New Initiative on Religious Leadership, Civil Discourse and Democracy in the Public Square
Honored with a Ford Foundation Freedom of Expression grant, RCLA has launched the Religious Leadership, Civil Discourse and Democracy in the Public Square: Advancing the Positive Role of Faith Leaders in America project.
Led by RCLA Professor David Elcott, the project seeks to heighten the awareness that the language of a "wall" separating church and state does not reflect the historical ways Americans use their faith as citizens. Our hope is to provide framework for illuminating the roles religion and religious leaders play as primary civic actors - not simply as defenders of the faith, but as civic educators promoting civic engagement and involvement in American political life and policymaking.
A key element of this project includes convening thoughtful and influential religious leaders and thinkers from across the religious and political spectrum to serve in a critical advisory role. The project launched with a high-level gathering of religious leaders from across the nation from October 21-22, 2013. We look to this group to reflect on ways that, within in each faith tradition, pluralist democratic values and civic engagement could be taught.
This process, as well as literature research, surveys, focus groups and interviews, will lead to a resource toolkit and training programs that we hope will both "teach the trainer" and also model civics training programs in seminaries, youth clergy settings and even clergy conferences across the country.
Navigating the Territories of Indigenous Leadership
Leadership is not a neutral category. It is constructed through researcher assumptions, limitations and traditional leadership theories. This notion is at the core of Dr. Michelle Evans’ research on Indigenous arts leadership, which she presented at the Research Center for Leadership in Action in Fall 2013.
Dr. Evans, a Research Fellow at Melbourne Business School and leader of the School's research agenda on Indigenous Business and Leadership development, is currently in the US on a Fulbright Scholarship replicating her doctoral study on Aboriginal arts leadership through interviews of First Alaskan, Native American and Native Hawaiian artists and arts managers.
Using an Indigenous epistemology lens to understanding leadership, she has developed a framework of territories, which can be imagined as a series of overlapping spaces that capture the way Indigenous leadership is physical, embodied and connected to land. Dr. Evans identified the following four as the main recurring territories:
1. Authorization in a Bi-Cultural World
Gaining authorization for many Indigenous artists is a central part of their work, especially where communities, rather than individuals, “own” particular cultural symbols and the right to reproduce them. This form of cultural authorization is very important for many leaders. Conversely, often the resources necessary for the ability to lead come in the form of funding from non-Indigenous stakeholders, which can reduce cultural authorization. This territory of authorization is a space within which Indigenous artists and leaders negotiate a platform from which they speak.
2. Identity and Belonging
Many Indigenous artists are frequently challenged about their identity if their art does not conform to public stereotypes of Aboriginal art. While many want their art to stand on its own without having to explain why they don’t fit the stereotypes, identity and belonging are also often central to their work. The leadership practices in this territory capture these tensions: Indigenous artists both embody cultural identity and uphold cultural protocols in their art, but some also inhabit the lonely position of being the ‘first’ person to achieve in their discipline; both of which create pathways for future generations.
3. Artistic Practice
One of the strengths of Indigenous artistic practice is relational storytelling, in which the Indigenous body takes in these stories through the ears, eyes and heart. This process leads to the construction of non-judgmental, secure physical spaces for the creation of new work. However, artists and arts leaders must walk the line between protector and confident projection of Indigenous artistic culture, without having one trusted process to ensure cultural agreement for their work and use of cultural knowledge.
4. History, Colonization and Trauma
For many Indigenous people, direct experiences of colonization and violence against their families are vivid and real. The leadership practices we see across this territory often involve leaders working with their art and in communities to express and contain trauma. Artistic leaders create physical spaces like open and safe rehearsal rooms, but they also create safe spaces through their bodies by practicing calm, consistent, open and healthy attachments.
Ultimately, Dr. Evans proposes that identity work by Indigenous artists (i.e. forming, repairing, maintaining or strengthening a person’s identity) should be viewed as acts of leadership, when taking into consideration the impact of their work and practice.
Happy Holidays & New Developments at RCLA
RCLA celebrates our 10th anniversary this year! We are gratified to see a greater emphasis on the collective, not just individual, dimensions of leadership in academia, public service organizations and societal discourse more broadly. At the same time, what it means to actually embrace and enact collective leadership is still nebulous – which suggests we still have much work to do.
As part of this effort, RCLA has clarified its purpose. Going forward, RCLA’s goal will be to “build leadership that makes democracy work.” By democracy, we mean inclusion, participation and voice. And we pursue this sense of purpose across many contexts, from workplaces and membership organizations to communities, nations and global networks.
We will say more about this in future updates but, for now, know that our previous work and trajectory fit neatly within this framing. We still focus on understanding how people at all levels of organizations and across all sectors of society can contribute to leadership for the public good. Our work will continue to include research, teaching, and leadership development and capacity-building programs – now with a renewed emphasis on the democratic consequences of this work.
