A Program for Today’s Changemakers

The WKKF Community Leadership Network prepares leaders to rise to the challenges of our time.

The 18-month program offers hands-on training, personalized coaching, community-based support and practical experience.


  • Unite with a diverse group of leaders from across the U.S. and learn from each other.
  • Gain skills to engage varied voices and bring people together around solutions.
  • Join a global alumni network of fellows with resources and support to effect real change.


  • Expand leadership skills for navigating differences and strengthening communities.
  • Learn powerful ways to advance racial equity and racial healing.
  • Emerge with a stronger self-awareness and emotional intelligence.


  • Put new knowledge and skills into action through a three-month, place-based culminating project.
  • Become a champion for children and families to advance equitable policies and practices.
  • Get fully equipped to lead transformational change in communities.

“This fellowship really opened me up to understanding that it’s not just about serving our local population but about championing racial equity and changing systems in place.”

— Class One Fellow

The Program Flow

5 All-Class Sessions

In these core sessions, fellows build self-mastery, deepen understanding of racism and equity, and gain knowledge and skills relevant to community engagement and leading in place.

5 Community Cohort Convenings

Between All-Class Sessions, fellows participate in a smaller community cohort, where they go deeper on issues specific to their communities and begin to develop a collaborative, place-based Community Leadership Project.

8 Professional Coaching Sessions

Each fellow is paired with one of the Center for Creative Leadership’s global cadre of executive coaches. One-on-one coaching sessions guide fellows in bringing class material to life on their leadership journey.

Community Leadership Project

Community cohorts collaboratively develop a place-based, culminating project drawing on what they’ve learned. The last three months of the program focus on its implementation and working collectively to create transformational change in local communities.

All-Class Closing Ceremony

In August 2020, fellows reconvene to celebrate the successes of their Community Leadership Projects and their transformational journey throughout the fellowship and beyond.

Program Flow

Program Flow

What Alumni Fellows
Are Doing

Class Two fellows will be joining a powerful network of peers leading transformative change in their communities.

Israel Flores

Early Childhood Specialist: Helping Latino children thrive in Michigan

> Read story

Cyndi Nguyen

New Orleans’ First Vietnamese American City Council Member

> Read story

Tim Keller

Albuquerque’s New Mayor: Prioritizing equity and economic opportunity

> Read story

Corey Wiggins

NAACP Executive Director: Advancing racial justice in Mississippi

> Read story

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the WKKF Community Leadership Network fellowship?

The WKKF Community Leadership Network is an 18-month fellowship program for local leaders to connect, grow and lead transformational change on behalf of children, families and communities. Programming and benefits include:

  • Knowledge- and skill-building trainings focused on leadership, racial equity and racial healing, community engagement and networking, and leading in place.
  • Five, multi-day gatherings, and a series of other engaged learning opportunities facilitated by the Center for Creative Leadership, WKKF and other partners. Travel expenses, lodging, and meals connected to these events and other meetings are paid by the program.
  • Individualized coaching to guide personal and professional development and help fellows get the most out of the program.
  • A three-month, place-based culminating project experience to apply new knowledge and skills in developing a strategic plan and leading collaborative action in communities.
  • Connection with a community of leaders – both within the fellowship class of 60 and with an extensive network of 1,700+ alumni – all working to advance equity.
  • A stipend of $25,000 (taxable) and an opportunity to participate in an international summit with the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA) network.

What is the time commitment?

The WKKF Community Leadership Network Class Two will run from March 2019 through August 2020. Specific time commitments include:

  • Participating in five, multi-day gatherings, plus a two-day closing. (Meetings will rotate to different locations around the U.S.)
  • Devoting four to 12 hours each month to additional training, cohort meetings and/or individual work with a coach.
  • Collaboratively leading a place-based culminating project that builds throughout the program and is fully executed in the last three months, putting new knowledge and skills into action.
  • Being part of and contributing to fostering a supportive, collaborative fellowship community throughout the program.
  • Documenting and communicating about your fellowship experience quarterly to extend the learning and impact with broader audiences.
  • Collaborating with CCL and WKKF to help shape current class programming, as well as evaluating and providing input for future classes.

