Leadership Alabama is a statewide nonprofit organization that brings together each fall a class of 60-70 participants for four two-day retreats. The program objective is to present a series of issues-oriented forums based on the belief that knowledge is a key element and prime motivator of leadership. Class members visit communities across the state, and as they seek a mutual understanding of the state’s problems and priorities, they also seek to invent vital solutions to the challenges that define the future of Alabama. Educational programs present the many social, economic and governmental complexities associated with issues to stimulate inquiry, analysis and avenues for involvement. Some of the current issues challenging our state involve:
- Alabama’s Ecosystem & Coastal Environment
- Business, Economic & Workforce Development
- Civil Rights and Racial & Social Justice
- Politics & Government
- Quality Education
- Quality of Life
From the first weekend together at the Orientation Retreat to the graduation ceremony, members are informed, engaged and encouraged to make a difference in their own personal way.
Since its founding in 1990, approximately 1,500 leaders in Alabama have participated in the Leadership Alabama program. Members are selected based on their leadership abilities, career accomplishments, volunteer activities, contributions to the community and commitment to help shape a better Alabama. They do not necessarily share a common age, gender, lifestyle, career or hometown. However, they do share a vision of what Alabama can and must be as we navigate through the 21st century. And, they share the ability to lead our state to that visionary future.
As we continue to advance, progressive planning and administration of our public programs must become the challenge and responsibility of all private citizens. Our leaders in business, labor, education, nonprofit & volunteer organizations and agriculture from all segments of society must play a role if our state is to move forward. Leadership Alabama was founded to provide the network necessary to activate those citizens to fill these leadership roles.
As a nonpartisan organization, we measure our progress by the efforts of our individual members – qualified candidates who offer themselves for public office on the local, regional and state level; tireless visionary individuals who lead an initiative to a successful end despite numerous setbacks; and, volunteers who have a sincere concern about the future of Alabama and a personal commitment to help shape that future.
The tuition for the program year is $3,250, which includes all programs, speakers, materials and meals. Each member is responsible for travel and hotel expenses. Leadership Alabama is able to provide some financial assistance for tuition based upon need.
To graduate from Leadership Alabama, a participant is expected to attend all sessions. Even though emergencies do arise, any participant missing more than the equivalent of one session, for whatever reason, will be asked to withdraw. The orientation retreat in October is mandatory.
Class XXXI Retreat Dates
January 14-16, 2021 – Montgomery
March 11-13, 2021 – Mobile
May 13-15, 2021 – Huntsville
June 10-11, 2021 – Birmingham
Due to COVID restrictions, Class XXXI will be unable to convene in Montgomery in October, so the class will start in January, and continue till June.
In 1995, Leadership Alabama introduced the Alabama Leadership Initiative (ALI), a program for emerging leaders, to complement the existing leadership network and programs of Leadership Alabama. This two-day program brought together young leaders from across the state to participate in a microcosm of Leadership Alabama’s annual program. ALI has been a very successful program, with 60+ emerging leaders participating every year.
In 2017, in order to offer young professionals the opportunity to develop personal leadership skills and to establish ongoing relationships with other young leaders across the state, the Alabama Leadership Initiative was expanded to a six-month program comprised of three two-day retreats. ALI exposes participants to the decision makers in Alabama who are sensitive to the challenges we face as a state and provides the unique opportunity to step inside the circles of those who mold the future of our state.
The Alabama Leadership Initiative is statewide and focuses on three areas.
Class members connect with statewide experts in order to increase their knowledge of the issues impacting Alabama.
The Initiative provides a unique opportunity to bond with like-minded leaders from throughout the state.
- Personal Development
The programming includes leadership training in various areas, including public speaking, effective board involvement and political involvement.
Qualified applicants need to have shown leadership and commitment in a professional capacity and within their own communities. Each class is limited to 40 – 45 participants, and selection to participate in the program is dependent on the submitted applications.
Tuition for the program is $1,750, and there is scholarship assistance for those with financial need. An application for assistance is provided as part of the overall application process.
2020 – 2021 Program Year
Due to the ongoing COVID guidelines and concerns (furloughs, layoffs, unknowns about school calendars, the availability of young professionals, etc.), ALI Class IV has been postponed until the 2021-2022 program year. When nominations open next year, the maximum age (for 2021-2022 only) will be 41, not 40.
Nominations for ALI Class IV will open July 1, 2021