Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Supporting and Training New Leaders

Many justice movement pundits write about the need to continue the work of building power with a new, educated, energized leadership dedicated to carrying justice movements forward. Few talk about how to support, educate and provide opportunities for these new leaders. 

The San Diego LGBT Community Center has prioritized some of this work. Hearing clearly the hopes and needs of young leaders in our community, we began to host the Young Professionals Council more than two years ago. Again following their lead, we established the Young Professionals Council Leadership Council this last year. 

The Young Professional Council (YPC) is a diverse group of young LGBT and allied professionals who are dedicated to the growth of The Center. The YPC Academy, an intensive leadership development program, was designed to expand the ranks of young LGBT leaders that are ready to further equality through board service for a variety of agencies, non-profit organizations and government boards and commissions. 

During the Academy, these young professionals covered an impressive array of topics and heard from a veritable Who’s Who of San Diego’s social justice leaders and LGBT elected officials over the course of 42 hours of training and discussion. 

They participated in in-depth sessions covering topics such as leadership development (in elected office and other public service capacities), social justice movements, civic engagement, cross-issue/cross-movement collaborations and coalition building, board governance and fiduciary responsibilities, voter engagement, non-profit finance and fundraising.

I was impressed with their enthusiasm and commitment, and by the end of six weeks with this group I was looking at them with an eye toward my own board development. But this training isn’t just for The Center to benefit from, there are scores of local boards that would be fortunate to have any one of these 20 join in the leadership of their organization.

Congratulations to the 20 incredibly talented and committed graduates of The Center’s Young Professionals Council Academy’s inaugural class -- Abraham De La Cruz, Barbara Moreno, Ben Cartwright, Brian J. Nagle, Georgette G√≥mez, Gianni M. LaChica, Ian Johnson, Jared Quient, Jason Whitehouse, Jesus Sanchez, John Greenwell, Kimberly Simms, Maricar Camaya, Paul Richardson, Tony Winney, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy, YPC secretary/treasurer Vanessa Cosio, YPC membership chair Jarryd Davis and YPC co-chairs Brandon Tate-McWilliams and Justin Knepper.

You can read more about the YPC, the Academy and the talented graduates at www.thecentersd.org/programs/youth-services/young-professionals-council.html.

You can also join in the celebration of these young leaders at the YPC Champagne Brunch on Sunday, July 1 from 11 am-1 pm at Wang’s North Park, 3029 University Ave. Tickets are just $40 and include fantastic food and bottomless mimosas. Purchase your tickets online today!