We are also thrilled that RCLA is serving as a research partner for the new NYU Leadership Initiative, a university-wide effort to help students develop the ethical and inclusive leadership to have a profound global impact. We have established a faculty Community of Practice focused on leadership, and will be hosting a scholarly conference on leadership in April 2014.
In all of these endeavors we are grateful for your partnership and support. We hope you enjoy this round-up of our most recent research and leadership programming. Going forward, we will be sending shorter monthly updates to ensure you can keep up with all our happenings.
Warm wishes for the holidays and a joyful new year,
Erica Gabrielle Foldy and Sonia M. Ospina
Faculty Co-Directors, Research Center for Leadership in Action
Enhancing Public Accountability in Latin America through Results-oriented Management
This November, Faculty Co-Director Sonia Ospina presented a paper co-authored with Nuria Cunill on “Enhancing Public Accountability through Results-oriented Public Management in Latin America” at the International Congress of State and Public Administration Reform hosted by the Latin American Center for Development Administration (CLAD - Centro Latinoamericano para la Administración en el Desarrollo) in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The paper focuses on State-driven efforts to make its public sector more accountable. It investigates explicit initiatives to develop and institutionalize internal systems of monitoring and evaluation at the national level, an institutional choice taken by most Latin American countries in the past 20 years to assess public sector performance. The paper highlights the obstacles to institutionalizing an approach that not only makes government more accountable, but also more democratic.
The research will be featured in a chapter in the Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America (forthcoming).
RCLA Faculty Co-Director's Book on Relational Leadership Chosen as Award Finalist
Advancing Relational Leadership Research: A Dialogue among Perspectives, edited by Mary Uhl-Bien and RCLA Faculty Co-Director Sonia Ospina, was a finalist for the 2013 Outstanding Leadership Book Award from the University of San Diego’s Department of Leadership Studies.
Leaders and followers live in a relational world – a world in which leadership occurs in complex webs of relationships and dynamically changing contexts. Despite this, our theories of leadership are grounded in assumptions of individuality and linear causality. If we are to advance understandings of leadership that have more relevance to the world of practice, we need to embed issues of relationality into leadership studies.
Advancing Relational Leadership Research addresses this issue by bringing together, for the first time, a set of prominent scholars from different paradigmatic and disciplinary perspectives to engage in dialogue regarding how to meet the challenges of relationality in leadership research and practice.
Included are cutting-edge thinking, heated debate and passionate perspectives on the issues at hand. The chapters reveal the varied and nuanced treatments of relationality that come from authors’ alternative paradigmatic (entity, constructionist, critical) views. Dialogue scholars — reacting to the chapters — engage in spirited debate regarding the commensurability (or incommensurability) of the paradigmatic approaches.
The editors bring the dialogue together with introductory and concluding chapters that offer a framework for comparing and situating the competing assumptions and perspectives spanning the relational leadership landscape. Using paradigm interplay they unpack assumptions, and lay out a roadmap for relational leadership research.
A key takeaway is that advancing relational leadership research requires multiple paradigmatic perspectives, and scholars who are conversant in the assumptions brought by these perspectives.
How Can Patients Take More Leadership in Medical Decision-making?
One lesser-known element of the Affordable Care Act is its desire to encourage patients to take a greater role in medical decisions – not only their own, but more broadly as well. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funds research designed to identify mechanisms through which patients can take more leadership in this area.
RCLA Faculty Co-Director Erica Gabrielle Foldy is a member of a research team studying an effort to bring together a broad range of medical stakeholders – patients, primary care physicians, specialists and insurers – to see whether they can come to agreement on important, sometimes controversial, issues like guidelines for cancer screening.
The project, based at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, is using a team of professional mediators to see whether their efforts can enable patients to fully participate despite the highly technical aspects of the subject matter. The first year of the project focused on prostate cancer screening; the second year, which is currently underway, is addressing lung cancer screening.
National Science Foundation Convening on Bringing Research Knowledge to Policy Practice
RCLA Co-Faculty Directors Erica Gabrielle Foldy and Sonia Ospina helped to design and facilitate an innovative gathering funded by the National Science Foundation at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
The workshop, which brought together policy experts, researchers and deans of schools of public affairs, explored the mechanisms and collaborations necessary to translate research into policymaking. The Co-Principal Investigators of the project were LBJ School Professors Angela Evans and Jenny Knowles Morrison.
Beginning with in-depth exploration of four successful cases of researcher/practitioner collaborations, the workshop first generated a number of insights about the critical factors behind those successes and then developed several projects to build on these insights. These projects ranged from research on the boundary-spanning leaders who spur these collaborations to creating a network of policy researchers and analysts able to quickly conduct studies and develop options for critical policy issues.
