Coro Lead Programs

Greater Los Angeles and Southern California, more broadly, are at a crossroads, one requiring a network of leaders from across sectors and backgrounds with an understanding of its unique civic and political landscape, an ability to diagnose the complex challenges ahead of us, and collaborate effectively to make a lasting, sustainable impact.

Coro Lead Programs – Lead LA and Lead SoCal – are designed for emerging and established change-makers in the region eager to expand their leadership capacity for impact.

[Coro] has challenged some of my core assumptions, introduced me to sophisticated – yet practical – applied leadership techniques, and perhaps most importantly, has provided an opportunity for me to deeply connect with a diverse group of Los Angeles leaders in a meaningful and lasting way. I’ve found the program to be extremely useful in both my professional and personal life.

– Ruben Aronin (Lead LA 1), Senior Vice President, Better World Group; Director, California Business Alliance for a Clean Economy

Over these nine-month, part-time programs, participants will use Greater Los Angeles and Southern California as their classroom leveraging a unique blend of facilitated instruction, collaborative small group team building, and hands-on experiential learning to gain the skills, networks, and knowledge to lead and direct change within their organizations, communities, and the region.

ABOUT LEAD LA
ABOUT LEAD SOCAL
WHO IS A CORO LEAD PROGRAMS PARTICIPANT
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
COST & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

About Lead LA

Lead LA includes over 120 hours of in-person facilitated training sessions, running from September to May. The program typically includes full-day sessions held about twice per month – mostly on Fridays and Saturdays – and periodic small group planning meetings.

Program components include:

  • Orientation – An opportunity to start the cohort-building process, gain insight into the program’s roadmap, and begin small group Issue Day planning.
  • Opening Retreat – A multi-day, intensive facilitated by Coro staff and other content specialists to lay the core leadership and civic development foundation for the rest of the program.
    *Note: attendance to the entire Opening Retreat is mandatory, exceptions made for extraordinary situations.*
  • Logic Study and Leadership Retreats – These full-day facilitated trainings by Coro staff and other content specialists are spread throughout the length of the program and enable the participants to gain and hone professional, personal, and civic development tools and frameworks.
  • Issue Days – Occurring in the second half of the program, these small group cohort-led and designed public policy explorations of current issues facing Greater Los Angeles allow participants to practice in real-time the program’s effective inquiry, civic and political awareness, and group effectiveness skills.
  • Closing Retreat and Ceremony – A full-day program conclusion facilitated by Coro staff exploring the skills, knowledge, and network gained and what the participants and cohort as a whole will do with it.
  • Optional Coro Community Training and Networking Events – Coro regularly plans community convenings for continued learning or social networking.

A full calendar with information about the program’s attendance policy is posted in the sidebar for specific dates and times. In addition to the calendared sessions, participants will also need to attend four Issue Day planning meetings with Coro staff (at most, 3 hours each) and engage in small group planning meetings to prepare and design the Issue Days. Rarely, but occasionally, participants will also need to complete minimal pre-work ahead of scheduled sessions.

Note: Coro is committed to ensuring the public health of our participants and community and while Coro plans to launch and run the 2021-2022 Lead LA program entirely in-person, we have developed a concurrent dual virtual program calendar in the event public health guidance precludes in-person meetings. The program will be offered in only one mode at a time and participants should be prepared to move between the modes, dependent on public health guidance and cohort feedback.

About Lead SoCal

Lead SoCal leverages Coro’s excellence in providing experiential virtual programs. Lead SoCal includes approximately 90 hours of virtual facilitated sessions, running from September to May. The program typically includes full-day virtual sessions split into two 3 hour sessions held on alternating Fridays and Saturdays once or twice per month.

