From small rural towns to large metropolitan cities, the Main Street Approach has helped to transform communities and neighborhoods, providing services and resources that have lifted struggling districts that have often been neglected or forgotten and brought vibrancy, using economic development strategies through art and placemaking, to support and grow businesses.
I have learned that my influence cannot be measured quantitatively. No matter what I say, there is a definite impact. From this journey of self-discovery, I have come to the realization that leadership includes us all.
Yes, we need leaders who make policy change and affect financial decisions, but the ability to clearly articulate your thoughts, views, critiques, warnings, and recommendations has historically been reserved for those in positional power. But when that positional power is skewed towards hegemony, then we do not have representation.
I’ve never been one to celebrate my Blackness one month, followed by my Womaness the next month, since I’m both Black and female 12 months every year. But this year I celebrated both during the opening of Black Panther, the 2018 American superhero film directed and co-wrote by our Oakland own Ryan Coogler.
How does leadership development and the work of LeaderSpring target the root cause of homelessness, unemployment, gentrification, and other social inequities currently affecting our societies? We support the understated (s)heroes and endless warriors who do. Our commitment to leaders is to work with them to build a strong path towards building a healthy and equitable society.
As I champion for the leaders who are working on the front lines to alleviate poverty, homelessness, environmental destruction, mass incarceration, and other issues, I question the strategies of our leaders who hold the power in government at all levels, major media outlets, and corporate America.
After 10 years of operating in New England and Mid-Western leadership paradigms in higher education, I’m inspired to be back in the Bay Area engaging with non-profit leaders, community activist, artists, and allies in the work of social justice and change for the better.