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Supervisor Training - Institute for Justice and Opportunity

Collective Leadership Supervisor Training

Welcome to the information page for the Collective Leadership Supervisor Training!

If you’d like to receive information about future training sessions, please complete the Expression of Interest form.


The Collective Leadership Supervisor Training is a 21-hour course to deepen the supervisory practices that support job performance and growth for employees, including employees impacted by the criminal justice system. Supervisors will strengthen their own capacity to convey workplace expectations and performance feedback and enhance the supervisees’ capacity for initiative and leadership. The course is offered over several weeks to allow time for practice and reflection between modules.

The Institute developed this training in partnership with many advisors, including employers and people with lived experience in the criminal legal system currently working in human services.

The Institute gratefully acknowledges support for the development of the Collective Leadership Supervisor Training from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice.

Skills development for supervisors:

  • Strengthen supervisory coaching and feedback skills
  • Foster your staff’s initiative, accountability, and leadership
  • Use supervision practices to assess your own effectiveness and close the gap between intention and real impact on those you supervise
  • Deepen fundamental supervisory practices to work with all employees, including those impacted by trauma

Supervisors are expected to attend and participate fully in the entire 21-hour course, read course materials, and complete field practice and required assignments. Supervisors who meet all course requirements will receive a completion certificate.

Course Logistics

The 21-hour training is offered in seven 3-hour classes on Zoom.


Supervisors at nonprofit and government agencies working in New York City may apply for this course.  Priority for enrollment is offered to applicants who supervise employees directly impacted by the criminal legal system. Supervisors of workplace volunteers may also apply. Agencies are encouraged to send teams of 2-3 supervisors to this training to build a community of practice and broaden impact across the organization. Please be sure to read the specific eligibility criteria and priorities for enrollment for each training cohort.

Applications are also encouraged from supervisors at agencies that employ graduates of or currently enrolled students in the Institute’s Navigator Certificate in Human Services & Community Justice. It is very beneficial for organizations to have supervisors and staff who are all trained in the practices of collective leadership.


  • Be 18+ to apply
  • Be employed by a nonprofit organization or government agency in New York City.
  • Have current supervisory responsibility for staff or interns/volunteers.
  • Commit to completing the entire 21-hour training
  • Commit to reading selected articles ahead of sessions
  • Commit to practicing skills between sessions and completing two reflective practice assignments about your supervision skill practice at work
  • Have the technological skills and equipment required to participate in a remote training


Training for supervisors is often the best way to invest in the development of all employees and produce mission-consistent outcomes. The supervisory practices taught in this course are foundational for supervisors of all staff, not only staff impacted by the criminal legal system. Targeted training for supervisors can shift the organizational culture at a crucial time, as more nonprofit and government agencies recognize the value of life experience and seek to hire and retain employees impacted by the criminal legal system. Tailored training for supervisors builds an organizational culture in which employees in peer mentor, navigator, and credible messenger roles can thrive and advance. Supervisors must complete all 21 hours of the training, read assigned articles, practice skills in their workplace, and prepare two brief assignments reflecting on their experience practicing skills at work.


David Mensah is a lead instructor for the Institute’s Navigator Certificate in Human Services & Community Justice, a semester-long, college-level course for people with lived experience in the criminal justice system seeking careers in human services, and the Institute’s Collective Leadership Supervisor Training. He was previously the lead instructor for JLUSA’s Leading with Conviction (LwC) and has trained volunteer parent leaders for the NYC Department of Education’s Parent Leadership Institute. In a career spanning more than two decades, Mr. Mensah spent 13 years in Executive Director positions, as well as 10 years as a youth and family counselor. Mr. Mensah has two BS degrees from Oregon State University, a Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Bridgeport, and a M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. He has held faculty positions in leadership studies at Sacred Heart University, in Trauma Counseling at the University of Bridgeport, and an adjunct faculty position at Baruch College, in the School of Public Affairs.

Elena Sigman is the Director of Collaborative Learning at the Institute and a coach with thirty years of experience in social justice program design, startup, and operations management. Ms. Sigman has developed certificate training programs in partnership with academic faculty, nonprofit employers, and people with lived experience in the criminal legal system: the Navigator Certificate in Human Services & Community Justice and the Collective Leadership Supervisor Training (CLST). With support from the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, she also partnered with the CUNY School of Professional Studies to create the e-learning course, Unlocking Employment: How to Partner with Job Seekers Impacted by the Legal System, a training for City-contracted workforce development providers. A Results Trained Coach with certification from the NeuroLeadership Institute, Ms. Sigman has a BA from Yale University and MFA from Columbia University. Ms. Sigman has previously served as Director of Food Programs at Hazon and as Director of Operations at the Women’s Prison Association, among other roles.

For more information, contact Elena Sigman, Director of Collaborative Learning, esigman@jjay.cuny.edu.


Training content supports participating supervisors to increase their professional capacity in the following areas:

Collective Leadership 

  • Build and sustain effective supervisory relationships with staff (supervisees).
  • Build and sustain the effective practice of independence and initiative in staff.
  • Learn responsibility-based communication focused on how this communication lands.
  • Learn acknowledgement & recognition practices to foster and sustain leadership.


  • Learn leadership and supervision coaching and the essential practice of identifying issues, barriers and internal actions to resolve those issues.
  • Learn best practices to provide feedback that is valued and appreciated as a consistent contribution regardless of content.
  • Learn how to provide trauma-informed supervision for populations impacted by trauma without diagnosing or providing treatment.

Organizational Culture & Professional Boundaries 

  • Learn to read and interpret otherwise invisible organizational culture systems so as to effectively supervise within these systems, as well as challenge these systems to expand in order to support a more equitable diversity of staff, management and leadership.
  • Learn the role that effective professional boundaries play in a healthy organizational culture and then model and supervise staff to develop and maintain healthy and effective (not rigid) boundaries.



Please complete the fields below if you are interested in learning more about future Supervisor Training opportunities.  For more information, please contact us at JustOppInfo@jjay.cuny.edu