CPL Michigan is helping build the foundation for the next generation of progressive leaders. By running a variety of programs that focus on identifying, recruiting, and training emerging leaders, CPL Michigan is helping reshape the politics of the state.



Michigan Progressive Local Candidate and Campaign Manager Training  

Calling future progressive candidates and campaign managers!  This program is designed to help individuals develop the skills and resources they need to promote progressive change through local elected office.  


Through three comprehensive weekend-long trainings, this program provides the nuts and bolts of putting together a winning campaign for local office, as well as developing the leadership qualities necessary to advance progressive change effectively.  Through lecture, guest panels of elected officials, small group work, peer-partner work, and individual work, participants will learn about, discuss, and practice the following:

  • Communicating Your Vision & Values through storytelling
  • Peer Coaching
  • The Nuts & Bolts of Being an Elected Official
  • Issues Affecting Progressive Candidates
  • Campaign Planning - Preparing to Win and Staying on Track
  • Fundraising & Cultivating Donors
  • Campaign Financing
  • Message Development and Delivery
  • Voter Contact

Our Summer 2013 Local Candidate and Campaign Manager trainings will be held in Kalamazoo. The cost of this training is $300.00. Please direct any questions to Dessa Cosma-King,



Civic Engagement Academy


Calling all emerging leaders! Do you care about your community and want to know how to be most effective in making the changes you want to see a reality?  Do you have ideas and opinions you want to implement to make your neighborhood or city better?  Have you gotten a taste of the power of community organizing and political action through volunteering on a campaign, rallying, or protesting and want to do more?  If you are ready to take the plunge from wanting community change to making it happen, this is the program for you!


CPL has a comprehensive Civic Engagement Academy for progressive activists and organizers. Through 50 hours of training over 5 months, as well as Peer Coaching, Networking, and Community Engagement Projects, you can build a foundation of essential organizing and leadership skills that will help you shape your community and enhance your leadership by:

  • Developing a broader understanding of the political landscape in Michigan, including who holds power in your community, where your power comes from, and how to influence those with power.
  • Learning more about the issues and policies that most impact your communities, as well as how these intersect with other communities.
  • Deepening your awareness and improving your ability to collaborate across issues and communities.
  • Strengthening core leadership skills to engage more fully in organizing, advocacy, issue and electoral campaigns. 
  • Identifying long-term leadership goals and developing a clear plan to increase your political involvement.
  • Feeling empowered and equipped to take on a greater leadership role in your community.

Weekend Workshop Training Topics include:

  • Progressive Values, Inclusion in Leadership, Storytelling
  • Personal Strategic Planning and Peer Coaching
  • Michigan’s Political Landscape and Government 101
  • Methods of Change, Organizing for Power, and Legislative Processes
  • Messaging and Narratives
  • Collaborative Leadership, Sustainability, and Group Coaching

Our Summer 2013 Civic EngagementAcademy will be offered in Kalamazoo from July-November. Individuals from across the state are encouraged to apply. The cost of the full 5 month training, including lunch and materials, is just $200, though partial scholarships are available based on need. If you have any questions, please email: Dessa Cosma-King,




Michigan Political Leaders Fellowship - In 2009, a select group of promising state-wide leaders will spend 9-months participating in leadership coaching, group workshops, networking and mentoring.

Partnership Trainings - CPL Michigan is currently looking for partner organizations, communities and groups across the state who are looking to provide leadership training, resources and skills for their own members or staff.

  • If you are interested in working with CPL Michigan to develop a Partnership Training, please email us to discuss possible opportunities.

We also rely heavily on the support and help of leaders across the state. If you are interested in helping CPL in Michigan, there are a variety of ways you can get involved, including:

  • Nominate exciting leaders for CPL programs
  • Become a mentor or a trainer
  • Partner with CPL
  • Help spread the world about CPL MIchigan

If you are interested in getting involved with CPL Michigan or have any questions about our upcoming programs, email us at or call (248) 399-2053 .


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Progressive Impact


Download the "Progressive Impact: Seven Years of Center for Progressive Leadership in Michigan" by clicking here. This report was completed in December 2013 and examines the impact CPL has had on Michigan alumni.


Michigan Economic Justice Fellowship

Workshop I: February 23-24, 2014
Workshop II: March 30-31, 2014
Workshop III: May 25, 2014
Workshop IV: June 29, 2014
Workshop V: July 27, 2014
Workshop VI: August 24, 2014
Workshop VII: November 16, 2014


Deadline February 5, 2014 


Please check your calendars carefully.  Participants are expected to attend all training days.  In order to graduate, participants can have missed no more than one day.  



Meet the 2009 Michigan Political Leaders Fellows.



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The Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) educational organization. CPL does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, gender expression, or party affiliation. CPL does not lobby or support, endorse or oppose candidates for office. DHTML JavaScript Menu Courtesy of

Center for Progressive Leadership © 2012