Leadership Development


Unite Oregon develops new leaders through signature leadership development programs, through strategic trainings, and through on-the-ground leadership positions within our issue campaigns.

Pan-Immigrant Leadership and Organizing Training (PILOT)

By enhancing the skills, analysis and organizing ability of emerging immigrant and refugee leaders across cultural groups, the Pan-Immigrant Leadership and Organizing Training (PILOT) Program builds long-term relationships between diverse immigrant and refugee communities in Portland and builds the capacity and voice of new communities to affect change.

PILOT Program Approach:

The PILOT Program addresses the challenges faced by emerging immigrant and refugee leaders and groups through leadership and skill building convenings. Over a period of 12 months,the program:

  1. Supports individual leaders from various immigrant and refugee communities to build a shared analysis for organizing;
  2. Strengthens the capacity of immigrants and refugees to build power for their communities through in-depth skill building, leadership development and mentoring;
  3. Develops a long-term multi-ethnic coalition of immigrant and refugee leaders, who can work together on issue campaigns in Oregon.

Program Elements

Training and workshops: Over the course of 9 months, participants convene quarterly (four times per year) for two and a half day weekend trainings, where they participate in workshops such as: basics of city government; introduction to community organizing; politics of oppression; power analysis; cross-cultural community movement building; conflict resolution; base-building; media strategy and many more aspects that are relevant to the experiences of immigrants, refugees and people of color in general. The trainers of these workshops have extensive expertise and come from local, regional and national institutions, are among the best in their field. Additional gatherings are held throughout the year at Unite Oregon.

Field Training for Participants: During this program, participants put their training into practice by learning how to testify at City Council, hold press conferences, attend public meetings and implement short term community projects, which they will then evaluate.

PILOT 2016-2017 Dates:

  • October 7-9: Retreat Center outside of Portland, TBD
  • January 13-15: Retreat in Portland, OR
  • March 10-12Anderson Lodge, Ariel, WA 
  • May 12-13: Retreat in Portland, OR and Graduation

PILOT participant qualifications:

  • Must have the direct experience as an immigrant, refugee, or asylee
  • Must be able to participate in all PILOT retreats
  • Must be willing to learn in a safe space where we respect and honor the views and opinions  of people from diverse backgrounds
  • Must have a passion for social change and serving the community
  • English is not a requirement, interpretation can/will be provided 

All program costs are covered:

  • The PILOT Program will be free-of-charge for participants. However, the program is very cost intensive for Unite Oregon. We spend, on average, approximately $5,000 per participant. Therefore, we require all participants to commit fully to the yearlong program and sign a Personal Agreement with Unite Oregon formerly known as Center for Intercultural Organizing. No Exceptions!

The Application Deadline for 2016-2017 PILOT is Sunday, July 31st, 2016: CLICK HERE TO APPLY


Beaverton Organizing and Leadership Development (BOLD)

In partnership with the City of Beaverton, Unite Oregon annually provides a leadership development program for emerging immigrant and refugee leaders and leaders of color. The Beaverton Organizing and Leadership Development (BOLD) Program centers around three goals: growing new leaders, building cross-cultural relationships, and laying the groundwork for civic engagement. 


Metro Partners in Nature

Unite Oregon partners with Metro to augment CIO’s ongoing leadership development work by adding an experiential environmental component to two leadership development cohorts well as educational curriculum on land use, environmental preservation, wildlife habitat, watershed health, and hot-button environmental public policy decisions.