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.
  • Collaborate on a community project with other PACE participants.
  • 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.

There will be five Saturday workshops beginning January 28 - March 4 (no class on February 18). Classes will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Yesler Community Center (917 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122). The class schedule:

  • Saturday, Jan. 28
  • Saturday, February 4
  • Saturday, February 11
  • Saturday February 25
  • Saturday, March 4

Classes will begin in late April. Time and location TBD.



Applications are taken on a rolling basis throughout the year, with the deadline approximately 4-5 weeks before class begins. Eligible applicants are interviewed and decisions are made over a few weeks. Students will be notified within two weeks of the session beginning.

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