What are the eligibility criteria?

We’re looking to recruit a diverse class of fellows who are:

  • Passionate about improving opportunities for children, families and communities.
  • At a pivotal moment in their careers to benefit from this type of leadership development and network program.
  • Intentional about deepening their understanding of racial equity and racial healing to create transformational change in communities.
  • Representative of a broad range of disciplines, such as academia, business, faith, government, nonprofit or philanthropy.
  • Experienced or interested in early childhood education, health, food systems, workforce development, family economic security, racial equity or other fields that advance children’s well-being.
  • Residing in the U.S. We are assembling five cohorts of fellows – four from WKKF’s priority places of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans, and one national U.S. cohort.
  • Have basic knowledge of and access to a computer with Office systems, email and Internet.

Is there an age requirement?
We’re looking for candidates who have high potential to be a transformational leader, and are at a pivotal moment in their careers to benefit from this type of leadership development program and network. Candidates must have at least 5 years of relevant professional experience.

Do I need to live in a particular place?
Candidates must reside in the U.S. Class Two will be made up of four cohorts from WKKF’s priority communities of Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans, as well as one national U.S. cohort.

Is this program nonpartisan?
Yes. The Center for Creative Leadership and W.K. Kellogg Foundation are non-partisan, non-political organizations. A key focus of the WKKF Community Leadership Network program is for fellows to learn how to navigate differences and bring people together toward solutions. We’re looking for fellows with diverse political perspectives, but a shared passion for advancing the well-being of children, families and communities.

Are elected officials able to participate in the program?
Yes. Elected officials will gain critical knowledge and skills to address today’s governance challenges and lead transformational change in communities. The WKKF Community Leadership Network program is for all types of leaders – providing opportunities to understand the embedded racism in our systems and structures, and to learn practical approaches for engaging and bringing communities together toward solutions.

How do I apply?

The application period for Class Two of the WKKF Community Leadership Network fellowship, which will run from March 2019 through August 2020, is closed. Please check back for updates.

What are the program costs?
Neither the fellows nor their employers pay fees to participate. The primary investment you’ll be making is in time. Travel expenses, lodging, and meals connected to events and meetings will be covered by the program. Fellows receive a stipend of $25,000 (considered taxable income by the IRS) and an opportunity to participate in an international summit with the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance (KFLA) network.

What is the fellows alumni network?

Since the 1930s, the Kellogg Foundation has supported many leadership programs across the globe. This support created a network of thousands of individuals from at least 53 countries associated with current and former WKKF leadership programs. The alumni network’s purpose is to create opportunities for connection, reflection and collective action through collaboration among fellows – either within their cohort or among cohorts – so they can share their expertise, leverage their influence and create greater impact in communities. WKKF Community Leadership Network fellows will have the opportunity to connect to this network and resources upon completion of their fellowship.

Why did the foundation establish the WKKF Community Leadership Network?

At the Kellogg Foundation, we believe people have the inherent capacity to solve their own problems and, for more than 90 years, we have invested in nurturing local leaders to engage communities in improving opportunity for children and families. The WKKF Community Leadership Network is a continuation of the Kellogg Foundation’s commitment to support local leaders and foster collaborative action toward a more equitable society.

As a world-class leadership development program, the WKKF Community Leadership Network will equip the next generation of leaders to bridge the divides in our society and build a more equitable future for all.

How did the Center for Creative Leadership get involved?
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has been a partner with the Kellogg Foundation for many years, supporting the leadership development of foundation staff. With support from the Kellogg Foundation, CCL – one of the most transformational leadership organizations in the world – is now offering Class Two of the WKKF Community Leadership Network. CCL leverages nearly 50 years of leadership development experience in service to positively transforming the way leaders and organizations confront the difficult challenges of our time. CCL’s programs incorporate their proven, cutting-edge leadership research, while engaging each individuals’ priorities and goals. Their participants receive the tools to rise above the limitations and challenges that get in the way of creating meaningful and systemic organizational and social change.

Stay connected to meaningful change.

Follow the fellows’ journey, learn alongside them and receive updates about future application opportunities.

WKKF Community Leadership Network