Leadership for Community Transformation (LCT) was launched to help create a County that thrives with opportunity and shared prosperity for all.  In order to do this, we need systems-oriented leaders and initiatives that can move beyond siloed or competitive efforts to work across sectors and organizations, with the courage to change the status quo and move beyond traditional authority structures. This change requires collaborative and aligned efforts that foster leadership, grow power at all levels and develop a shared understanding of the complex issues we are working to address.  LCT has the power to put this change into action.

Unfortunantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, LCT is currently being postponed. Please check back if you would like to apply for future sessions. 


Communities with the capacity and connectivity to create the impacts they envision, design breakthrough approaches to addressing community challenges, and produce powerful results.


A learning-in-action program for leaders and changemakers that equips participants with the practices necessary to produce extraordinary results for the systemic and equitable individual, organizational and community change.



  • Build the skills, knowledge, competency, and inner-capacity of participants to design and produce sustainable social change

  • Combine core concepts of Collective Impact as well as the leadership, civic engagement, and project design skills for large scale social change

  • Outline the Conscious Full-Spectrum approach to create a cohesive strategy for creating sustainable change.

  • Source common values that lend themselves to manifesting our goals, creating a container of community engagement that shifts the way we create results.

  • Become a system oriented leader moving beyond siloed, individual or competitive efforts and work across organizations and sectors to transcend the status quo.
  • Move passion into action through practical principles and tools for shifting systems and norms for equitable sustainable change.

  • Build partnerships and connect the action to create measurable short and long term results.

  • Launch communication practices for creating a new narrative about economic opportunity.

  • Personal leadership development, tapping into and unleashing the powerful systems change leader in all of us and supporting others to do the same.

  • Activate and connect each initiative’s/community efforts’ contributions to create exponential change.

  • Transform how we do everyday activities – meetings, fundraising, communications, planning – to move the equity agenda forward.


Participants will bring to the program a project, ideally in the context of something they are already working on, that they hope will impact our community’s quality of life. In addition to the intensive sessions, participants will be paired with two other participants for a weekly call between sessions to further learning and accountability to practice what is learned. The expectation is that participants will continue after the program to use the knowledge, capacities and project design skills in the community for positive change.



LCT is currently being postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please check back for updates on future dates.

February 18-20

9-5pm each day

March 23-25

9-5pm each day

April 27-29

9-5pm each day

Attendance at all sessions is required

Part 1: Being the Potential - Launching Change

This session examines who we are as community leaders and our shared values. We then explore our work through the three components of sustainable change: solving problems, shifting systems and activating potential.

Part 2: Being the Architect - Designing Change

In this session, we work on designing our projects and aligning grants and strategic plans to simultaneously solve problems, shift systems and activate our own and our community’s potential for change. We will explore how to plan differently to create the impact we want to see. Questions we’ll as include: What are the different stages of leadership development? How do we talk about the change we want to create and enroll others in creating this change? How do we connect events, programs and other activities to measurable outcomes and impact? 

Part 3: Being the Impactful Leader - Stewarding Change 

In the final session, we focus on how to run organizations differently and more effectively. We ask the questions – How do we empower others to lead the change they wish to see? How do we identify and use leverage points to create large scale systemic change? How do we align multiple projects toward a unified goal?

Weekly Calls:

In addition to the two sessions, each participant will be assigned to a learning group with two other participants.  One 45 minute call per week is expected during the time between sessions to activate and deepen the application of what is learned in each session. Comprehensive instructions will be provided in the program to guide these calls.


Leaders and/or Change Agents working toward creating equity and economic opportunity in Monterey County.

