Creating conversational communities that drive change

New Leaders Week Application

SEED New Leaders Week and COVID-19: SEED is monitoring the current COVID-19 threat closely. At this time, we intend to conduct our 2020 SEED New Leaders Weeks on the dates currently listed. Should a postponement become necessary, we will roll over to 2021 those who were admitted and paid their deposit (or full fee) for the 2020 cohort. Unless we inform you otherwise, however, our current refund and deferral policy remains in effect. We encourage you to proceed with submitting your applications. Please know that we will remain in regular contact with you as we plan for the summer.

Thank you for your interest in applying to SEED New Leaders Week (NLW) and the 2020-21 SEED Project Year! Please read this page carefully before you begin your application. This is a multistep process that will involve several people and which we anticipate will take a week or more to complete before submission. The application link is at the bottom of this page.

Our 2020 New Leaders Weeks will be:

  • July 5-11, Marin County, CA
  • July 27-Aug 2, Seattle, WA - Please note that this is a change from the previously announced date that you may have seen. We apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Aug 10-16, Seattle, WA

Frequently Asked Questions

Refunds, Switching Participants, Deferrals

Step 1

To begin, please take some time to familiarize yourself with what the National SEED Project is and to identify whether or not you feel SEED is appropriate for yourself and your institution, organization, or community. You can do this by reading about SEED and New Leaders Week here on our website, contacting us to request a conversation, participating in a local SEED seminar, or speaking at length with someone who has participated in or led a SEED seminar. As you do so, please consider: 

  • 2015 smallgroupDoes your institution, organization, or community have capacity (space, time, and resources) to host a SEED seminar?
  • Are there enough people (we advise 15-25 participants and a minimum of 8) who are interested in and able to engage in at least 25 hours of SEED seminars across the year?
  • Do you have institutional (including financial) support from your leadership to host a SEED seminar? (And even if you are part of the leadership structure, do you have support from other leaders as well?)
  • How many SEED seminar groups will your institution, organization or community host? How many SEED leaders will you need to facilitate your anticipated number of seminar groups (we recommend one facilitator for every 10-15 participants)?

 In your application, you and a supervising/fellow administrator will be asked to share your vision of SEED in your setting.

Step 2

Next, please download a Word copy of the essay questions in our application to understand what New Leaders Week entails and what it requires of participants. Please do not submit the Word doc to SEED; it is for your informational and drafting purposes only.

In particular, please pay attention to our checklist of statements about your commitments to SEED and NLW at the beginning of the application. Many past participants have reported that SEED NLW is one of the best or most important professional development trainings that they have attended, and many of those same people have reported that SEED NLW is one of the most challenging and exhausting trainings that they have attended. Please consider:

  • Do you have the capacity this summer to attend a residential, immersive, intensive training?
  • Are you ready to share and learn about yourself, your identities, and your experiences and to work with others to do the same in the hopes of moving toward social justice?As you prepare your answers, please consider that in reviewing applications and forming our New Leaders Week cohorts we have several intentions:
  • If accepted, what would you need to do to prepare and care for yourself during your NLW experience?
  • Do you have the people and resources you need in your personal and professional life to support you attending NLW?

As you prepare your answers, please consider that in reviewing applications and forming our New Leaders Week cohorts we have several intentions:

  • We first consider whether or not we believe the applicant and sponsoring organization understand what SEED is and whether or not they have the capacity to host and learn how to facilitate a seminar; 
  • We next name the intention that all of our participants can see mirrors of themselves in other staff and participants based on their occupational roles and types of organizations as well as by the identities that we take up across the week. These include but are not limited to: gender identity, sexual identity, racial identity, socioeconomic identity, age identity, and physical, socioemotional, and cognitive identities. 
  • Finally, we consider the overall balance of our cohorts, which we create with the intention of having as many identities represented as possible. That is, there is no social identity whose representation we prohibit in our cohort. 
  • We review applications on a rolling basis with these three criteria in mind, and at each decision point we will choose whether to accept an applicant, reject an applicant for not completing the application or not indicating their own and their organization’s capacity to host a SEED seminar, or defer our decision based on the evolving formation of our cohorts and staff teams. Additionally, we may defer applicants to future cohorts because of needed work by the applicant before training as a facilitator or organization before hosting a SEED seminar. 
  • If you do not agree with our decisions at any time point, please contact us to let us know. We are willing to engage with you to seek a resolution that meets both of our needs.

Again, as part of your application process, you and a supervising/fellow administrator will be asked to share about your capacity to attend NLW and to lead a SEED seminar. If you have questions regarding SEED or NLW or our application process please contact us.

SEED takes self-reflection and being in conversation with others very seriously. Toward this end, we strongly recommend that you use your downloaded Word document to craft and revisit your answers before you begin the online application.

The online application has two required sections and one optional section:

  • Part 1: New Leaders Application: Applicant completes at the link below.
  • Part 2: Administrative Support Form: Administrator completes on behalf of applicant. Administrators applying to NLW may not complete this portion for themselves. The administrator you name in your application will be sent a link via email to do this once you have completed the New Leaders Application.
  • Part 3: Optional Scholarship Section: If you are seeking a scholarship, the administrator must complete the scholarship section at the end of the Administrative Support Form. (See criteria/details about scholarships below.)

