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Kathleen S. Mullins Emerging Leadership Program


About the Program

The program purpose is two-fold: to develop youth leadership in humanities, and to develop the young talent base of Michigan. Leadership skills through humanities are essential to the well-being of our workforce and communities. Data shows that more tech companies are hiring humanities graduates because of their skills: being able to write and verbalize well, communicate with teams, understand other cultures, and solve problems. We believe young leaders will be instrumental in our vision of having Michigan people experience and understand the importance of humanities to enrich their lives. The program supports the work of Michigan’s workforce and philanthropic communities.

Michigan Humanities Board and Staff seeks to fill this gap with a program called the Kathleen S. Mullins Emerging Leaders Program.  This program was named after the late Kathleen Mullins, our Emeritus Board Chair who championed humanities leadership in Michigan.  This program will pilot five sites to develop the art of reflective conversation with youth leaders, and build a humanities based community discussion at each site.  Each of the five groups will meet for a summit in the fall of 2021 to provide feedback on building youth leadership in humanities and showcase conversation projects.

Participating students will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead a humanities discussion around critical topics in today’s society, including, but not limited to:

    • Civility
    • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • Reflecting on US Founding documents and democracy
    • Community history

How to Host a Pilot Project

Michigan Humanities invites non-profit organizations that work with youth to apply. 

Eligible applicants will:

  • Be a non-profit organization with a mission of serving youth with an identified group of diverse students ages 15-22 who have leadership potential. As this program is intended to build capacity, these youth should not already hold leadership roles within the college or their communities.
  • Provide the meeting room and mentor support for the Emerging Leaders group to meet and hold a Community Conversation
  • Work within guidelines to hold regular meetings and a Community Conversation
  • Prepare reports and short reflections on the project as required by Michigan Humanities
  • Engage the identified leadership group in Michigan Humanities Community Conversation training
  • Agree to host a Community Conversation
  • Ensure Emerging Leaders participate in the Summit to be held in January 2022.

How the Applicants will Benefit from Hosting a Pilot Project

Program Partners

  • The Emerging Leaders Program offers a unique and innovative opportunity to engage young people in the art of community conversations.
  • The training is professionally developed and best practice among humanities leaders across the country.
  • Grants of $2,500, fully funded training, and travel costs will be awarded to five sites
  • Access to a statewide network of humanities leaders to guide and shape the projects
  • Publicity and statewide coverage about the projects
  • Participation for Emerging Leader Students to participate in a statewide summit, shaping future Emerging Leaders Programming
  • Opportunities for additional humanities funding
  • Technical assistance for completing the online grant application

Questions?  Please call Jennifer Rupp, Chief Impact Officer at 517-372-7770 or