People who are deeply invested in the wellbeing and prosperity of our entire community

Participants thrive when they are willing to start with a beginner’s mind, are committed to equity and social justice, and value systems thinking.




for organizations with budgets under $500,000


for organizations with budgets from $500,000 – $999,000


for organizations with budgets over $1million



Dr. Monica Sharma

Dr. Monica Sharma, trained as a physician and epidemiologist, worked for the United Nations since 1988 for 22 years. She has published and presented over 250 articles in journals and international forums.  Currently, she engages worldwide as an International Expert and Practitioner on Leadership Development for sustainable and equitable change.  She works with United Nations, universities, management institutions, governments, business, media and community organizations. She is the Tata Chair Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai. As a practitioner, her proven track record of generating measurable results at scale, as well as enhancing leadership on every continent, is unique. She designs and facilitates programs for whole systems transformation and leadership development in both developed and developing countries. Using cutting–edge transformational approaches and methodologies, the purpose is to achieve measurable and sustainable change.  She also designs and implements workshops – ‘learning-in-action programs’ – with both business and nonprofit organizations on different aspects of Leadership Development for Sustainable Change. She is currently engaged with over 20 organizations worldwide.

Monica is now working to foster emerging leaders world-wide – proactively seeking out potential leaders, unleashing their power of effective creativity, enabling them to manifest their full potential. These leaders recognize the invisible, multiple patterns and systems that shape societal and planetary situations and actions; they distinguish, design and deliver actions sourced from self-awareness and empathy; manifest sustainable and equitable change, creating new patterns as they solve problems.

In 2009, Monica Sharma received “The Spirit of the United Nations Award”, given to a person whose work is an expression of the core principles, spirit and vision on which the United Nations was founded. Monica Sharma was honored because “of her inspirational leadership, skilled wisdom and devoted attention to the United Nations,…for guidance  in  developing effective strategic  frameworks for action for application world-wide…..that has manifested in effective programs and leadership development initiatives.” Monica Sharma also received the prestigious Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) 2009 Honorary Membership Award, for her contribution in fostering transformational leadership world-wide resulting in measurable change and for her strategic work with the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) related to nursing and health care.

Megan Joseph

Megan Joseph has spent 18 years working with multi-sector collaboratives to increase their capacity to work together for equitable and sustainable results. As Executive Director of Rise Together, a multi-county initiative to cut poverty in the Bay Area, Megan has integrated transformative leadership tools and practices into a large coalition for policy and systems change, addressing issues of employment, affordable housing and early childhood education for critical populations. As Director of Community Organizing for the United Way of Santa Cruz County she founded and supported multiple sustained initiatives, including the Santa Cruz County Youth Violence Prevention Task Force and the Community Corrections Partnership Community Engagement Task Force. Megan was recognized with the 2015 National Community Indicators Consortium Emerging Leader award for her work using community indicators as a catalyst for change to reduce youth violence. Megan has practiced radical transformational leadership for a decade with Monica Sharma, and over the last 8 years launched two leadership programs, Leadership for Community Transformation Santa Cruz County and Leadership for Equity & Opportunity Bay Area which together has trained over 425 leaders to design and implement equitable and sustainable social change projects.  She has also served as faculty at JFK University.  Megan earned an MA in Consciousness Studies from JFK University and an MA in Criminology, Law and Society from UC Irvine.  She lives in the Bay Area with her partner, dog and two cats. 

Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson

Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson is a native of Iran and has lived in Santa Cruz County for the past 20 years. Shebreh currently provides professional grant writing; program coordination/management; strategic planning; and facilitation services to local agencies working in the areas of public health, education and social services and has been in the field for the last two decades. Her work has brought multi-sector partnerships together to address complex social justice issues such as substance use, mental health, homelessness and more. Shebreh’s work has generated increased investment and funding in the community, innovative projects, and health focused local policies. Shebreh currently serves in leadership roles including Central California Alliance for Health Board, the Pajaro Valley Health Trust Board, and Dignity Health Community Advisory Board’s Community Giving Body. Shebreh has been practicing the Conscious Full Spectrum Response framework for the last five years. She has also supported the training of hundreds of other leaders through the Leadership for Community Transformation Santa Cruz County and Leadership for Equity and Opportunity Bay Area. She received her B.A. in Psychology and French/Francophonie Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and a Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University. She is a mother of two boys, is married and lives in Santa Cruz California. Shebreh strives for equity and compassion in her work and in her every day.

