The St. Cloud-based Jugaad Leadership Program is opening its doors to west-central Minnesota and beyond for 2021.

Aimed at Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in greater Minnesota, the annual program trains people to become effective leaders in central Minnesota. Like many programs, it has moved online and is now able to extend it geographic reach.

The seven-month training course meets one Saturday per month in March through August with a graduation ceremony in September. Session topics include developing leadership and organization skills; strengthening communication skills; leveraging community assets and resources; and strategic thinking and planning.

Participants come from diverse cultures and backgrounds, learn how to seek placement on boards and commissions, and find internship and employment opportunities. Upon graduation, participants have the opportunity to be matched with mentors in the business community.

“Any professional from an underrepresented community that has a desire to grow their leadership skills and make positive social change in their community would be a great candidate for the Jugaad Leadership Program,” said Eunice Adjei, chair of the Jugaad Leadership Program Advisory Team. “We’re excited to see who will make up our 2021 class of changemakers in central Minnesota.”

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Application are available at jugaadlp.org/apply and due Friday, Jan. 29. Businesses and organizations may nominate program participants. Those selected will be notified in February.

The Jugaad Leadership Program was developed in 2015; its name is a Hindi and Punjabi word that means “innovation.” Supporters include CentraCare Health, Central Minnesota Community Foundation and the Initiative Foundation. For more information, visit jugaadlp.org.