Fellowship for Social Sector Leadership Diversity Applications Now Open
The People of Color Leadership Network at NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action is now accepting applications for the Fellowship for Social Sector Leadership Diversity.
The fellowship is a 16-month leadership development program designed to build a diverse pipeline of NYU graduate students who are poised to take on leadership positions in direct service, philanthropy, advocacy, public policy and politics, social entrepreneurship and public service management and consulting.
The fellowship aims to :
- nurture diverse students' commitment to public service;
- build their capacity for collaborative and adaptive leadership in the social sector; and
- help them form supportive networks to bolster and sustain their work as social sector leaders.
The program is open to NYU graduate students who are passionate about public service leadership. Students who identify as members of racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in social sector leadership are strongly encouraged to apply.
All application materials are due by Noon EST on Friday, January 10, 2014.
Learn more and apply now
Funders Can Boost Impact by Investing in Nonprofit Talent: RCLA Fellow Presents New Framework
In his new article, “Talent Philanthropy: Investing in Nonprofit People to Advance Nonprofit Performance,” RCLA Visiting Fellow in Residence Rusty Stahl presents the case for funders to make strategic investments in nonprofit talent programs and systems.
Because people are the most important asset driving performance, innovation and sustainability in the social sector, Stahl notes that funders can enhance the effectiveness of their grantees, and therefore enhance their own impact, by asking essential questions about how best to support talent development efforts within grantee organizations and for the broader field.
Published in The Foundation Review, a peer-reviewed philanthropy journal, Stahl's article offers a robust talent philanthropy framework with considerations for nonprofit talent support systems that can support people throughout the nonprofit career cycle.
Learn more about the Talent Philanthropy Project.
RCLA Announces 2014 Class of Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service
NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action is pleased to announce that 30 accomplished early-career professionals have been selected to participate in the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, a premier cross-sector leadership program for a diverse group of emerging leaders in New York City.
The fellowship, now in its ninth year, helps recent college graduates reflect on and strengthen their leadership abilities, deepen their understanding of the public service arena, and engage in strategic career development. Through bi-weekly sessions over the course of seven months, fellows hear from senior officials and nonprofit executives about their own career trajectories and receive ongoing guidance from accomplished professionals who serve as career and alumni guides.
Previous speakers have included Jennifer Jones Austin, co-chair of Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's transition team; Khary Lazarre-White, co-founder and executive director of The Brotherhood-Sister Sol; and New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.
The fellowship was founded by Ellen Schall, former dean of NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and is sponsored by NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action. It reflects RCLA's broader work to develop the knowledge and capacity for leadership to transform society.
The fellows selected are from diverse backgrounds and have demonstrated a commitment to public service and leadership. They work for a variety of nonprofit, government, philanthropic and private enterprises advancing the public good.
This year's Fellows are:
- Alejandro Alvarez, New York City Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs
- Aryana Anderson, Apollo Theater Foundation
- Christopher (Chris) Anderson, The Good Dog Foundation
- Catherine Armstrong, MDRC
- Sarah Baker, Open Society Foundations
- Jerry Bruno, New York City Department of Small Business Services
- Sadie Casamenti, Office of the New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator
- Victoria Cohen, Hunts Point Alliance for Children
- Karina de Sousa, National Urban League
- Emily Distel, US Fund for UNICEF
- Kathleen (Kate) Effland, Taproot Foundation
- Allison Farer, Harlem RBI
- Danielle Goetter, Fund for Public Health in New York
- Queen Golder, Girl Scouts of the USA
- Sara Gonzalez, Day One
- Reva Gorelick, Uncommon Schools
- Taylor Jo Isenberg, Roosevelt Institute
- Gary Johnson, New York City Department of Small Business Services
- Primo Lasana, iMentor
- Maria Lee, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
- Katie Long, Eye to Eye
- Bianca Martinez, New York College Advising Corps
- Lucia Mattox, Achievement First
- James (Jamie) Nadeau, The Opportunity Network
- Roland Persaud, Center for Employment Opportunities
- Lauren Pizer, Explore Charter School
- Adam Schulman, Explore Schools
- Linda Shum, Brooklyn Prospect Charter School
- Bonny Tsang, New York City Campaign Finance Board
- Tessa Vithayathil, City Harvest
Fifteen Civil Society Leaders Selected for Inaugural Cohort of Prestigious Ghanaian Leadership Program
The Research Center for Leadership in Action and Fundación Mujeres por África are pleased to announce the 15 participants of the inaugural Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program, a leadership development opportunity for women in mid-level management positions in Ghanaian civil society organizations.
