Resident Leadership Academies

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Resident Leadership Academies (RLAs) are multi-week training programs for San Diego County residents who want to learn how to improve their local communities. Training sessions focus on topics such as community leadership, crime prevention and safety, land use and active transportation, and healthy food systems. Residents learn skills and best practices to address the issues that most affect their communities, and they work alongside their neighbors to help improve quality of life where they live. Upon graduation, attendees have new knowledge and access to a support network to help them lead community improvement projects.

RLA Updates and Opportunities

Many individuals and organizations are involved in Resident Leadership Academies across the County. The latest updates can be found on social media.

RLA Curriculum

Those who would like to facilitate a RLA can find the Facilitator/Train the Trainer and Participant materials below. The RLA Curriculum consists of a Participant Manual, modifiable PowerPoints, and various templates and handouts. The curriculum covers subjects such as Community Building Principles, Social Determinants of Health, Land Use and Community Planning, and more.

The County of San Diego currently has two approved RLA curriculums available. For groups funded for a particular RLA session or project, the version of the curriculum to be used will be determined by your funder (see links below). For all other groups, either version, or elements from both, may be used for the trainings.

  • 1st Edition Curriculum
    1st edition curriculum covers resident-driven community improvement efforts, including community building principles, neighborhood assessment activities and strategies for stakeholder engagement.
  • 2nd Edition Curriculum
    2nd edition curriculum expands on the 1st edition to include embedded activities, reflection questions and content on smoke-free environments and climate change.

RLA Resources & Opportunities

Bi-Monthly RLA Council Meetings
Meetings to provide additional training, discuss RLA updates, and to engage with other RLA practitioners. Anyone in the RLA network (graduates/residents, facilitators, CBOs and agencies supporting RLA) is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Technical Assistance (TA) for RLA Practitioners
TA is provided by the County to any RLA Practitioner involved with RLAs. TA may consist of assistance with planning of future RLAs, and development, refining, and implementation of Community Improvement Projects (CIPs), for example. For groups funded for a particular RLA session or project, the TA provider will be determined by your funder.

RLA Network Supplemental Training Workshops for Current RLA Practitioners
Supplemental trainings are available to anyone in the RLA network (graduates/residents, facilitators). These trainings focus on expanding leadership skills and offering opportunities for current RLA practitioners to engage with one another. The supplemental trainings may cover, but are not limited to, such topics as: Presentation Skills, Meeting Facilitation, and/or Applying for Resources.

New Facilitator Training/Train the Trainer Seminars
Seminar participants attend 3-4 full days of training, which consist of a detailed review of the curriculum, facilitation practice and tips for RLA planning and coordination. One or more new facilitator trainings per year will be offered through 2019.

Contact us for additional information on any of the resources listed above, or to learn about RLAs happening in your community.

RLA Success Stories

Frequent Exercise Fights Depression, Boosts Postpartum Mental Health

Post Date:05/09/2023 12:29 PM

May News Red Cross WIC 3x1


By Naomi Nolte-Carroll, WIC Marketing Data Coordinator, American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties 


According to the California Department of Public Health, one in five women in California has symptoms of depression during or after pregnancy. More Black and Latina women are affected, as well as women who don’t have support from family and friends. This can happen to any woman regardless of age, income, culture or education. Depression during and after pregnancy can lead to problems, such as breastfeeding and bonding issues, but help is available and most women who get treatment for their depression make a full recovery.  


Postpartum Mental Health 

The March of Dimes defines postpartum depression as a medical condition that many women get after having a baby. It’s strong feelings of sadness, anxiety (worry) and tiredness that last for a long time after giving birth. These feelings can make it hard for you to take care of yourself and your baby and needs treatment to get better. 

The American Red Cross WIC offers referrals for pregnant and postpartum women to mental health services on their website at: under “Mental Health.”. Partners include the San Diego Postpartum Health Alliance and NAMI San Diego


Getting Enough Physical Activity 

It’s no secret that regular physical activity is good for your physical and mental well-being, but it can be hard to keep up a regular exercise routine.  

It’s normal to have questions, like: 

  • How much exercise should an average adult be getting? 

  • What changes if you’re pregnant, or postpartum? 

  • How do we fit moving our bodies into our often-busy schedules? 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends different levels of activity for different groups. For pregnant and postpartum women, the recommendation is to get at least 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes 5 days a week) of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week, such as brisk walking. 

That much physical activity can seem like a lot, but you don’t have to do it all at once. It’s best to spread it out over the week, and you can even split it into smaller chunks during the day. Two 15-minute walks a day or even three 10-minute walks can seem more manageable than going for 30 minutes in one go.  

The American Red Cross WIC offers tips on how to reach the recommended daily amount of physical activity, including advice for pregnant and postpartum women. 

Learn more about key recommendations for women during pregnancy and the postpartum period from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition.  


American Red Cross WIC 

If you’re pregnant or have a child under five, the team at American Red Cross WIC provides: 

  • Healthy food benefits, 

  • Nutrition education, 

  • Breastfeeding support, 

  • Referrals to community resources, 

  • And, SO much more! 


Visit their website to learn more, at: 

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