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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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 will open summer 2023.

      The 2022-2023 cohort has begun and applications are no longer being accepted. Please check back in summer 2023 for the next round of applications. Thank you!

      2022-2023 Community Equity Program Schedule

      Kickoff: Wednesday, September 14 | 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. (in-person)

      2022-2023 CEP Sessions:

      • Friday, September 23 
      • Friday, October 7 & 21 
      • Friday, November 4 & 18 
      • Friday, December 2 & 16 
      • Friday, January 6 (in-person) & 20 
      • Friday, February 3 & 17 
      • Friday, March 3 & 17 (in-person) & 31
      • Friday, April 14 & 28 (in-person)
      • Friday, May 12

      I thought, ‘Well, if I’m not going to be in the Legislature, I’d still like to engage it.’ That’s really what drew me to the program.

      Linda Garrett-Johnson, 2018-2019 CEP Alum

      Meet the Changemakers of the Community Equity Program

      Congratulations BIPOC Leaders! 

      Get to know the 2022-2023 CEP cohort who just started their leadership journey.

      Meet the Public Policy Team

      Michelle Koffa Dormoh

      Community Equity Program Manager

      Adrián Rafael Magaña

      Director of Public Policy & Community Relations

      Stories, Research & Impact

      Lindberg Chambliss

      Community Equity Program Helps Lindberg Chambliss Advocate for Anti-Racist Education

      Lindberg Chambliss moved to Minneapolis in October 2020, intent on helping drive positive change after the murder of George Floyd. Lindberg, who had previously lived in Minneapolis, was exploring ways to support anti-racist education whe...More about this story »

      Priscilla Villa-Watt, Wilder Community Equity Program participant 2020-2021

      Priscilla Villa-Watt Used the Community Equity Program to Enhance her Public Policy Skills While Building a Community

      After working to strengthen environmental protections in Texas, Priscilla Villa-Watt moved to Minnesota in 2019 to become the advocacy and public policy manager for Eureka Recycling, a nonprofit zero waste organization and social enterpr...More about this story »

      Triasia Givens, graduate of Community Equity Program

      Community Equity Program Alum Triasia Givens Advocates for Education

      Triasia Givens joined Wilder’s Community Equity Program in fall 2019 because she wanted to join with others to create change in the community. Triasia is the co-chair of the Black Parents Advisory Council of Minneapolis Public Schools an...More about this story »

      Linda Garrett-Johnson, a graduate of Community Equity Program at Wilder

      Community Equity Program Gives Experienced Leader Linda Garrett-Johnson a Deeper Understanding of the Legislative Process

      With more than 25 years of experience advocating for public policy changes, Linda Garrett-Johnson knows how to read a bill. Even with her experience, Wilder’s Community Equity Program helped Linda deepen her knowledge of the Minnesota le...More about this story »