The program is part of the Ghana Wins! Project, an initiative to develop and promote the leadership of Ghanaian women in the key sectors of healthcare, education and civil society. The Ghana Wins! Project is offered through a partnership between New York University, Fundación Mujeres Por África, Banco Santander, and the University of Ghana.
RCLA Deputy Director Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla said, “We are thrilled to support this dynamic group of women representing a wide range of civil society organizations in Ghana as they build the skills and networks to lead transformational change in their communities.”
The Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program begins in December 2013 with an intensive week-long leadership institute in Ghana. Over the course of the program, each participant will design and implement an innovative project to address a pressing need in her organization or community. The program also offers an intensive leadership institute in New York City and a closing summit in Ghana in October 2014.
Fundación Mujeres Por África President María Teresa Fernández de la Vega said, “The program provides an exciting opportunity to leverage the knowledge and strength of these women who are making significant contributions to growth and prosperity in Ghana.”
2013 Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program Cohort
- Wendy Naa Yaaboko Abbey, Acting Executive Director at the Human Rights Advocacy Centre
- Esenam Abra Ahiadorme, Program Officer for Governance at Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), Ghana
- Patience Antonio, Senior Human Resource Specialist at Compassion International Ghana
- Regina Antwi, Relations Manager at the Leading Ladies Network
- Noelle Theara Appiah, Legal Aid Coordinator at the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Ghana
- Mary Yaa Ayim, Assistant Lecturer at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), Ghana
- Miracle Damanka, Development Director at OrphanAid Africa
- Joyce Lena Danguah, Project Officer at the Gender Studies and Human Rights Documentation Centre
- Salomey Gyamfi Afrifa, Senior Development Planner at Ga South Municipal Assembly
- Beauty Emefa Narteh, Communications Officer at the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition
- Linda Ataa Nyarko (Osabutey), Shelter Manager at Challenging Heights
- Ernestina Ofoe, Intern-Volunteer at Totally Youth
- Ama Ofori-Antwi, Project Officer at the Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in Ghana
- Mabel Pinkrah, Principal Research Assistant and Administrator at the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, University of Ghana
- Jamila Haruna Yeboah, Volunteer Project Coordinator at the Ark Foundation
NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action conducts breakthrough research on leadership and offers customized leadership development and capacity-building programs. Learn more at wagner.nyu.edu/leadership
Fundación Mujeres Por África is committed to contributing to sustainable development, human rights, peace and justice for people and especially for women in Africa. Learn more at http://www.mujeresporafrica.es/
Inaugural IGNITE Institute Convenes Women of Color in Social Sector
All 31 members of the inaugural class of the IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector – a leadership program for women of color at nonprofits, newly launched by NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) -- gathered in New York City for a kick-off institute that stretched from August 1-6.
The IGNITE institute, organized by Toni Harris, Director of Career Services and Alumni Relations at Wagner, and Director of the IGNITE Fellowship, began with a welcome reception in the NYU President’s Penthouse in Washington Square. The evening included a lively and bracing discussion with Irshad Manji, director of the Moral Courage Project at NYU Wagner. Manji is the author of the international bestseller The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith, creator of the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, Faith Without Fear, and she most recently authored Allah, Liberty & Love. Speaking to the IGNITE fellows, she shared hard-won lessons on creating work-life balance for herself and her team – a process she said was anchored in daily meditation, and propelled by the vitality and fulfillment that comes from working to turn a vision into a reality.
The following day’s events took place at NYU Wagner and included an overview of findings from a decade of research on social change leadership delivered by RCLA Faculty Director Sonia Ospina, as well as a luncheon with a panel of women leading organizations across sectors in New York City.
- Analisa Leonor Balares, founder and CEO of Womensphere
- Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation
- Arva Rice, President and CEO of the New York Urban League
- Fatima A. Shama, Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
NYU Wagner Assistant Dean of Fiscal Operations and Human Resources Trena Drayton, moderated the panel discussion. The conversation traced the women’s leadership journeys, from when they first considered themselves leaders, to key moments that have influenced their leadership styles and directions, to leadership challenges they are each facing currently. Key themes included the important role leaders play in convening stakeholders to find solutions, recognizing moments of opportunity in moments of crisis, and the assets that leaders of color, in particular, gain from navigating cultures while remaining grounded in the affirmation of “home” relationships and communities.
“The energy in the room crystallized the continued value of conversations like these,” said Drayton. “People of color, especially women, benefit greatly from candid, informed dialogue around matters that are often left unspoken.”
Following the events at Wagner, the Fellows travelled to Old Greenwich, Connecticut, for four days of robust leadership and management sessions and a chance to build a strong network. In the coming nine months, the Fellows will continue to sharpen their leadership skills with the support of cohort members and Fellowship managers.
