

Two-day opening retreat – team building and review of your own personal leadership style

History and Discovery – Review the history of Racine and go exploring
Leadership Skill: Communication

Economic Development – Overview of the intricate systems doing this work in the community and how agencies work together

Human Services – social and human service agency visits
Leadership Skill: Stress Management

Education – Examination of Racine Unified School District and its importance for the community
Arts & Culture – Introduction to the agencies keeping the arts alive in Racine
Leadership Skill: Time Management & Project Management

Tourism – Introduction to the work that goes into tourism for Racine County
Media – Examination of the role the media plays in the community
Leadership Skill: Marketing & Personal Branding

Government & Law – County and City structure, the local justice system and public safety
Leadership Skill: Diversity & Ethical Leadership

Nonprofit Service – Overview of board governance and the skills needed to properly serve on a Board of Directors
Leadership Skill: Collaboration

Morning session – Community Trustee panel
Evening graduation ceremony and dinner