Q: Who are the +Unity Leadership Team?

The +Unity Leadership Program is designed for individuals who are currently leading or are an integral part of building an initiative whose mission is to eradicate poverty. Our team are of all ages, come from diverse cultural, geographic and socioeconomic backgrounds and work across multiple sectors.

Q: What is the purpose of the +Unity Leadership Program?

Change the wording to from the second answer of the second question to: The purpose of the +Unity Leadership Program is to develop a community of leaders who challenge the status quo, work across lines of difference and inspire their communities to believe in a brighter future.

Q: Is the program only open to entrepreneurs?

No. Although many of our attendees do work in social enterprises, attendees can be working in any sector (including for-profit, non-for-profit, and government).

Q: Do I have to be working in a social enterprise to be considered for the +Unity Leadership Program?

No. Individuals go on various career paths and personal journeys over their lives, but many of the individuals we’ve seen over the years include:

  • Social entrepreneurs who have launched or lead their own social change initiatives;
  • Social entrepreneurs who are running a social change initiative within an existing organization;
  • Organizational builders who are an integral part of building a social change organization, but do not play a founding role.

We are looking looking for an entrepreneurial attitude, mindset and approach – people who don’t accept the status quo.

Q: What are the academic qualifications for the program?

There are no specific academic prerequisites.

Q: Is English proficiency a requirement?

Yes. All seminars and trainings are conducted in English. Proficiency in the language that the program will be conducted in is a requirement to ensure individuals are able to give and get the most from this experience but we promise to do our best to have a translator on site for anyone who is not proficient in English.

Q: Do I have to be a resident of the state to which I am applying?

No. We consider applications from residents of any state. We will, on an exceptional basis, consider applicants who demonstrate a concrete connection to out of the state (ie. long-term employment, residency, focus of the social change project).

Q: Are there minimum and maximum age requirement for individuals?

No. There is neither a minimum age requirement, nor a maximum age cut off.

Q: Do I need to currently be involved in work focused on poverty?

No. We are looking for individuals who want to have a leadership role in an organization or initiative committed to fighting poverty on a full-time / part-time basis.

Q: Can someone who has participated in one +Unity Leadership Program apply and participate in another?

Yes. Each cohort of Unity For Equality can be comprised of individuals who have previously taken part in an+Unity Leadership Program. This is specific to Unity’s programs; candidates who have participated in other fellowships or leadership programs are welcome to apply

Q: Can two people from the same organization apply for the +Unity Leadership Program?

The +Unity Leadership Program is a significant investment in an individual’s leadership journey. As the program is competitive and only offers 25 spots in a year, we aim to amplify our impact through the individuals by asking them to take learnings from the Program back to their teams and communities.

This means that in a given year, while multiple people from the same organization may apply, should you all meet our basic eligibility criteria, we will only be able to select one of you to advance in the selection process. We suggest keeping this in mind as you make the decision regarding whether one or more of you will apply in the same year.

This also means that, within a one year period, we will not be able to accept more than one person as a individual from the same organization. If somebody from your organization has been an +Unity Leadership Program attendee in the last year, we will not be able to accept your application this year. If nobody from your organization is an +Unity Leadership Program attendee yet, we suggest keeping this in mind as you make the decision regarding which person in your organization is best suited to apply at this point in your leadership journeys.

Q: Which costs does the program cover?

Unity For Equality covers all program-related expenses during the program year. This includes all costs associated with the seminars including food, transportation and any materials required for the program will be provided.

Q: Does the +Unity Leadership Program provide scholarships, funding or additional benefits?

No. As this is a part-time program, we do not provide scholarships, stipends, funding or insurance.

Q: Do I automatically qualify for grant funding or an investment if I participate in the +Unity Leadership Program?

No. Unity For Equality’s leadership development programs are completely independent of our investment activities. If you are interested in learning more about Unity For Equality’s investment criteria, feel free to contact us.

Q: How is the program structured?

Individuals remain in their jobs and come together for five seminars, each lasting 6 days, throughout the year. Attendance at each seminar is mandatory. Between seminars, individuals are expected to participate in and complete online readings and assignments.

Q: What is the total time commitment required for the program?

