Community Equity Program

Experience political leadership from #CommunitytoCapitol

The Community Equity Program (CEP) is an immersive political leadership program that brings together Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) who want to get involved in Minnesota’s legislative policy and fight for change in their communities. Led by a BIPOC team, CEP provides participants with a 9-month cohort experience along with knowledge and tools to: advocate and advance state-level legislation, engage with policymakers, question existing systems of power, create space for dreaming, and ultimately, build community power and solidarity to advance justice at the Capitol. 

Note: this program does not explicitly focus on electoral politics or running for office (but can help you in the long run if you do!). The cost to join CEP is free and only requires time and commitment.

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Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort are now available. Apply online.


Join an info session to learn more: Friday, May 26, 1-2 p.m. and Wednesday, May 31, 4-5 p.m.


About the Community Equity Program

Community Equity Program's mission is to deepen engagement of BIPOC communities in the legislative process by building connections to people, communities, groups, and organizations that influence or enact public policy. 

      I always felt like my life was shaped and determined by decision makers. Being in this program has allowed me to step up and be part of the decision-making.


      Phillipe Cunningham, 2015 CEP Alum

      Apply to the Community Equity Program

      Applications for the 2023-2024 cohort are now available!

      Applications will be accepted from May 19-July 18. Read the application to learn more about the application process and schedule.

      Join an Info Session to Learn More

      Community Equity Program: 2023-2024 Cohort Virtual Info Session 2

      If you're interested in applying to the Community Equity Program for the 2023-2024 Cohort, join this virtual information session online!… More about this event »

      Introducing the Community Equity Crash Course, a new way to engage with the Community Equity Program 

      The Community Equity Crash Course is a five-week, intensive political and advocacy leadership program designed for BIPOC community members. The program equips participants with the necessary tools to engage meaningfully with the legislative process and ensure that Capitol policies reflect their needs and those of their community.

      The Community Equity Crash Course is a condensed version of Wilder's Community Equity Program, whose graduates have gone on to become legislators, mayors, campaign organizers, non-profit leaders, and powerful advocates. The Crash Course is ideal for individuals who cannot commit to the nine-month program required for the Community Equity Program and have minimal or intermediate experience in legislative advocacy. Applications for the Community Equity Crash Course will be available in a few weeks.

      If you or someone you know is interested, please email CEP@wilder.org to receive a link to the application and for answers to any inquiries.

      2023-2024 Community Equity Program Schedule

      Kick off: Friday, September 8 | 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday, September 9 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.(in-person) 

      2023-2024 CEP Sessions:

      • Friday, September 22 (in person)
      • Friday, October 6 & 20 (in person)
      • Friday, November 3 & 17 (in person)
      • Friday, December 1 (virtual) & 15 (in person)
      • Friday, January 5 (virtual) & 19 (in person)
      • Friday, February 2 & 16 (in person)
      • Friday, March 1 & 15 & 29 (in person)
      • Friday, April 12 & 26 (in person)
      • Friday, May 10 (in person

      Graduation: | May 17 | 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (in person)

      It’s a great learning experience to help anyone who wants to make change actually do it, and give them the confidence and the tools to actually do it.

      Lindberg Chambliss, 2021-2022 Community Equity Program Alum

      Meet the Changemakers of the Community Equity Program

      Congratulations BIPOC Leaders! 

      Get to know the members of the 2022-2023 CEP cohort.

      Meet the Public Policy Team

      Dan Buck

      Public Policy Associate Program Manager

      Michelle Koffa Dormoh

      Community Equity Program Manager

      Adrián Rafael Magaña

      Director of Public Policy & Community Relations

      Stories, Research & Impact

      Community Equity Pipeline 2018-2019 cohort participant Maria Isa Perez Hedges

      Artist, advocate, organizer, leader and Community Equity Program alumna María Isa is ready to run for the Minnesota State Legislature

      María Isa Pérez-Vega is well known in the Twin Cities as an actor, rapper, international recording artist, youth worker and cultural community organizer. This election season, you’ll see the lifelong Saint Paul resident in a new role: po...More about this story »