Parts 1 and 2 must be submitted for application to be considered complete. SEED will not review your application until both Parts 1 and 2 are submitted.

Step 3

When you are ready to submit your application answers online, please complete all pages of the form at the "Complete Application" link below. When you click "Submit" at the end, the system will send an email to your chosen administrator and request that they complete their parts of the application, the Administrative Support Form and (optionally) the Scholarship Section. Note that your answers are not shared with each other.

You will not be able to save your application part way through and return to it. Again, we strongly recommend that you compose your essay answers in advance in the Word doc, spending several days on them. You can then copy and paste your answers into the online application form. Please do not submit the Word doc to SEED; it is for your informational and drafting purposes only.

The final application due date is April 30, 2020. Last year, we filled all spaces before the deadline, so we encourage you to submit all materials well in advance of that date.

 After You Apply

 We will review and accept applications on a rolling basis with the following review dates:

  • January 1, 2020
  • February 1, 2020
  • February 14, 2020
  • March 1, 2020
  • March 15, 2020 and then on a weekly basis until our April 30 deadline.

You will hear from us approximately two to three weeks after the review date following submission of both your application and your Administrative Support Form.

Should you be accepted, you will be expected to attend one of three similarly structured SEED New Leaders Weeks. Your application indicates the location and date of the week you want to attend. We will announce the 2020 dates shortly.

Upon completion of your New Leaders Week, you will design, coordinate, and facilitate an ongoing SEED seminar in your institution, organization, or community. We expect SEED seminars to be at least 8 (and preferably 15-25) colleagues meeting on a regular schedule for at least 90 minutes a session for a total of at least 25 hours over a period of no fewer than 10 weeks and no more than 24 months. SEED New Leaders Week prepares you to lead this seminar.


The costs for SEED participation in 2020 are:

  • $4,800 per seminar leader, excluding travel and including room and board and all supplies during New Leaders Week. Applicant spaces will not be reserved until all application and support forms are accepted and approved by SEED and a $1000 deposit is submitted to SEED for each accepted applicant. The entirety of the payment can be made then, or else the second portion of the payment is due four weeks following the end of the applicant's/applicants' New Leaders Week. (Please note that you may apply to SEED for up to $3,600 in scholarship toward these costs.) This $4,800 SEED fee covers:
    • Tuition, all materials, meals, and lodging (double occupancy rooms) while the leader is at New Leaders Week. (A limited number of single rooms are available for an additional $500 and will be offered based on participant need.)
    • A year-long professional development opportunity for 15-25 colleagues in your institution,organization, or community, led by your newly trained SEED leader
    • Ongoing assistance from SEED co-directors, SEED staff, and other experienced SEED leaders for leading SEED seminars
    • Access to SEED leaders-only resources and online community
    • Print and digital media resources for adults and youth
    • Regional networks for SEED leaders

Please note our policy on Refunds, Switching Participants, and Deferrals

  • Schools and sponsoring sites are asked to provide an additional $500 per seminar for books, handouts, materials, and food, to be provided directly to the seminar leader(s) (not to SEED) and handled locally.
    • SEED expects institutions and organizations to support the year-long SEED seminar and seminar leader(s), through strong verbal endorsement from administration, and through material support, such as funds to purchase books and DVDs for the seminar (which can start an equity library onsite), access to copy machines and printers, time during all-faculty/all-staff meetings for SEED, and backing to ensure seminars have a regular meeting place and nourishing food.
  • Travel costs to/from New Leaders Week, including but not limited to airfare, ground transportation, meals while traveling, baggage fees, and additional nights lodging are not covered or arranged by SEED.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If You Are Seeking a Scholarship

SEED is committed to partnering with communities, organizations, and institutions who demographically reflect our broader world. Toward this end, SEED has always worked to provide scholarships through grant writing and fundraising on our own and with partner sites in order to support both diversifying our cohorts and ensuring that those further from social justice are able to attend. We are working to be more open about our scholarship process to further this goal. For instance, all public schools are automatically eligible for a $1,200 scholarship as are non-profit organizations with annual budgets under $250,000. Please note that all communities, organizations, and institutions are welcome to apply for scholarships, and we do grant scholarships of different sizes.

The scholarship portion of the Administrative Support Form must be completed by someone authorized to approve and receive funding and to support all aspects of the SEED seminar, including finances, logistics, and promotion of equitable education in the proposed SEED site. We must receive the scholarship portion and the full Administrative Support Form from the administrator, as well as a completed New Leaders Application from each person who wishes to become a SEED leader.

The basic criteria for scholarships are:

  1. The partner site's capacity and commitment to host a SEED seminar for at least two years following receipt of the scholarship.
  2. The partner site's commitment that if the SEED seminar does not occur, the partner will owe the total amount of the scholarship to the National SEED Project.
  3. Scholarships will be awarded based on demonstrated financial need, diversity in terms of marginalized populations, and public mission of the site.

We anticipate that scholarships will range from $500 to $3,600.


— Cheryl Robinson, Supervisor, Office of Minority Achievement, Arlington Public Schools, Virginia

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