This June saw huge gains for equality, healthcare, and social justice.

The Supreme Court sent a strong message that all people are free to commit to those they love, that health care is not a luxury, and that housing needs to be fair; we saw Americans reject the symbols of racial divide with demands to remove Confederate flags from public buildings.

Yet, in the midst of these great events, we cannot forget the recent brutalities on our streets and in our churches. And we cannot deny that Conservatives will try to reverse our progress. We still have much work ahead of us.

“Whatever solutions we find will necessarily be incomplete. But it would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allow ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again…To settle for symbolic gestures without following up with the hard work of more lasting change, that’s how we lose our way again.” – President Obama, remarks in the eulogy for Rev. Pinckney

I agree with the President; we cannot let up the fight for progress, freedom, and security. NLC continues to do our part finding answers to our nation’s problems, developing strategies for maintaining our momentum, and looking toward the future and building the progressive movement.

NLC’s work depends on your involvement. Be sure to join us at an upcoming event (see below) and spread the word about the NLC Institute—which cultivates and supports the leaders who continue to work for positive social change.

Retreat – Washington D.C.  July 23-25
There’s not much time left to register for the NLC National Leadership Retreat. More than 250 leaders from over 25 states will gather to talk share their strategies for the coming year and help reinforce our progress.   

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Scenes from last year's retreat, in Sacramento CA

Registration closes on July 19, but if you want to attend the policy sessions at The White House, you will need to register by July 12.

The retreat will kick off Thursday with NLC’s first ever NLC on the Hill day immediately followed by a Welcome Reception at The Rayburn House Office Building. Policy discussions start on Friday, including an exclusive policy discussion at The White House on Friday afternoon. Saturday will consist of strategy for NLC in 2016. If you would like to connect with a roommate, please send an email to


Florida and Southern Conversation – Orlando, FL August 21 & 22
This August, NLC will host the Florida and Southern Region Conservation bringing together members of the Florida and Southern chapters and connecting them with other progressive leaders. The conversation will focus on building toward the future and the Progressive Bench.



Applications Open August 3
The 2015 NLC Class had over 700 Fellows, each as impressive as the next. We have no doubt that the 2016 Class will be just as stellar. Applications for the 2016 NLC Institute will open on August 3, 2015. You will be able to apply on our website or nominate a potential NLC Fellow. And of course, we will send you information over email, with the links, when we launch applications. Be on the look out for more information soon.


During the application recruitment season, chapters across the country hold informational and networking events where you can learn more about the NLC Institute and meet the local leadership. We hope that you can join us for those as well.

The NLC Footprint Grows
June also saw the graduation of the 2015 Class. Over 700 Fellows joined over 2,400 NLC alumni nationwide, making it so that NLC has over 3,000 Fellows in over 38 communities, representing 25 states. Through NLC4, alumni will lead NLC4’s Policy Teams. Policy teams focus in several areas, including Building a 21st century economy, Tech and Innovation, Equality, Social Justice, Government Reform, Sustainability, Educational Excellence and more, with the goal to move progressive policy in each of these areas by flexing the power of the NLC community and connecting to like-minded organizations. To learn more on leading a Policy Team please contact

By the fall, we will have a total of 44 chapters with the additions of Austin, Dallas, Denver, New Hampshire, San Antonio, and Twin Cities, and so in 2016, NLC will be present 28 states, in every region of the United States.

Have a safe and happy fourth of July. See you in D.C. in a few weeks!

Mark Riddle
New Leaders Council Executive Director