September 19-22, 2019 | Spindrift Cove | Carmel, CA

“My soul has grown deep like the rivers.” - Langston Hughes


What is the Just Leadership Institute (JLI)?

Deep rivers played a role in maintaining slavery, often existing as a physical barrier to enslaved people’s freedom. But as Hughes teaches us, they also describe a soul that is shaped by the Divine in the face of hardship. At the Just Leadership Institute for Emerging Leaders, we seek to broaden our awareness of the many deep rivers in our current society that continue to act as barriers to our freedom, while also deepening our connection to healing and to the Divine.

Convening on Carmel, California’s majestic beaches and limited to just 10 participants of African descent, this intimate learning experience will transform your leadership. Integrating principles and practices from social psychology, leadership science and personal development, participants will be guided in

  • reflecting on and honoring their experiences as emerging leaders of color seeking to practice justice

  • learning deepening and restorative practices that will support their justice leadership for the long haul

  • expanding their understanding of the complexities of social justice practice

  • identifying the justice pathways in their context

Who should participate?

JLI for Emerging Leaders is open to people of African descent who were born after January 1, 1980.


$0 (no, that is not a typo… it’s FREE) which includes tuition, deepening practices and training, lodging, and all meals. You will be asked to provide your own transportation to and from the event.

JLI for Emerging Leaders is made possible by generous contributions from people of all cultural backgrounds. If you’d like to support this vital work, you may do so here.

Our Speakers


Christena Cleveland, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and activist. Committed to leading both in scholarly settings and in the public square, Christena writes regularly, speaks widely, and consults with organizations across the globe. Christena has held faculty positions at several institutions of higher education — most recently at Duke University’s Divinity School, where she led a research team investigating self-compassion as a buffer to racial stress. She is currently working on her third book which examines the relationship among race, gender, and cultural perceptions of the Divine.


Zakiya Jackson loves to help people grow, heal and transform in their pursuit of justice and equity. Working in public schools, non-profits, and corporations for over 15 years, Zakiya believes in addressing systemic problems individually and corporately. She started her career as a preschool teacher and social worker, went on to get her MBA and now works to engage faith communities in political advocacy and community development. Zakiya also writes, speaks, and consults in the intersections of spiritual formation, racial justice, and African American culture. Her essay, "Responding to the War on Black Bodies" was published in Leaven, Pepperdine University's academic journal on Christian ministry. Based in Washington DC, Zakiya loves her community and is living her best life.

Apply today!
Applications are being accepted through March 31, 2019. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application in mid-April.