Offered with support from the American Express Foundation, IGNITE is a nine-month program that offers a diverse group of mid-career women directing nonprofit programs and organizations across the United States exposure to best practices, processes for building personal and organizational leadership, and opportunities to build and strengthen core management capacities.
The program is sponsored by RCLA’s People of Color Leadership Network, which strengthens communities of color by supporting leadership by and for people of color.
Learn more about IGNITE: http://wagner.nyu.edu/leadership/leadership_dev/pocln/ignite
Learn more about RCLA’s People of Color Leadership Network: http://wagner.nyu.edu/leadership/leadership_dev/pocln
Applications Being Accepted for Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service
NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action is now accepting applications for the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service.
The fellowship is a prestigious leadership program for a diverse group of early-career professionals working full-time for elected officials, government agencies, nonprofits and philanthropic organizations in New York City. Through sessions twice each month from November 2013 through May 2014, Fellows will enhance their leadership knowledge and skills, deepen their understanding of the public service landscape, hear from top leaders in the field, receive ongoing mentorship from Alumni and Career Guides, engage in strategic career planning, and build a cross-sector network of people committed to public service.
To be eligible, applicants must work full-time in public service in the New York City area; may not currently be engaged in another significant fellowship; and must commit to attending all fellowship sessions, including a day-long Orientation on November 2, 2013. The program fee is $500.
The application deadline is noon (EST) on Thursday, September 5, 2013.
More information and the application are available at: http://wagner.nyu.edu/felps
Thirty-one Professionals Selected for Inaugural IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector
The Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is pleased to announce the 31 members of the inaugural IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector, a nine-month program enabling them to strengthen their leadership and management skills.
Offered with support from the American Express Foundation, IGNITE offers a diverse group of mid-career women directing nonprofit programs and organizations across the United States exposure to best practices, processes for building personal and organizational leadership, and opportunities to build and strengthen core management capacities.
American Express Foundation President Timothy J. McClimon said, “We are thrilled to support this extraordinary group of women working on critically important social issues who are poised to not only deepen their organizations’ impact, but strengthen the leadership of the sector as a whole.”
The Fellowship begins with a leadership institute in New York City from August 1-6, which includes a welcome reception in the NYU President’s Penthouse, a luncheon with top nonprofit leaders, and robust leadership and management sessions over four days. Over the ensuing nine months, Fellows will participate in peer mentoring and webinars to sharpen their leadership skills with the support of cohort members and Fellowship managers.
RCLA Executive Director Bethany Godsoe said, “These women are advancing justice initiatives in game-changing ways across the nation. We are excited about giving them a chance to reflect, learn and apply best practices, and build a national network they can call on for ideas and support as they undertake ambitious change agendas.”
To learn more about the IGNITE fellowship, please visit: http://bit.ly/17VL9fB
2013 IGNITE Fellows:
- Alethea Simon, Vice President of Programs and Policy, Greenhope Services for Women, New York, NY
- Ayeola Kinlaw, Director and Engagement Manager, Center for Public Research and Leadership, New York, NY
- Elizabeth Clay Roy, Chief Strategy Officer, Phipps Community Development Corporation, New York, NY
- Erica Hamilton, Vice President and Executive Director, City Year, New York, NY
- Erika Davies, Director of Membership & Development, Association of Black Foundation Executives, New York, NY
- Gaylon Alcaraz, Executive Director, Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago, IL
- Iliana Estevez, Federal Programs Manager, Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute, Washington, DC
- Imelba Rodriguez, Senior Program Director, Bridge Street Development Corporation, Brooklyn, NY
- Inez Gonzalez, Executive Vice President, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Pasadena, CA
- Jennise Hall, Director of Finance, Turning Point, Brooklyn, NY
- Jovian Zayne Irvin, Managing Director for Regional Talent Recruitment and Strategy, Teach For America, New York, NY
- Joy Messinger, Deputy Director, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Chicago, IL
- Juhu Thukral, Director of Law and Advocacy, The Opportunity Agenda, New York, NY
- Kia Chatmon, Development Officer, National Organization of Concerned Black Men, Washington, DC
- Krystal Portalatin, Co-Director, FIERCE, New York, NY
- Margarita Guzman, Program Director, Day One, New York, NY
- Meredith Freeman, Program Director, Fair Food Network, Ann Arbor, MI
- Monique Miles, Deputy Director, The Aspen Institute, Washington, DC
- Nathalie de Los Angeles Hodge, Program Director for the NYCHA Resident Training Academy, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, Brooklyn, NY
- Pamela Saelieb, Advisory Services Consultant, Taproot Foundation, Los Angeles, CA
- Parisa Norouzi, Executive Director, Empower DC, Washington, DC
- Rachelle Olden, National Director for the Roosevelt Institute Pipeline, Roosevelt Institute, New York, NY
- Ramatu Bangura, Program Director, Sauti Yetu Center for African Women, Bronx, NY
- Raquel Lynch, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Charlotte, NC
- Rosita Choy, Director of Operations, National CAPACD, Washington, DC
- Shreya Malena-Sannon, Program Director, Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Brooklyn, NY
- Simone Sneed, Director of Development and External Affairs, Inwood House, New York, NY
- Sindy Benavides, Director of Civic Engagement and Community Mobilization, League of United Latin American Citizens, Washington, DC
- Tameeza Alibhai, Policy Manager, AKDN, AKF-Afghanistan, Washington, DC
- Tiffany McQueen, Director of Educational Programs, LINK Unlimited, Chicago, IL
- Tonya Davis-Taylor, Program Director, Palladia Inc., New York, NY
NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action conducts breakthrough research on leadership and offers customized leadership development and capacity-building programs. IGNITE is a program of RCLA’s People of Color Leadership Network, which aims to strengthen communities of color by supporting leadership by and for people of color. Learn more at wagner.nyu.edu/leadership .
