Transformative Leadership for Change nurtures the sustainability, solidarity and radical visions of BIPOC movement leaders in Colorado


The Transformative Leadership for Change has a vision of strong, richly diverse, talented and passionate leaders that emerge, develop, continually grow and thrive, and, together build power with communities of color in Colorado.


  1. Build a diverse peer network of leaders of color committed to building power in Colorado who have high-level personal and organizational capacities as well as the strategic mindsets to collectively advance major social change in the state.
  2. Identify the culture and conditions in the Colorado progressive ecosystem that support or inhibit the success of leaders of color. Encourage leaders to experiment with collective action that could change the landscape, including creating a community of mutual support.

To accomplish these goals we will:

  • Identify and support emerging and current people of color leaders
  • Encourage strong ally-ship and relationships among diverse leaders
  • Increase representation of people of color in leadership positions throughout the movement

Our Beginnings

Seven progressive organizations in Colorado that build power with low-income people and communities of color came together to create a new state-wide transformative leadership development program for leaders of color. It supports their development, build community, and ensures the state ecosystem enables their leadership.

This group spent more than a year grappling with the challenge, while building their relationships and deepening an understanding of what is missing in the leadership landscape in Colorado. The program was developed by a design team of connected leaders with a sharp analysis of structural barriers to success and an increased network of support.

Through 2015-2016, the Design Team’s research and experimentation phase was supported by the General Service Foundation and an expert consultant to anchor the Team’s learning and design process. In Spring 2017, the Design Team, with support of national consultants, developed a prototype of the TLC program informed by the research and experimentation phase. Other local and national funders have been a part of the development phase and will continue to play an important role with the fellowship as it grows.

Guiding Principles:

  1. Build relationships of trust & understanding among leaders that can endure outside the program,  withstand losses, external pressure & conflict.
  2. Understand that in order for the progressive community to successfully advance our goals we must focus first on supporting leaders of color & organizing within communities of color.
  3. Believe that all leaders and funders must respond to the call of people of color leaders in order to create an ecosystem that values & supports their authentic leadership and the organizations they build.
  4. Seek to center the experiences and needs of leaders of color throughout our efforts.
  5. Focus on our shared fate and common purpose and avoid an “us versus them” mentality.
  6. Be transparent & honest about dynamics of race, power and privilege and explore together how we can both navigate and change the dynamics that undermine our shared success.
  7. Build a supportive & safe space where leaders can share, learn and grow.
  8. Recognize & honor the different styles of leadership and the different organizational
  9. Balance our needs as individual leaders, as organizational leaders, and as movement leaders.
  10. Identifying challenges in the ecosystem and actively exploring possible solutions.
  11. We seek to leverage resources and investments that support the development and sustainability of Colorado’s progressive leadership, especially among people of color leaders.
  12. We will co-create this program with leaders directly participating in the program itself.
  13. Supporting leaders in key positions, and developing the pipeline of leaders who can grow into executive or senior leadership roles into the future.

Why is this important?

We are not alone in our mission to help support leaders of color and community. Read more about the importance of this work.

The Transformative Leadership for Change Fellowship (TLC) emerged as Executive Directors in Colorado recognized the need for deeper support and community for Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leaders. TLC was founded to fill this leadership gap in the state.

Our Leadership includes:

  • Neha Mahajan, Transformative Leadership for Change
  • Carla Castedo, Mi Familia Vota Colorado
  • Lizeth Chacon, Colorado People’s Alliance
  • Felicia Griffin, Partnership for Working Families
Meet the Leadership