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Building collective

power for change

Leadership Development program

We find, train, and develop leaders so they can move from spectators to actors in their own lives, advocating for their interests and engaging publicly with others to build collective power for change.

We live in a world of those who have power and those who do not have power.  But more often than not, those that think they do not have power, actually do!  Oftentimes, it’s just a matter of bringing them together and teaching them what power is, which for the Heartland Workers Center is simply the capacity to act and to act collectively.  

Our leadership development program consists of providing training and mentorship opportunities that support their personal development.  We build core teams of leaders who work together collectively to negotiate the actions they will take to address issues within their neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities.

We are currently developing core teams in the communities where we work, as well as youth leadership through our Young Nebraskans in Action (YNA) program and women’s leadership.

Saul Alinsky - The Iron Rule of Community Organizing

"The organization's team is active on the community and loves to work on the neighborhood and with community members"
Vicente Cruz

South Omaha Community Leader


The Women’s Leadership Development Program

The Women’s Leadership Development Program teaches skills that help individuals move from being spectators to actors, advocating for their interests, and publicly engaging with others to create collective power for change.

Our leadership development program provides mentoring and training opportunities on a variety of topics to support community members to promote, protect and defend their rights, and the rights of their families and communities.

The current data on participation in community organizing work carried out by HWC in Nebraska reflects that women participate in our programming at a 4:1 ratio to men (data from current HWC Core Teams). The significance of this data demonstrates the desire of women to raise their voices, assert their rights, and contribute to communities that work for everyone.

Despite these results, we consider that there is a gap to achieve their full empowerment and to go from being simple participants to being women who exercise power with the knowledge, skill, and leadership capacity necessary to positively impact the situations they want to improve in their community.

Specific objectives:

  • Create an environment of trust that allows empathy and alliances among the participants for their joint growth.

  • Promote spaces for emotional growth to balance self-esteem and confidence for active participation.

  • Implement different training and actions in relation to women’s roles in the understanding of power, self-interest, situational analysis of women's participation in public and private life, rights, and their limitations in the exercise of these topics.

  • Development of collective actions that allow learning through practice on how to organize time, talent, and money.

YNA Program

Young Nebraskans in Action (YNA) is a youth-led, civic engagement program that is based out of the Heartland Workers Center. Our goal is to promote, facilitate, and implement youth participation and leadership. YNA supports young leaders' efforts to create social change for themselves, their families, and their communities.

The focus of YNA is to develop young leaders across Nebraska to be engaged in public life. As students and workers, young Nebraskans now have the opportunity to organize themselves and work to create social change for themselves, their families, and their communities. Through our work with YNA students have taken action and used their voice and power at school, the Nebraska Legislature, work, and more to advocate for themselves, their family, friends, and communities. Our Young Leaders have also been active in the community with our Get Out the Vote efforts through The I Vote for My Family Campaign reaching out to voters across the State of Nebraska. 

Our overall objective is to continue to increase the leadership of young people by building a YNA network in high schools, colleges, universities, and more. This network shall be inclusive of all young people in Nebraska and focus on the issues that affect young people every day. HWC will provide young leaders with trainings on community organizing, workers’ rights, leadership, and civic engagement. The YNA network will work to develop youth led actions that will work to make Nebraska a better state for young people and to keep our brightest young leaders here. 

Leadership Trainings

Everyone is a leader with the capacity to act and transform their life and their community. These trainings provide information on fundamental leadership concepts, including the role of power, self-interest, leadership qualities and styles, relationship building and organizing, and how to run actions. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their individual leadership styles, and learn how to use stories and experiences to build collective power and create change.

Develop the leader inside you!
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