Educating leaders in LGBTQ advocacy

One Iowa leadership Institute logo

The Leadership Institute is a four-month program designed to prepare Iowa’s next generation of LGBTQ leaders. The curriculum helps individuals plan for and reach goals ranging from nonprofit leadership, community organization, running for office, and more. Applications are now live and are due April 15th!

LGBTQ Leadership Institute Curriculum

Across nine sessions, program participants achieve outcomes based on the following areas.

LGBTQ History

By understanding LGBTQ history, participants will be able to articulate our community’s journey and pay homage to the many trailblazers who have pushed our movement forward, including those right here in Iowa.


Participants will explore who they are and what makes them unique. By reflecting on how their experiences, values, and environments have shaped them, they will better understand their own leadership style.

Resilient Leadership

Being an out LGBTQ leader can be difficult. Participants will learn strategies to overcome adversity despite the obstacles they face.

Individual Leadership Plan

Participants will create a multi-year individual plan to help them achieve their leadership goals both during and after the program. Community experts will provide a support network as each individual crafts their plan.

Through these plans, participants will find entry points for broader community engagement that fit their goals (nonprofit boards, community organizations, running for office, etc.) and receive support in pursuing those goals.

Capstone Project

This project will require LGBTQ Leadership Institute students to practically apply the skills they’ve developed through the program to real-world challenges.

View Alumni Class Bios

success stories

Gary Moore

One Iowa has been the go-to organization for thoughtful responses to issues arising in the community. The LGBTQ Older Adults Conference has been another such response. It provides leadership and workshops to thoughtfully explore the needs of our gay seniors, those that led the way 30-40 years ago and can continue to do so with our help.

  • Gary Moore
  • LGBTQ Activist
Emily Brown

Partnering with One Iowa and bringing their leadership and expertise to the table to work alongside our Executive Leadership team allowed UnityPoint Health to begin providing frequent and regular LGBTQ education for teams across the system… The impact the partnership with One Iowa has had will live on for decades to come.

  • Emily Brown
  • UnityPoint Health
Heidi Yang

The people are what drew me to One Iowa and why I’ve been volunteering here since 2008. The staff at One Iowa have always been kind, considerate, and accepting. I admire the work they do and I’m happy to help out in whatever way I can; whether it’s doing data entry or volunteering at an event.

  • Heidi Yang
  • One Iowa volunteer
Portrait of Jarrel Johnson

This experience has definitely created a fire in me to think about how I can be more active; how I can leave this space in a better place than it was when I got here.

  • Jarrel Johnson
  • LGBTQ Leadership Institute 2018
Portrait of Mariah Himes

I had the opportunity to see people like me in [leadership] positions, which honestly was super empowering. I can now visualize myself in different kinds of roles.

  • Mariah Himes
  • LGBTQ Leadership Institute 2018
Headshot of Kristel Payne

Max came and did a lunch and learn for us on non-binary and was their normal wonderful self. I had several comments afterwards and people really enjoyed the presentation, but even better, they learned a lot and it opened more minds and hopefully created more allies.

  • Kristel Payne
  • Bankers Trust