People's Academy for Community Engagement

In 2021 People's Academy for Community Engagement is piloting some new ways of working.  This year, four cohorts will be co-hosted by community organizations and the Department of Neighborhoods.  Our community partners are currently accepting applications for the two spring programs and will update the information here as applications for summer and fall become available.


Have you ever felt confused or frustrated when trying to engage with local government? Do you want to have relationships with the people in local government that can help progress your community goals? Would you like to know how to better serve your community through civic engagement, but aren't sure where to start?

These are very common experiences, and PACE is here to support you!  You will be a part of a class of 25-30 community members who are invested in their communities and want to learn more about local government.

As a PACE graduate, you'll join a growing network of civic leaders from diverse backgrounds. 

PACE 2021

  • Cohort One: Our first cohort is co-designed to engage the African American community and is co-hosted by the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. Applications are currently open and the program begins on March 18, 2021.
  • Cohort Two: The second cohort is codesigned for Native Urban communities in Seattle and is co-hosted by the Na'ah Illahee Fund.  To apply contact: Bridget Ray
  • Cohorts Three and Four: Our summer and fall cohorts have a Latinx and API focus. To receive updates on these programs please sign up here.

People of color are highly encouraged to apply.    

"As someone who was volunteering in the community and who is exploring ways to become more active in affecting change beyond direct volunteer action, PACE has given me exactly what I've been looking for so far: an understanding of the options and approaches I can take back to the community organizations I belong to and ask what opportunities they have for me there, e.g. being a unified cohort to approach councilmembers to advocate for issues in the community." 

-2019 Winter Cohort member


PACE aims to train and support you in three main ways: 

Meaningful Networking

  • Build connections with other community activists and leaders
  • Share resources and events within the cohort
  • Meet and build relationships with City elected officials and staff  

Education to Help Understand Local Government

Learn about...

  • The City of Seattle's organizational structure
  • The City of Seattle's budget process
  • How the Council and Mayor work together
  • How to speak at Council hearings
  • Racism in Seattle's history and how it shapes current policies
  • Intersections of land use, colonization, and equitable development
  • How to effectively navigate a bureaucracy  
  • Skills for Relationship Building

Learn How to Connect with and Influence Local Decision Makers

  • Practice community organizing strategies
  • Learn how to build relationships with local media
  • Practice strategies for skillful engagement in conflict 

"It is very interesting to know about this country. It makes me feel that I will become a good citizen. I think I know more about the government and how it works than I used to know in my country."

- 2019 Winter Cohort member 


Applications are provided by the co-host organizations for each cohort. Each organization is providing information as it becomes available, via their sign-up linked in the information above.


For more information and questions, please contact