OJL  Vol.7 No.4 , December 2018
Innovations in Leadership Development: Centering Communities of Color
Abstract: With innovative funding from a large local foundation, communities of color in Portland, Oregon developed an array of leadership programs to serve communities of color. This article shares the models they developed, including overviews of curriculum, theories of change, and concrete evidence-based gains achieved by the programs. Innovations include a leadership model that is rooted in community leadership, and the emergence of community priorities to guide the programs, alongside culturally-specific programs that are effective in reaching and supporting the participation of emerging and existing leaders of color. Community priorities included advocacy engagement that resulted in achieving real gains during the yearlong program, and preparing leaders to engage in racial equity work in public and institutional policy after graduation. Highlighted are the distinct assets of culturally specific programs that were perceived to be responsible for achieving significant gains. Conclusions emphasize the importance of culturally specific leadership programs for reaching and centering leaders of color and the ways that such investments hold potential to lead equity efforts in the community and in organizations. Avenues for strengthening programs and their evaluation conclude the article.
Cite this paper: Curry-Stevens, A. (2018) Innovations in Leadership Development: Centering Communities of Color. Open Journal of Leadership, 7, 265-284. doi: 10.4236/ojl.2018.74016.

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