Spelman College Establishes Center for Leadership, Civic EngagementATLANTA
Women of color are the fastest growing segment of the work force, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. With women making up 48 percent of the work force by the year 2008, they must be poised to assume the leadership opportunities of the 21st century. To meet this demand, Spelman College is embarking on an institutional agenda to cultivate a new generation of leaders with the recent launch of its new Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.
“For more than 120 years, Spelman College has had a special mission: to empower women to fully use their talents to succeed and to better the world,” said Spelman President Beverly Daniel Tatum. “The establishment of the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement is the perfect expression of our mission. As we build on our tradition of excellence, we are shaping the future — one leader at a time.”
The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, also referred to as LEADS, has five key areas of emphasis: leadership development, economic empowerment, advocacy through the arts, dialogue across difference, service learning and civic engagement.
Designed to be a research site, LEADS has a number of missions and will provide a space where:
• discussion of contemporary issues and their implication for public policy will take center stage;
• students can learn from women who themselves have been on the front lines of social change in both the private and public sector;
• the financial literacy and economic development of women of color is promoted;
• the transformational power of the artist as community leader is embraced;
• opportunities for dialogue across difference abound; and
• commitment to community service is enhanced and civic involvement is inspired by example.
“Ultimately, the center is intended to become a national resource for all who are concerned about the leadership development of women of color,” Tatum said.
The center’s founding co-directors, Pamela G. Carlton and Kimberly Browne Davis, share Tatum’s passion and vision for LEADS. Davis, a 1981 Spelman alumna, is on special assignment from JPMorganChase, where she currently serves as a managing director. Carlton, a graduate of Williams College, who holds a juris doctorate and a master’s degree in business administration from Yale University, is a former managing director of JPMorgan Securities. Carlton is the president of Springboard, a leadership development company, which she and Davis co-founded.
Carlton and Davis will co-direct the center until a permanent, full-time director is appointed.
The Center will host a leadership conference titled, “Women of Color — Leadership in the 21st Century: It’s Our Turn,” to be held on May 12-14.
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