Program components include:

  • Program Orientation – Held on a weekday late-afternoon, this is an opportunity to start the cohort-building process and gain insight into the program’s roadmap.
  • Issue Day Orientation – This weekday late-afternoon session officially kicks off the Issue Day component of the program with the cohort selecting Issue Day topics and teams.
  • Opening Retreat – A two part, two full day virtual retreat in October, these intensives facilitated by Coro staff and other content specialists lay the core leadership and civic development foundation for the rest of the program.
    *Note: attendance to the both parts of the Opening Retreat is mandatory, exceptions made for extraordinary situations.*
  • Logic Study and Leadership Retreats – These full-day facilitated trainings split into two sessions are spread throughout the length of the program, alternating between weekdays (mostly Fridays) and Saturdays, and enable the participants to gain and hone professional, personal, and civic development tools and frameworks.
  • Issue Days – Occurring in the second half of the program, these small group cohort-led and designed public policy explorations of current issues facing Southern California allow participants to practice in real-time the program’s effective inquiry, civic and political awareness, and group effectiveness skills. The Issue Days conclude with a weekday late-afternoon Coro-facilitated session. 
  • Closing Retreat and Ceremony – A full-day program conclusion split into two sessions explores the skills, knowledge, and network gained and what the participants and cohort as a whole will do with it.
  • Optional Coro Community Training and Networking Events – Coro regularly plans community convenings for continued learning or social networking

A full calendar with information about the program’s attendance policy is posted in the sidebar for specific dates and times. In addition to the calendared sessions, participants will also need to attend four Issue Day planning meetings with Coro staff (between 1 and 3 hours each) and engage in small group planning meetings to prepare and design the Issue Days. Rarely, but occasionally, participants will also need to complete minimal pre-work ahead of scheduled sessions.

Note: All Coro scheduled components of Lead SoCal will be facilitated virtually. Participants are not expected to meet in person for any elements of the program. As such, participants should be sure to have access to Zoom and a stable internet connection.

Who is a Coro Lead Programs Participant

Coro values diverse perspectives, identities, experiences, and world views represented in programming and program participants. We believe that all participants benefit from having many facets of diversity represented in their Coro experience.

Both Lead LA and Lead SoCal participants reflect the make-up of the region, representing a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and identities. Coro Lead Programs candidates should be ready to engage productively with different perspectives and ready to engage in personal reflection.

Both Lead LA and Lead SoCal are for emerging and established change-makers who:

  • are committed to deepening their professional leadership capacity;
  • are looking to expand their professional and personal network; and
  • have a minimum of 5 to 7 years of professional experience.

Lead LA is best for those who:

  • want to better understand the issues facing Greater Los Angeles and to take action to address those issues;
  • live and/or work in Greater Los Angeles; and
  • are comfortable and able to meet in-person for all program components, including small team planning meetings (note: small teams may conduct meetings virtually or over the phone).

Lead SoCal is best for those who:

  • want to better understand the issues facing Southern California (with Los Angeles-specific issues deemphasized) and to take action to address those issues;
  • live and/or work in Southern California (defined as San Luis Obispo/Kern/San Bernardino counties south to San Diego/Imperial counties); and
  • are able to conduct the program virtually.

What You Can Expect

Coro has been serving Southern California since 1957, cultivating a community of leaders who engage in systems thinking and possess the ability to collaborate to innovate and make sustainable, lasting impact. Coro Lead Programs prompts participants to engage in deep personal, professional, and civic reflection through a blend of facilitated instruction, experiential learning, and team building.

I find myself incorporating elements of Lead LA into my personal and professional life on a daily basis. This allows me to approach my work, community, and colleagues with a robust repertoire of tools and experiences to draw from. I couldn’t be happier with Lead LA and trust that this will be something that continues to give back over many years to come.

~ Alia Kate, Founder/Owner/Designer, Kantara 

Whether it is leading and directing impactful change within their organizations or communities, or across the region, Coro Lead Programs’s core skills enhance and expand existing capacity to:

  • Hone effective inquiry to engage with multiple perspectives in order to ask specific questions to reach specific observations to expand knowledge and understanding.
  • Promote civic and political awareness to recognize how power and privilege influence discussions and decisions and understand how the existing system elevates or inhibits stakeholder engagement.
  • Build group effectiveness to expand understanding, build coalitions, and promote effective and efficient action.

