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

GRANT: Alliance Healthcare Foundation Opens Call for Multi-year, Unrestricted, Core Operating Mission Support Grant Applications

Post Date:06/29/2023 4:57 PM

AHF Mission Support Grant 3x1 banner

By Karen Winston, Communications Director, Alliance Health Foundation

San Diego, CA. June 29, 2023. Alliance Healthcare Foundation announces the opening of its grant application period of Mission Support funding (three-year, unrestricted, core operating support) for eligible San Diego nonprofits serving underserved and marginalized communities in San Diego County.

The Mission Support grant funding ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per recipient annually for up to three years. Organizations may use the funds in a way that best meets the most pressing needs of the clients they serve. The total Mission Support grant funding is $900,000 per year with a total of $2.7 million over three years.

Alliance Healthcare Foundation’s mission is to advance health and wellness for vulnerable populations in San Diego through a health equity lens. We prioritize our Mission Support grant funding in communities with the greatest social and health inequities and with grantee partners whose efforts are led or informed by the communities they serve. With this intent, we will be grounded in racial disparity data through our grant and decision-making practices.

“Supporting great organizations is vital to our mission. Through our Mission Support grant program, Alliance aims to provide funding to organizations that align with our mission to advance health equity with an explicit focus on underserved and marginalized communities and specifically communities of color,” stated Sarah Lyman, Executive Director, Alliance Healthcare Foundation. “We’re seeking partners with strong leadership in eliminating equity gaps and addressing social determinants of health.”

2024 San Diego Mission Support Grant Applications Schedule


Applications open:    July 5, 2023 (8:00am PST)
Applications close:    September 15, 2023 (5:00pm PST)
Decisions and disbursements:    January 2024

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About Alliance Healthcare Foundation. We work to advance health and wellness for the most vulnerable in San Diego and Imperial counties through collaborative funding, convening and advocacy. 

We envision a San Diego and Imperial County region where equitable health resources lead to universal health and well-being. We believe wellness is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual, economic and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 
We currently operate a funding and investment portfolio organized into four strategic areas:

1. Addressing Root Causes, by addressing the systems that create health and wealth inequities through programs focused on guaranteed income, affordable housing, and workforce pathways.

2. Supporting the Safety Net, by investing in programs that support people building a better future for themselves and their families. Grant programs include the 2024 Mission Support and capacity building funding.

3. Advancing Sustainable Innovation, by investing in sustainable solutions to solve our most intractable health and wellness challenges, through the Innovation Initiative (i2) $1 Million Challenge Grant and initiatives such as Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation and various activities aimed at healthcare transformation.

4. Impact Investing, which activates our investment portfolio through debt or equity investments aimed at generating a greater social return than is possible with our grantmaking portfolio alone.

Learn more at

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