LeadershipClass Issues Initiative 2019-2020

A unique element of LeadershipClass is the execution of Issues Initiative projects performed by participant teams that positively impact the Fort Worth Community.

These carefully identified strategic projects allow all class members to gain in-depth knowledge about a specific community problem, to interact with those most involved with that issue and to connect their resources and networks to make a positive difference. 

Issues of concern in the community are identified in conjunction with the mayor and other content experts. Teams of (8-12 depending on class size) class members work together throughout the program year using a structured approach to develop solutions that will ultimately be presented to key community stakeholder audiences and the LFW Forum membership.


The goals of the LFW Issues Initiatives are to complete high-impact projects that:

  • Augment a local non-profit’s staffing with talented volunteer resources that help them address an issue that they could not otherwise tackle
  • Establish clear objectives and specific, tangible outcomes that will clearly benefit the community
  • Deliver solutions that are data-based (research component)
  • Engage external resources (sources from class member networks) in a meaningful way
  • Provide knowledge transfer of the solution, including key steps for sustainability, to the non-profit and its key stakeholders


What will be different in our community because of each Issues Initiative project?Is the plan realistic? Are the results tangible? Will the results stick?


Job Readiness for Trafficking Survivors

Challenge: Victims of trafficking and exploitation struggle to obtain gainful employment due to their educational background and criminal record.

Goal: Research shows that comprehensive programs [to trafficking victims] should include an economic empowerment component.

Deliverable: A trauma-informed job training and readiness program for women with a history of abuse, addiction, and interaction with the criminal justice system.

ARTS EDUCATION: Imagination Fort Worth 

Arts Exploration

Challenge: Gaps in funding available to provide a sustainable and replicable OST arts education program.

Goal: To provide a replicable and sustainable OST arts program for middle school youth in FWISD.

Deliverable:  Develop partner development/sustainability plan (and implement) to build brand, awareness and possible seek out funding partners

COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS: Texas Christian University 

Access to Higher Education

Challenge: While small, one-off programs/tours are available for 6-8 graders on local campuses, dedicated programs/staff are not available to create access for this age group on a consistent basis. Furthermore, more and more schools, community groups, and other programs are designed to introduce higher education to this population of students.

Goal: To create a collaborative access event with local colleges and universities that will introduce higher education to middle school students in the Fort Worth community.

Deliverable:  Design a collaborative event for FWISD middle school students that will take place twice a year (fall and spring) that introduces them to local colleges/universities and higher education.

JUSTICE/MENTAL HEALTH: Guardianship Services, Inc.

De-criminalizing Mental Illness

Challenge:  Tarrant County currently lacks the infrastructure and programming to divert people with mental illnesses from jail to treatment

Goal:  Research and identify best practices for diversion programs in counties in Texas and beyond

Deliverable:  Conduct a guided study on best practices in decriminalizing mental illness in counties in Texas and beyond

COMMUNITY TRUSTEESHIP (Race and Culture, Justice, Economic Development: Office of Tarrant County Commissioner, Pct.2

Census 2020 Awareness Campaign

Challenge:  The State of Texas has experienced massive population growth over the last decade, however state funding has not been granted to support the 2020 Census. Undercounting can result in lack of federal funding and other resources

Goal:  Create awareness of the critical ways an accurate count in 2020 will support economic, civic, education, transportation, and other areas development

Deliverable:  Create and launch a Census 2020 marketing campaign that increases awareness for residents and other stakeholder groups


Early Childhood Education

Challenge:  Raising awareness within the business community on the importance and impact of early childhood education

Goal:  Localize and personalize a business case on why childcare & early education matters.

Deliverable:  Media campaign

Create a packet on why childcare & early education matter

Create business and community advocates to be part of the discussion of why childcare & early education matter to our community

To learn more about our LeadershipClass program, please visit.