American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow
One of American Express' three platforms for its philanthropy is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and social sectors, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. More than 10,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership programs. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector. The Academy brings together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector and nongovernmental organizations.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector - Apply by Noon May 24
NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action is now accepting applications for the IGNITE Fellowship for Women of Color in the Social Sector.
IGNITE is a nine-month program that celebrates and builds the leadership skills of mid-career women of color in nonprofits across the US.
The fellowship offers exposure to best practices, processes for building personal and organizational leadership, opportunities to build and strengthen core management capacities, and a national network of women of color in the sector.
It begins with a five-day Institute from August 1-6, 2013 that draws on the best of New York City as a hub for nonprofit innovation and offers Fellows a space to engage in reflection and rejuvenation. Over the following nine months, fellows participate in ongoing peer mentoring, coaching and webinars to work toward their leadership goals.
IGNITE is a program of RCLA’s People of Color Leadership Network, which aims to strengthen communities of color by supporting leadership by and for people of color.
The application deadline is noon EST on Friday, May 24, 2013.
Learn more and apply now.
Leadership Program for Ghanaian Women Leaders in Civil Society
NYU Wagner's Research Center for Leadership in Action and Fundación Mujeres por África are now accepting applications for the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program.
The one-year leadership development program is for women working in mid-level positions in civil society organizations or on public and social issues in Ghana. The women selected this year will be part of the program’s inaugural cohort, which kicks off in October 2013.
The program offers participants:
- Two week-long intensive leadership institutes in Ghana and New York City;
- Presentations by international and Ghanaian experts in leadership and management;
- Hands-on, interactive workshops that offer opportunities for reflection, peer learning, team building and planning;
- Expert coaching and support during the design and execution of an action-learning project in a home organization or community;
- Program training, lodging and travel expenses covered by the program;
- A network of dynamic women leaders in Ghanaian civil society; and
- Robust knowledge and skills for advancing community change.
The deadline to apply has been extended to noon EST on Friday, June 14, 2013.
Learn more about the program and apply now.
RCLA Launches Initiative on Religion, Civic Leadership & Democracy
NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action is thrilled to announce the launch of the initiative Religion, Civic Leadership and Democracy in the Public Square: Exploring and Advancing the Role of Faith in Civility 11 Years Post-9/11.
Religious leaders have become significant teachers of civics and civic engagement in the United States, a role for which few have been trained. Given the polarization and violent rhetoric in America today over many divisive issues, this project seeks to work with religious communities to promote constructive dialogue and civil discourse.
The two-year initiative, directed by NYU Wagner Professor David Elcott and made possible through support from the Ford Foundation, will examine how civic and public issues are addressed within religious communities and the implications for broader civic discourse and democracy in the US. The initiative is designed to highlight the roles religious communities and their leaders play in American political life and to equip a new generation of religious leaders to constructively promote greater civil discourse and pluralist democratic values.
The Religion, Civic Leadership, and Democracy in the Public Square initiative will leverage civic and democratic values from within religious communities while simultaneously advancing inter-faith bridge building and conversation.
The project has three main aims:
- Engagement through Active Inquiry: The initiative will explore how religious communities and their leaders address public civil discourse and democracy to determine the connection between religious rhetoric and teaching and the roles one plays as a citizen.
- Analysis: Through collaboration with key religious leaders, the initiative will search for religious language particular to each religious community to enhance democratic discourse and focus Americans on common ground and on the common good.
- Tools and Training: A main focus of the initiative will be to share actionable knowledge with political and religious leaders and activists, youth leaders and teachers who are concerned with enhancing civic dialogue.