Robyn McKeen

Robyn McKeen has worked for over a decade managing social service programs, multi-sector coalitions, and systems change initiatives along the West Coast, including the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle area. She has held leadership positions in the areas of homelessness, information and resources, and children and youth development. Most recently as the Smart Path Coordinated Entry Director, Robyn led the strategic planning and implementation process of Santa Cruz County’s homeless coordinated entry system to redesign the assessment and referral process countywide. Robyn has practiced the Radical Transformational Leadership framework since 2013, designing and implementing multiple initiatives for equitable and sustainable social change. As a practitioner coach, she has supported the training of over 300 leaders through the Leadership for Community Transformation Santa Cruz County and Leadership for Equity and Opportunity Bay Area. Robyn earned her BA in Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is committed to fostering fairness and vibrancy through all aspects of her work and life. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA with her partner, daughter, and a whole lot of aquatic creatures. 



LCT is currently being postponed due to the current Covid-19 pandemic. Please check back for future dates. 

The sky’s the limit!

LCT s a “learning-in-action” program, meaning that you learn though being in action with the principles and tools we learn along the way. The purpose of LCT is to put tools for tangible social change in the hands of changemakers. With that in mind, a good way to think of the project is as a vehicle for learning. This means it is something you can tangibly have your hands on and work on over the course of the three LCT sessions in order to apply what you are learning and come back with deeper insights, questions and observations.

Many people shift or completely change their project once in the program and that’s perfectly fine. Do not think of your project as set in stone, but as one possible space you can apply your learning.

There really is no typical project, as each one is very unique. The project should be something you have your hands on directly and will be working on during the time of the program. The most successful participants who are most engaged in the program are those that choose to focus the application of what they learn on something related to their day-job and actively apply what they learn to this setting.

Projects range vastly in topic, size, scope and scale depending on the context where the participant is working. Some participants have focused on changing the process and/or culture of an organization or initiative. Some focus on a particular result their organization, department or team is working toward. Some focus on improving a particular program. Some focus more broadly on the issue their organization, department or team is working to address. And still others have focused on community based processes and initiatives.

Here are a few examples:

  • A large service organization is using LCT to break down silos within their teams and refocus how they create results. They’ve started using the tools in their team meetings to do a total redesign process for how they are serving clients.

  • Another organization used LCT principles to convene stakeholders to create an aligned vision and action plan on homelessness for their community. The planning and design of this process started in the LCT sessions

  • Another participant who works as a consultant focused their time in LCT on how to fundraise more effectively. She has since used LCT tools to write grants differently and has successfully brought millions of additional dollars to her community. She has also used LCT tools in other aspects of her work with the community.

  • Another individual works for the public library system and wanted to design programs and ways that the library could better respond to underserved individuals in the community.

There are truly endless possibilities for what a project can focus on, depending on the context in which you are working. We are happy to discuss your ideas with you to help flesh them out!

While we all want to change the world, we are most effective when we start where we are standing. The scale of your project should match the scale at which you are currently working. You will have the opportunity in the program to think about how to scale your work up, if it is appropriate, to have a larger impact for more people.

We are happy to explore this with you. We guarantee you will leave our conversation more confident about a project you can focus on. The most important thing is that you are committed to creating a more equitable and just community for yourself and others. The rest will come!



Krista Hanni

Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Manager at Monterey County Health Department

“I have used the LCT training and tools to incorporate a values driven approach to my work with Impact Monterey County and also provide a greater focus on outcomes and impact in our Department’s Health in All Policies work. LCT has inspired me to be more courageous in my actions and more deliberate in empowering those around me. I have also found it a great complement to the training and tools I’ve been exposed to through our county’s Governing for Racial Equity Initiative."

Michael Applegate

Data and Research Partnership Manager, Bright Futures Education Partnership Manager

"LCT provided a great opportunity to bring together leaders across numerous sectors to see where our values align and how we might collectively change systems to achieve positive results that impact people’s lives throughout our County."

