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LEAD Ohio Foundation

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Who We Are: The LEAD Ohio Foundation exists to recruit, train, connect, and support individuals, especially those from underserved and underrepresented communities, who want to build a more equitable Ohio through progressive change. LEAD Ohio Foundation designs and conducts its own civic and leadership educational programs for community leaders, leaders of nonprofit organizations, issue campaigns, and individuals seeking public office.

What We Do: Women LEADing Ohio and Buckeye Justice Forum are two key programs of the LEAD Ohio Foundation.

Women LEADing Ohio provides educational programming and support around voting, civic engagement, and seeking community leadership positions. Programs are taught by women, with a lens of being a woman in male-dominated spaces. With more women in leadership, addressing the needs of women and families becomes normalized.

Buckeye Justice Forum (BJF) spurs reform in Ohio’s courts through program implementation and networking. BJF works to create a pipeline of future judges and provides education to attorneys, judges, and law students on how Ohio’s judiciary impacts Ohioans.

Why We Are Important: The LEAD Ohio Foundation engages emerging progressive leaders across the state who are looking to further engage with public policy, issue campaigns, and/or the political process. We seek out underrepresented and underserved communities to ensure those voices are heard and represented in our elected offices for a government more reflective of the diversity of our state. Our trainings are particularly beneficial for individuals who are just beginning their journeys in civic and community service as well as those who are looking to increase their engagement by taking on larger roles in advocating for progressive change in Ohio.

How We Impact the Community: LEAD Ohio Foundation trainings were designed to demystify political engagement. Women LEADing Ohio introduces women to the political process, explains how to get involved, how to take the first steps to run for office, and supports and trains those who choose to seek civil service. BJF engages with first-time judicial candidates, sitting judges, reform-minded attorneys, and law students.

Leaders who go through our trainings choose various paths with a number of them seeking public office, starting nonprofits, advocating for and helping implement progressive policies, working in voter engagement or mobilization efforts, and much more to create positive change for Ohioans.

How You Can Help: You can help support the mission of LEAD Ohio Foundation by:

  • Signing up for our email newsletter

  • Following us on social media

  • Sharing program information with your network

  • Making a contribution today

More information can be found on our website at

Connect with LEAD Ohio Foundation

550 E Walnut, Columbus, Ohio 43215


Executive Director: Denny Wojtanowski

Board Chair: Jennifer McNally


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