David Elcott, who is leading the initiative, has 25 years of experience in interfaith and interethnic mediation and coalition building. Trained in political psychology and Middle East affairs at ColumbiaUniversity and Judaic studies at the American Jewish University, Dr. Elcott is the Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service and Leadership at NYU Wagner and an affiliated faculty member at RCLA. The initiative builds on RCLA’s participatory and democratic approaches to building knowledge and leadership with practitioners in the public service and social change arenas over the last decade.
Dr. Elcott noted, "For two over two decades I have worked to build interfaith coalitions committed to social justice while mediating conflicts within and among religious communities. This is an extraordinary opportunity to highlight the extensive involvement of religious leaders in the political life of America as teachers of civic values – and to locate more effective ways for these leaders to promote a healthier and more civil United States.”
Through Advocacy Lab, Students Work to Change Reentry Policy
A unique NYU Wagner course is offering students the opportunity to learn about and work directly to change housing policies for people reentering communities after being incarcerated. Their aim is to get the federal definition of homelessness updated to include those recently released from prison, giving them access to shelter and social services.
Through Advocacy Lab, which has been taught by NYU Wagner Professor David Elcott with other faculty members since 2011, students gain an overview of and training in how to affect US public policy through advocacy campaigns, legislative lobbying, issue branding, coalition building and community organizing. This includes exploring different forms of issue advocacy and identifying a value base; managing the strategies, tactics and activities of organizing and running a social justice advocacy campaign; and conducting research, marketing and evaluation.
This semester Advocacy Lab has partnered with The Fortune Society, which provides services including housing, employment, education, substance abuse treatment and family reunification to individuals recently released from jail or prison. Through its reentry programming, The Fortune Society works to promote alternatives to incarceration and strengthen the fabric of communities.
The students are helping to build Fortune’s housing policy agenda, with the aim of getting the federal definition of homelessness updated to include those recently released from prison. This change would give recently released individuals access to services guaranteed to individuals defined as "street homeless," such as access to shelter and social services, providing them with the necessary safety and support to reform their lives.
"Through Advocacy Lab, students are on the front lines of shaping the conversations on issues of homelessness, housing, and incarceration with The Fortune Society, a nationally recognized partner,” said Caroline Ross, an NYU Wagner student and Advocacy Lab organizer. “Students have the opportunity to directly apply the theory and policy frameworks we are learning in the classroom to on-the-ground experience."
To that end, students are spearheading the following projects:
- Bringing "The Castle II," the play by David Rothenberg that tells stories of individuals recently released from prison (and that led to his founding The Fortune Society), to NYU Wagner for the greater NYU community on April 29, 2013.
- Developing key policy positions for Fortune on federal and state legislation related to homelessness
- Expanding research on the correlation between housing, an improved criminal justice system and societal outcomes
- Enhancing the implementation and analysis of the organization's national reentry housing survey
- Working with Fortune's communication and media strategy teams to tailor messaging to different key stakeholders
- Visiting community members living at The Fortune Society's Castle Gardens to better understand the experience of reentry into the community and to see a proven model of whole-community integration with formerly incarcerated people that is viable and thriving
- Identifying and reaching out to key contacts in the housing reform community
Professor David Elcott, who is an RCLA-affiliated faculty member, explained, “Our relationship with The Fortune Society gives students the opportunity to directly interact with experts in the field of housing and criminal justice policy, while they apply the focused, high-quality, research and advocacy skills characteristic of a Wagner education. We see the Advocacy Lab model as the future of public service education and an essential way to develop the next generation of social justice leaders.”
The Heart of NYU Wagner
The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. Premier scholars in a variety of disciplines and fields--economics, finance, sociology, political science, law, planning, health care, and more--our faculty members conceive new answers to ambitious social questions.
How does power shape our perception?
What greater role can Evidence-Based Management play in healthcare?
Erica G. Foldy
What enables teams of social workers to be more effective?
A Window on Wagner
Crossing Traditional Boundaries
The process, and the politics, of central-government decentralization in developing countries
Are low-income neighborhoods helped or harmed by current Federal affordable-housing policies?
How do U.S states manage their pension systems and unemployment insurance trust funds to achieve substantive policy goals?
Why do immigrant children perform better in school?
Dennis C. Smith
Why is crime still going down in New York City?
How does leadership happen?
Is microlending the solution for global poverty?
Paul C. Light: What is a government ill-executed?
What is a government ill-executed?
Leadership in public sector and healthcare organizations happens through...
Robert Derzon Professor of Health & Public Service
Leadership in public sector and healthcare organizations happens through leaders with the ability to communicate and achieve a clear and transformative organizational vision, create a sustainable financial structure, align the organizational structure to achieve the vision, and adapt continuously. Leaders of today’s and tomorrow’s public organizations must understand how to gather and use evidence to make more effective organizational systems and strategic decisions. They must create accountable organizations and be personally accountable. They must be persons of courage and integrity.
