Young Leaders Institute

Narratives Unbound’s Young Leaders Institute is a virtual national program that gathers cohorts of young visionary leaders ages 18 – 22 from around the United States and invests in their professional development to support them on their journey in becoming intergenerational stewards of radical healing in humanity. 


Participants will learn skills for facilitating workshops through introspective and comprehensive trainings and walk away with a multitude of tools that will enable them to focus on their strengths while developing their confidence in public speaking, problem solving, and group collaboration.


Through this program young leaders gain awareness around the theories and practices of racial equity to develop an anti-racist framework leading them to become the social innovators and agents of change that will transform their communities and the world around them. 

Sponsor a Young Leader

Your generous contributions will support the success of our Young Leaders Institute participants. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information.

Gifts at the $500 level will cover the full cost of one participant's experience in the Young Leaders Institute. Thank you for your support!

Meet the 2021 Cohort
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Ha’aheo Auwae-Dekker is a 21 year old artist and creative currently attending Seattle University where they study filmmaking and sociology. They’ve been involved in Seattle based non-profits, Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), and Reel Grrls since they were fifteen years old doing organizing work, interning, working on Y-WE’s Youth Leadership Council, and more. Since high school, they have facilitated workshops on imperialism, race, and migration in the world. Their hope is through their work with Narratives Unbound, they can continue the work they are passionate about. Ha’aheo is an audio technician on the Seattle podcast, the DeepEnd Podcast, and works in the Reel Grrls production company, Reel Grrls Pro. When they aren’t studying or working, you’ll find Ha’a watching and analyzing a good movie, researching their familial and cultural history as a Native Hawaiian, and painting.



My name is Betelhem Muno, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am 21 years old, and a junior in college. I am studying environmental studies and health studies with a focus on environmental health and health equity. Right now, I am in Seattle, WA, but I will be in Philadelphia, PA for the coming semester. I was part of Young Women Empowered for most of high school, so being part of Y-WE again as an alum has been an exciting experience. I am a part of Narratives Unbound because I want to be in spaces that are trying to be intentional about the work they're doing, who they're impacting, and how they go about doing their work. I want to offer healing to the people I interact with and in any work I do. Narratives Unbound will inform how I will do that and give me the agency to create a workshop to start that process of healing and growing. I am very excited to be participating! 

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Iris Lerner is an 18 year old aspiring healer based in Tiwa Territory, also known as Albuquerque New Mexico. She is called into this space by a devotion to radical healing, collaborative education and learning, and transformative justice. She sees this as an opportunity to dedicate herself to her community in a sustainable way and gain inspiration and power from her peers. Her goal is to practice accountability through a commitment to humility and learning while building relationships centered around mutual care and justice.



Vivian Nicole is a 20 year old student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Exposure to racial inequity in her hometown of Seattle, WA lead her to a passion for social justice, and access to communities of healing and care lead her to understand the importance of individual healing from systemic injustice. These personal experiences have exemplified the importance of bringing education and healing to her communities.



My name is Chia Webb-Cázares, I use she/they pronouns and I currently reside on occupied Jumanos, Tonkawa, Lipan Apache, Coahuiltecan, and Comanche Land, otherwise known as Wimberley, Texas. I am a queer, non-binary, mixed race (White Latinx) person, so discussions of equity and social justice have been at the forefront of my interests for quite some time. I attend Mount Holyoke College but am currently taking the year off. I am passionate about learning and educating through sharing, discussing, and connecting with others; activities that I believe are of the utmost importance in the process of creating a better world. 



Namaka Auwae-Dekker is a young visionary living in Seattle. She has worked for and participated in community organizations across the city. She has also lead workshops on topics including housing and economics, disability justice, indigenous education, and colonialism. Namaka is currently working in the special education department towards a degree in early education. 



Zaria is a 20-year-old student at the University of Washington. A soon-to-be graduate majoring in Psychology, Zaria hopes to work as a relationship and family counselor after completing her education. Currently, Zaria is a Programs Intern at Young Women Empowered, a non-profit organization based in Seattle. She is passionate about building community and networks among young BIPOC women. She hopes to use this opportunity to empower her community and create a safe space for learning and connection.



My name is Paige Osborne, and I am 20 years old and I am currently volunteering in a community for young adults with special needs in Hudson, NY, but I am originally from Philadelphia, PA. I initially came to diversity work in high school where I facilitated a lot of cross-cultural conversations and worked to help bridge gaps between different groups of students, but I don't think that I really appreciated how important this work really is to me and the world. I am continuing this work now because looking back in retrospect, I have found healing in hosting and being apart of these types of conversations, even when I have to walk away know these conversations will never end and I will never have the answers to all of my questions. I have grown to appreciate different perspectives and have challenged my ideas about the world in order to be able to find comfort in the discomfort that can arise with this work. Sharing and holding space for myself and others has facilitated a lot of healing and continues to teach me more every day, and that is what keeps me going with this work. 



I am 19-year-old sophomore at Mount Holyoke College and I decided to become apart of this program because I want to grow my skills as a leader within my community. I am planning on becoming an educator as I am pursuing a Psychology and Education degree. I know that my experience working alongside my peers and more experienced leaders will help me develop professionally and as a future educator.



Sonja Lerner is a twenty-year-old young leader living on Tiwa Territory, also known as Albuquerque, New Mexico. She comes to this work with a passion for strengthening community through conversation, radical healing, and mutual aid. Her goals are to increase her abilities to bring community together as well as continue her learning of root causes of oppression and inequality. She hopes to use this opportunity to participate in collective envisioning of a just, creative and equitable future. 



This is Adanech. She is 19 and goes by she/her pronouns. She is a freshman at Whittier College. Although she has not decided her major she know her path includes connecting the many different identities such as being a black, immigrant and Ethiopian women.  She hopes to learn a multitude of different ways to facilitate and heal. She hopes through the training and experience that she is gaining through this program, she will take it to other parts of her life such as her educational institution and future career. Narratives unbound opens a space for unbounded ways of looking at trauma, hardships and joy. She is very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of this amazing group of people.



Hello everyone! My name is Ami and I am a junior in college. I am also a Student-Athlete at my school in the sport of Track and Field. I’m from Seattle but I was born in a small country in west Africa called Gambia, and moved to the U.S. at age 5. I am coming to the work because I believe that my generation is doing our part in raising awareness and expressing our ideals. I’m excited to use our platforms on educating different cultures that make our world. 

Program Facilitators
The Circle Works
Fiscal and Community Sponsors