Keisha Frost

President and CEO, United Way of Santa Cruz County

“I am a paradigm shifter. I act in courage. I stand for dignity. LCT provided crucial transformational language to my leadership and work at United Way – This shifted the lens of my fund development outputs from check-marks toward monetary goals to operating for impact and shifting social conditions through my fund development expertise. LCT was instrumental in the development of my “Funding For Impact” model – it is driving change through intentional alignment and opening the space for donors to invest in community impact. My journey with LCT shakes up “business as usual” and continues to provide endless opportunities to do things differently.

Phil Kramer

Interim Executive Director, Homeless Services Center

"LCT provided me with new tools - a process methodology, and language framework - for tackling seemingly intractable and vexing community issues. With these tools we created a county-wide "All In" strategic plan to end homelessness, which was approved and supported by local government officials. LCT helped me find my voice, and listen in a new way. At times my feelings of injustice and anger would get in the way of true dialogue. LCT helps me express my personal passion in a way that builds a bridge of common ground, creating space for unexpected new alliances and collaboration."

Monica Martinez

Executive Director, Encompass Community Services

"LCT has taught me the art of meeting day-to-day needs in our community while simultaneously changing the large scale systems they grew from, and this skill has helped to deepen Encompass Community Services' impact in Santa Cruz County. Building on our strong direct service experience, we are moving our focus to the root causes that bring people in our doors in the first place. We are identifying and addressing the inequities that exist in our community. I frequently recommend LCT to my community partners because providing excellent services is no longer adequate, we need to work together to transform the systems that keep these disparities intact."

Mireya Gomez

Program Director of Day Labor Center, Community Action Board

"After LCT I interact more intentionally with people and the task in front of me. I regained hope but not like I've been able to do at other trainings. LCT allows me to be the me I want to be, making the change I want to make, and in collaboration with those I strategically choose to work with. LCT can expand a person's capacity to think AND DO beyond their current reach. LCT helps someone carry out their work more smoothly and easily. At least that's how it feels to me. It also allows for someone to capitalize on mistakes in ways that are simply productive. LCT inspires reflection and action."

Kaki Rusmore

Director, Center for Nonprofit Excellence at the Community Foundation for Monterey County

"LCT has helped me bring a greater focus on creating positive, sustainable, equitable change to my work and provided me with tools to help make that happen.  Returning regularly to the core values that guide my work helps build my leadership and helps me build the leadership of those around me."

Don Lane

Santa Cruz City Council member

“LCT helped me to be more bold and more focused as I partnered with others to transform how our community takes on the challenge of homelessness. It has also given me a new framework and useful tools that are helping me speak about values in the public sphere. No matter what the issue you are working with, LCT can make a real difference in your effectiveness and clarity. I was surprised at how many practical tools were offered. I was not just inspired-- I was ready to implement a plan of action. The entire experience was highly energizing.”

Kirsten Liske

Vice President of Community Programs, Ecology Action

“What I’ve learned in LCT is that when I start from what I am most passionate about and connect my words, actions and plans to my deepest values, their impact is truly transformative. This seems simple but I was surprised at how far away I was from practicing that regularly, even in my social change work. This new grounding and approach is very energizing and invites space for others to shine, contribute and lead from their passion too. I'm stoked and looking forward to continue to learn and grow with LCT practices with so many other awesome leaders in our community.”

Fernando Giraldo

Chief of Probation, Santa Cruz County

"To be a courageous leader, one that can transform systems, and be a game changer, you need to be firm in what you stand for, unafraid and bold. When you commit to your stand, action is inevitable. You must acknowledge your fears, but can't let them hold you back; once this occurs you are free to achieve your greatness. LCT helped me firmly stand behind what I believe my role is in promoting justice and equity in our community. It helped me realize that being a good leader is about being trusted to bring results. LCT has helped me to be a game changer."

Jacob Martinez

Founder & Executive Director, Digital Nest

"LCT was an instrumental part in the creation of the Digital NEST. The NEST was an idea in my head and through LCT became an idea grounded in principles of equality and justice. LCT provided me with a community of peers that encouraged and believed in me throughout the entire program. I graduated from that first stage with an inner strength that I still draw upon when things are challenging. The biggest surprise for me was how much I was able to connect with so many people here in the community. I made some lifelong friends during my time in LCT”

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