Graduate Spotlight

Indigo Bishop

Indigo Bishop (Cohort VI) has been an engaged community activist and organizer for many years.  Her community work has been grounded in wealth building circles, racial justice facilitation, listening campaigns, community art creation, community development revisioning, and cultivating the power that rests in the hands of the people.

Currently Indigo is involved as a facilitator for The Bridge that Bridges Project, which is a collaboration of residents in the Central neighborhood led by NLDP Graduates: Gwendolyn Garth, Kaela Geschke and Indigo.  This project dives deep into discussions around race, and works to creative art and solutions that connect and overcome through the process of creating a community mural on E 22nd St.

Indigo also works hard to support 'out of the box' neighborhood visionaries in funding their projects through the crowd-sourcing platform, ioby.  Her position with ioby is supported by St. Luke's Foundation and is considered to be the premier platform for first time fundraisers, as it works to leverage social networks and make change on a street by street level powered by the social and financial capital of the people who are most effected by the project.  

If you've got a project you want to get off the ground, send Indigo your ideas at or give her a call at 216-930-4030.

Be the change you want to see in the world!



August 1st, 5 pm: 
C ohort X Application Deadline

August 25th, 6-8 pm:
Cohort X Launch

August 27th, 8:30 am - 3 pm:
Cohort X begins

September 17th, 8:30 am -3 pm:
Capacity Building Workshop 

November 10th, 6 - 8 pm:
Fireside Chat

Thursday, August 25th at 6 pm
at Trinity Commons.

When the next cohort has been selected for Cohort X, NLDP will be hosting a Launch event to welcome new, and connect with the old of the NLDP Network.

We hope you can make it!

"If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."
-Lila Watson & Aboriginal activists

Community Organizing 
Capacity Building Session

We are looking forward to this year's Capacity Building Workshop where we will be partnering with Ohio Organizing Collaborative to dive deep into tools for Community Organizing.

Whether it is team building, growing community power, or telling your story, there will surely be something for everyone to gain.

The workshop will be on Saturday, September 17 from 8:30 am - 3 pm at Trinity Commons.  

More details to follow in coming months...


Did you know that majority of our graduates are collaborating in some way - big and small - with other NLDP Graduates...

Imani Allen (Cohort IV), Verna Darby (Cohort VIII), &
Christin Farmer (Cohort VI)
were all working as community doulas in their neighborhoods to support mothers, families, and babies, when they found each other!  They have since formed a solid team with two additional women to uplift communities through babies through their organization Birthing Beautiful Communities.

Diane Morgan (Cohort V) and Gordon Martin (Cohort I) are consistent collaborators with their community work and  Neighbor Up!

Kaela Geschke (Cohort VIII), Gwendolyn Garth (Cohort VI), and Indigo Bishop (Cohort VI) have teamed up for The   Bridge that Bridges Project, where they work together to talk about race, and make art together, resulting in a community mural in Central.  Support their efforts through their upcoming crowdfunding campaign.

Are you working together with other NLDP Graduates? 
Let us know! 
Please, contact Diana at 
or 216-667-6170 
& share your story!

Access  the NLDP Graduate Network here.


Open Mic


Neighborhood Leadership Development Program works with these important community organizations to help improve the neighborhoods of Cleveland.

We want to show a special appreciation to our Best Friends Forever (BFF) Award Winners, who have always gone above and beyond the call of duty in collaborating as community partners!

Thank you Melvina Blair
of Trinity Commons! 
And Dr. Charleyse Pratt of Cleveland State University!

Want to contribute to the 
next edition of The Change Agent?

Contact Diana Sette,  Graduate Support Manager at for more info.
Searching For Neighborhood Pearls
Have you ever searched for pearls.  No?  I haven't either... at least not near the ocean.  I have searched for neighborhood pearls though, and they are very similar to the ones worn around a person's neck.

Neighborhood pearls are rare, unique individuals who are beautiful in their sheer devotion and determination to build a better Cleveland one neighborhood at a time.  I'm proud to say that after nine years the Neighborhood Leadership Development Program has found 166 neighborhood pearls and trained them to be better more effective leaders.  Now, we're out searching for twenty more neighborhood pearls in order to build NLDP Cohort X.

This is a mission shared by the NLDP staff, the program's graduates and leaders throughout Cleveland and its inner ring suburbs who all share an intense desire to rebuild all of the neighborhoods of Cleveland.  It's a mission that if accomplished we'll share in the success.