The total in-person time commitment is about 30 days (5 seminars, 6 days each) over the course of the year, plus travel time to the seminar locations. Whenever possible we have scheduled seminars to run from Tuesday to Sunday.

Between seminars you will be expected to spend additional time on program-related assignments, email correspondence and collaborative projects for approximately 3 hours / week.

Q: What happens during and between the seminars?

Through five in-person seminars and online content between seminars, individuals build trust and test new leadership skills within their cohort. This cohort-based model creates deep bonds of trust and fellowship, relationships that persist long beyond the first year and that individuals utilize to create greater impact. Individuals are equipped with the knowledge, support systems and skills to challenge the status quo, work across lines of difference and mobilize their communities. Curriculum includes: Good Society Readings, Adaptive Leadership, Authentic Voice, Polarity Management and Systems Thinking.

Q: What happens after I submit my application?

There are a total of three stages in the selection process.

STAGE 1: APPLICATIONS. Due Sunday, June 2nd 2019 at 11:59 pm local time. All applications must be completed and submitted online. Following the initial submission, successful candidates will be invited to participate in Stage 2.

STAGE 2: ONLINE ENGAGEMENT. Instructions for Stage 2 will be sent on Tuesday, June 4th and all assignments must be completed and submitted online by Wednesday, June 26th 2019. Successful candidates will be invited to participate in Stage 3.

STAGE 3: SELECTION CONFERENCE. Stage 3 is a mandatory day-long in-person engagement and will be held in mid-late July in each borough in New York City.

  • Bronx Program: July 8th in (Location & Time To Be Announced)
  • Brooklyn Program: July 9th in (Location & Time To Be Announced)
  • Manhattan Program: July 10th in (Location & Time To Be Announced)
  • Queens Program: July 11th in (Location & Time To Be Announced)
  • Staten Island Program: July 12th in (Location & Time To Be Announced)

FINAL SELECTION: Candidates selected to the 2020 cohorts will be notified by December 2019.

Our selection team will carefully review submissions and participation at each stage of the process, and select candidates who will advance to the next stage.At each stage of the application process, all candidates will receive communication from our team about the progress of their application.

Q: How many individuals are selected each year in each region?

On average, we select 25 individuals per year.

Q: What are the technology requirements for accessing and completing the application?

For Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the application process, applicants will need a stable internet connection. All application documents and components must be submitted through email coomunications. We highly recommend using any internet browser that you prefer. If you experience issues submitting any element of your application, please try submitting your application from a different browser, computer or a different location with stronger internet connectivity. Late submissions (both Stage 1 and Stage 2) due to internet/technology issues will not be accepted. Please plan to submit your application well in advance before the deadline.

Q: What if I have trouble uploading or submitting my application?

This typically occurs when JavaScript or Flash is not enabled. If you enable these programs, or download the necessary applications, you should be able to upload your documents without encountering any issues.

Q: What if I have trouble uploading or submitting my application?

This typically occurs when JavaScript or Flash is not enabled. If you enable these programs, or download the necessary applications, you should be able to upload your documents without encountering any issues.

Q: Will I get notified after my application has been submitted?

Yes. Our system automatically sends a confirmation email once your initial application has been submitted. If you do not receive one immediately after submitting your application, please check your email settings to make sure that our emails are not caught in your spam filter. We will send emails through the following domains: @unityforequality.org

Q: What is the word of the day?


Q: Are recommendation letters required?

No. However, we will ask you to provide the contact information of two professional references that we can contact if you make it to the third and final stage of the selection process. Your references should be people with whom you have worked closely. They should not be family, friends or spouses.

Q: Can I edit my application after it’s been submitted?

No, this is not possible. Make sure you double check all elements of your application before it is submitted. We cannot accept edits or changes after the fact, either through the platform or by email.

Q: Is post +Unity Leadership Program job placement provided?


Q: What do individuals do after completing the program? What type of professional and personal development support does the +Unity Leadership Program offer?

Unity For Equality is invested not only in each individuals’ growth over the course of the year-long program, but also in their development as lifelong agents of fighting poverty. After completing the first year, individuals may receive continued mentorship and coaching. Unity For Equality also has a very active and growing network of social sector organizations, thought leaders, and individuals across the state. We engage all +Unity Leadership Program attendees through events, newsletters and subsequent recruitment processes.