People's Academy for Community Engagement

This civic leadership development program is dedicated to teaching hands-on engagement and empowerment skills to emerging leaders in a multicultural environment. 

Our vision is "a city government of all people, by all people, and for all people."


The class is designed for 25-30 emerging leaders who are newly engaged in the community and want to acquire additional skills to be more effective in civic leadership. PACE participants have the opportunity to:

  • Refine their organizing and communication skills.
  • Increase the effectiveness of community groups they work with.
  • Identify resources and avenues to empower communities and neighborhoods.
  • Cultivate a deeper appreciation of cultural competency and inclusive civic engagement.
  • Learn from key community and civic leaders and build new relationships.

Upon graduation, participants will have refined their skills to be more effective in civic life and in working with community groups in community building and engagement efforts.


Each session is taught by facilitators from community and nonprofit organizations along with City of Seattle staff who have expertise in the topic and in facilitating group discussion. Topics include:

  • Approaches to Leadership
  • Accessing Government
  • Community Organizing
  • Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement
  • Meeting Facilitation
  • Public Speaking
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Sustaining Involvement


Given the growing popularity of the program, DON will now offer PACE three times a year: winter, spring and fall. Each quarter will have a different type of schedule to accommodate different community needs.

The Winter Quarter ran February 24 through March 24. Classes occurred each Saturday from 10am-2pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

The Spring Quarter begins June 2 and runs through June 30. Classes will occur each Saturday from 10am-2pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Class dates are: June 2, June 9, June 16, June 23, and June 30.

FALL 2018
The Fall Quarter begins October 13 and runs through November 10. Classes will occur each Saturday from 10am-2pm at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Class dates are: October 13, October 20, October 27, November 3, and November 10. 


Applications are taken on a rolling basis throughout the year, with the deadline approximately 3-4 weeks before class begins. Eligible applicants are evaluated and decisions are made over a few weeks. Applicants will be notified two weeks before the first class of the quarter.

Tuition is $100. Tuition assistance is available to those candidates who are accepted into the program and demonstrate a need for some level of financial assistance. Award amounts are based on the number of requests received and the amount of funds available. Applications for assistance are confidential and have no bearing on the selection process. A minimum contribution of $25 is required.


For more information and questions, please contact