So... I've got my bucket, pearl rake and a big handful of NLDP tri-folds... on my way out again.  Join us in our search for those wonderful neighborhood pearls.  They're out there waiting to be found and tapped on the shoulder and invited in to a network of other neighborhood pearls, hard at work, rebuilding Cleveland... one neighborhood at a time.   

AUGUST 1st by 5 pm.

Applications available at

Reunion Recap

On Friday, June 10th, many members of the NLDP Graduate Network gathered at Viva Dance Studio to catch up, connect, dance and eat.  Lots of smiling faces on the dance floor, and many new connections were made.

Looking forward to our next gathering!
We are family!


New Jobs!

Christen DuVernay (Cohort IX) 
Director of Look Up to Cleveland, Cleveland Leadership Center


Special Congratulations to...

Barbara Anderson (Cohort IV) for being awarded the Inez Tillman Killingsworth Community Leadership Award.

Gwendolyn Garth (Cohort VI) for her appointment to the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Board of Trustees.

Albert Najieb (Cohort 7) for his acceptance into the Cleveland FBI Citizens Academy of Cleveland.

Petrina Patterson (Cohort VIII) for being awarded the 2015 Diversity Honoree Awardee, University Hospitals & 2015 Shero Award, Western Reserve Selection National Council of Negro Women, Inc.


Called your coach lately?
Not sure who your coach is or how to connect?  
Looking to connect with someone new?

All strong leaders have support...
Get the support you deserve and need!

Contact Diana now at 216-776-6170 or
to get connected with a coach.  

All Graduates receive 2 free coaching sessions a year.

Jeremy's 3 Bean 3 Pepper Vegan Chili:

This recipe will feed 4-6 people.

Materials needed:  
4.5 quart, stove top pot or crock pot

1 can (12 ounce) tomato sauce
1 jar black bean and corn salsa
1 can (15 ounce) black beans
1 can (15 ounce) kidney beans
1 can (15 ounce) pinto beans
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 green bell pepper
1/2 jar of jalapeƱos  (fresh can be substituted)
1/8 chopped onion
2 pinches turmeric
2 pinches pepper flakes
1 pinch onion powder
1 pinch parsley
1 pinch paprika
1 pinch cinnamon
1 ounce chipotle BBQ sauce
Several squirts of siracha sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Handful of of Lisanatti Foods Vegan almond cheddar cheese


Step 1: Add beans, salsa, and tomato sauce to pot.

Step 2: Chop bell peppers and onion to preference and add them to the mix.

Step 3: Add jalapeƱos to the mix.

Step 4: Add spices and sauces.

Step 5: Iniate heat and mix thoroughly.

Step 6: Allow to simmer on low heat for an hour mixing thoroughly along the way, or throw the mix into a crock pot and let it sit for the day.

Step 7: Serve with your favorite vegan cheese and crackers.

Step 8: Enjoy all of the vegan noms!!!

Thanks Jeremy (Cohort IX)!


From One Of Our Community Collaborators....
Are you a young p rofessional working or volunteering in a Cleveland non-profit? Check out YNPN!

The Cleveland chapter of the Young Non-Profit Professionals Network was established in 2009.  It is the work of a small group of area young professionals dedicated to supporting and improving Cleveland's nonprofit community. After a successful launch event that brought together young professionals from every corner of the nonprofit sector, YNPN Cleveland has continued to grow and attract the interest of the Cleveland nonprofit community at-large.
Our mission is to cultivate and advocate for a community of connected, engaged, and passionate emerging nonprofit leaders. Our work is driven by the values of engagement, community, collaboration, transparency, and leadership. We build our community by connecting our members to training and resources provided by both our chapter as well as our organizational partners, opportunities for hands on learning through chapter leadership, and networking opportunities with both emerging and established professionals in the non-profit sector.
YNPN Cleveland introduced a membership model in 2013, with a modest price tag of only $25 for an annual membership. The annual membership provides opportunities for free or reduced priced professional development opportunities and networking experiences. In the next several months, that price tag will also include a membership to our national organization, the Young Non-Profit Professionals Network.
Becoming a member of a national organization has many great perks for YP's, including nationwide visibility if they relocate their career. Additionally, our national affiliation is positioning YNPN Cleveland to become a stronger, more organized local chapter with ample resources to support incoming members.
Looking for ways to connect with YNPN Cleveland? Check out our website for the latest upcoming events, networking opportunities, and professional development workshops. Apply to our 'Ambassador Program' to become a dedicated volunteer and committee member for our chapter. Consider a higher level of engagement by applying for our Board of Directors, where you can gain outstanding experience serving on a board and participating in upper level programming and strategic planning.
We want to hear from you! For more information on YNPN Cleveland, email or visit our website at

Is a Program of The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.