Both Lead SoCal and Lead LA bring value to the individual participants, their organizational affiliations, and the region by strengthening:

  • Leadership Development – participants recognize their own leadership strengths and blind spots, and by applying Coro’s tools and engaging in reflective activities, develop strategies to lead more effectively.
  • Team Management – through a range of group activities, participants practice creating and executing effective group processes within diverse teams to move group tasks, from small meetings to large projects, effectively and efficiently forward.
  • Systems Thinking – participants analyze complex systems – from organizations to sectors to neighborhoods – to identify their culture, characteristics, and compositions and the stakeholder dynamics that both advance and inhibit change.
  • Multi-Sectoral Issue Analysis – using Greater Los Angeles and Southern California as the classroom, participants investigate challenges facing the region through a cross-sectoral lens.

Cost & Financial Assistance

For the 2021-2022 programs, Lead LA tuition is $5,250 and Lead SoCal tuition is $4,000. 

Do not let financial concerns prevent you from applying. Both Coro Lead Programs provide exceptional value to both individuals and organizations at under $45 per facilitated hour of leadership development and public affairs training. We have identified various methods to assist with the financial cost of participation.

Employer and Sponsor Assistance: Many Coro Lead Programs participants secure full or partial financial assistance from their employers as part of the organization’s professional development efforts or from third-party sponsors. We encourage applicants to speak with their employer or to engage their network about potential support. We have provided a Program Benefits Guide on the sidebar to assist with employer and/or sponsor conversations. Additionally, Coro has sponsorship opportunities available to organizations seeking to develop visible partnerships. Coro program sponsorship includes a reserved seat in the sponsored program(s). To learn more about program sponsorship, organizations can connect with Natalie Samarjian, President and CEO, at natalie@corola.org.

Coro Scholarships: Applicants interested in being considered for partial, need-based scholarships should complete the scholarship questions on the application. Scholarships, with special consideration for applicants paying out of pocket and with the highest need relative to the request pool, are determined during the decision-making process only and awarded amounts are considered final. Coro strives to provide financial support to all accepted candidates demonstrating need, but scholarships are not guaranteed and may differ from the amount requested. 

Deposit and Payment: Coro has available a variety of payment plan options for Coro Lead Programs to spread the tuition across the program length. Plans will be communicated to accepted candidates at the time of decision. Accepted candidates will be required to submit a $500 tuition deposit to secure their spot in the cohort (which is debited from their outstanding tuition balance). Once a participant has confirmed their participation after acceptance, all payments are final and non-refundable, regardless of program completion. Payments may be made by check or credit card.

Lead LA & Lead SoCal Alumni Honorees

The Lead LA and Lead SoCal Alumni Honorees not only embrace the Coro Lead Programs programming during their participation, but also embody their core elements –  reflective leadership, effective team management, analytical systems thinking, and cross-sectoral collaboration – in their post-Lead LA or Lead SoCal work. The Honoree is awarded annually and announced at the Closing Ceremony.

2020 Lead LA Alumni Honoree

Elissa K. Konove

Undersecretary

California State Transportation Agency

2021 Lead LA Alumni Honoree

Corey Matthews

Chief Operating Officer

Community Coalition

Thank you to our Supporters

Thank you to the Coro Lead Programs Advisory Committee

Angela Babcock*
Vice President, Stratiscope

Otha Cole*
Project Director, Play Equity Fund, LA84 Foundation

Lindsay Conner
Partner & Chair of the Media & Entertainment Group, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Steven Crosby
Principal, Crosby Consulting

Andrea Foggy-Paxton**
Founder & CEO, Foggy-Paxton Consulting, LLC

Nicole Jones
Senior Special Assistant & Director of External Affairs, Office of the California State Controller

*Coro Lead Programs alumni                    

John Kobara
Social Entrepreneur & Facilitator of Change; former EVP & Chief Operating Officer at the California Community Foundation

Robin Kramer
Managing Director, Smidt Foundation

Shawn Landres
Commissioner, County of Los Angeles Quality and Productivity Commission and Chair, City of Santa Monica Planning Commission

Corey Matthews*
Chief Operating Officer, Community Coalition

Carole Neal*
Director of Marketing, Vitamin T

Caprice Young
National Superintendent, Lifelong Learning

**Coro Southern California Board of Directors member