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Leadership Jacksonville Program

Overview: Leadership Jacksonville is a year-long program that brings together over 50 leaders throughout the Jacksonville community, to build relationships with other leaders and to better serve as an ethical community leader.

The LJ program analyzes major areas of community concern, provides opportunities for open dialogue between leaders with diverse perspectives, examines leadership styles and promotes a network of ethical community leaders committed to the greater good.

The program consists of two weekend retreats, one in August and one in May, and nine day-long programs. The Opening Retreat provides structured exercises that explore the dynamics of the urban society, leadership styles, and decision-making through group process. The program days provide information about the community, analyze critical program areas and issues, and provide opportunities for networking and leadership development. The Closing Retreat brings it all together with a focus on developing a vision and a personal leadership commitment.

All programs are planned and delivered by teams of LJ alumni under the guidance of the Leadership Development Team (LJ alumni with special expertise).,

Leadership Jacksonville has established itself as the ultimate space to learn about Jacksonville, construct robust developmental networks,
and do ‘the work’ needed to be a better Jacksonville.
– Dr. Rudy Jamison (LJ 2021)

Program dates: August – June
Program Fee: $4,900 (partial need-based scholarships available)

Tuition for the program covers only a partial amount of the actual expense. Fund raising covers the balance of the cost and limited partial scholarships are available.

Program Goals

  • Broaden participants’ perspective to deepen their understanding of the community.
  • Inform participants about Jacksonville’s assets and potential in critical areas.
  • Stimulate interest and encourage commitment of the participants in critical program areas and promote a team approach to resolving the community’s problems.
  • Enhance participants’ leadership capabilities.
  • Provide structured opportunities for participants through interaction to form a network for cooperative trusteeship.

Program Selection

The LJ program actively solicits applications from all sectors of the community. Selection for each year’s class is highly competitive. Criteria for selection include demonstrated leadership skills, active community involvement, and a willingness to invest the time and energy required by the program. A conscientious effort is made to select participants who will represent a cross-section of the community in terms of gender, race, age, income level and occupations. Classes are carefully balanced to represent the composition of the community.

A nomination provides staff and the selection committee with information necessary to contact a candidate and ask them to submit the required application. Individuals may apply directly without nomination.

Applications for the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2025 are now closed. 

complete application consists of:
1) submission of the online application
2) a nonrefundable $35 application fee payable to Leadership Jacksonville
3) submission of a 30 second video answering “What is your leadership ‘superpower’ and how does it benefit the community?”. Link and instructions will be sent via email upon completion of the online application. 

Only complete applications will be reviewed by the Selection Committee. It is advised that applicants begin the application well in advance of the deadline.
Do not submit letters of recommendation, resumes or any additional materials. Letters of recommendation or support are not accepted as part of the process. Each candidate must complete the entire online application process to be considered for an interview. 

Applications will not be accepted after this date and will reopen next year. 

LJ 2024 Calendar (2023-2024)

  • Opening Reception: Tuesday, June 6, 2023
  • Opening Dinner: Tuesday, August 1, 2023
  • MANDATORY Opening Retreat: Friday-Saturday, August 18-19, 2023
  • Program Days*:
    • September 21, 2023:  Leading From Within Day
    • October 19, 2023: Poverty Day
    • November 9, 2023: Justice Day
    • December 7, 2023: Education Day
    • January 18, 2024: Health Day
    • February 15, 2024: Leading With Equity Day
    • March 7, 2024: Economy, Growth and Preservation Day 1
    • April 4, 2024: Economy, Growth and Preservation Day 2
    • May 2, 2024: Arts and Culture Day
  • Closing Retreat: May 17-18, 2024

LJ 2025 Calendar (2024-2025)

  • Meet the Class Reception: Tuesday, June 4, 2024
  • Opening Dinner: July 30, 2024
  • MANDATORY Opening Retreat: August 15 – 16, 2024
  • Program Days:
    • September 19, 2024: Program Day
    • October 17, 2024: Program Day
    • November 14, 2024: Program Day
    • December 12, 2024: Program Day
    • January 9, 2025: Program Day
    • February 6, 2025: Program Day
    • March 6, 2025: Program Day
    • April 3, 2025: Program Day 
    • May 1, 2025: Program Day
  • Closing Retreat: May 15 – 16, 2025

*Dates and topics are subject to change.

“I have found Leadership Jacksonville, its programs, and the people it brings together to be one of the most stimulating opportunities for community involvement, connection, and outreach. I simply love LJ!”
– Dr. Barbara Darby, LJ 1993