We're trying to understand why it is that there are huge disparities in health outcomes...
Associate Professor of Health Policy and Public Service
We're trying to understand why it is that there are huge disparities in health outcomes – between low-income populations, say – so that policymakers can find solutions. For example, we looked closely at Medicaid claims date to track how well primary care providers managed their patients. Did one provider have more emergency room visits that another? More primary care visits? What we found was that hospital clinics were much worse at managing patients than private doctors and free-standing, community clinics were. We're trying to sort out why this is. Wagner's Center for Health and Public Service Research (CHPSR) serves as a vehicle for connecting academic research with policymaking and program development in order to address key issues concerning the delivery of health care and social services.
My book on the economics of microfinance pulls together ideas from my teaching, research and advising over the past five years...
Professor of Public Policy and Associate Professor of Economics, FAS
My book on the economics of microfinance pulls together ideas from my teaching, research and advising over the past five years. I’m also studying the politics of microfinance. I want to tell the story of how microfinance became a global movement and why it took the particular form it did. Ultimately, the story has a lot to do with pessimism about the effectiveness of foreign aid, a growing reluctance to redistribute income globally, and an increasing interest in market-based approaches. So the story is about changes in broad policy perspectives as seen through the lens of microfinance.
Much of my research is done in connection with the Citizens Budget Commission...
Professor of Public and Health Administration
Much of my research is done in connection with the Citizens Budget Commission. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization that seeks to improve financial management and service delivery by the City of New York and the State of New York. Recent reports have dealt with methods to assess the affordability of debt at the state and local level, ways to use the internet and e-gov techniques to make procurement by City agencies more cost-effective and the implications of converting the civilian municipal workforce from a 35 to a 40 hour work-week. Research is now underway on cost containment strategies for New York State’s Medicaid program and options for financing major transportation infrastructure improvements. I enjoy the applied nature of the work, with opportunities to interact with state and local officials.
My interest in neighborhoods started by thinking about the social networks one develops when raised or living in a poor neighborhood...
Associate Professor of Public Policy
Although I am trained as an economist, my interest in neighborhoods started by thinking about the social networks one develops when raised or living in a poor neighborhood. Such networks can be very important for a variety of reasons, including creating expectations about work and even finding a specific job. In fact, it turns out that more than half of jobs are found through some you know, and people ion low-income neighborhoods, where employment levels are low, may well face a big disadvantage. The importance of neighborhoods in shaping people’s life chances has sparked my interest in several aspects of community development efforts, such as the provision of affordable housing, and the performance – particularly the governance – of nonprofit and community based organizations.
My research is focused primarily on the well-being of individuals...
Associate Professor of Public Policy
My research is focused primarily on the well-being of individuals and how this is shaped by the interaction of individual decision-making, market institutions and government policies. I’m particularly interested in the economics of aging and retirement, especially the risks facing older households. Recently, I’ve collaborated with Professor Jan Blustein to examine health outcomes and the labor market behavior of grandparents raising their grandchildren. This work will help in developing better policies and programs to support this growing yet vulnerable group that is performing an important social role.
The challenge is to make the connection between medical care and health...
Professor of Health Policy and Associate Professor of Medicine
The challenge is to make the connection between medical care and health and to understand how factors other than medical care can influence health among older people. In doing research that will benefit older people, it is vital to have an appreciation of the importance of housing, maintaining social connections and maintaining functional abilities, in addition to the benefits of high-technology medicine.
It is very difficult for businesses to compete globally if...
Assistant Professor of International Development
It is very difficult for businesses to compete globally if they have to comply with costly and cumbersome labor and environmental regulations. And yet, there is no development if workers are being exploited and the environment is being depleted. In my research, I study how government agencies, the bureaucrats who staff them, and the organizations they partner with use law to shape the competitive environment in which businesses operate. Can real-world, and therefore imperfect, government agencies promote sustained, equitable, and environmentally friendly growth even when beset by global competition? If so, how?
We are seeking to understand how the placement of new information and telecommunication systems affects the form and function of cities and metropolitan regions...
Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning
We are seeking to understand how the placement of new information and telecommunication systems affects the form and function of cities and metropolitan regions. Just as the automobile shaped the pattern of metropolitan development in the twentieth century, information will influence the development of the twenty-first century. Communities, cities and nations without an advanced information infrastructure are destined to decline and diminish in importance.
I've found Wagner to be one of the most exciting places for teaching and research I could imagine...
I've found Wagner to be one of the most exciting places for teaching and research I could imagine. The students are extraordinary; my colleagues on the faculty are diverse in their interests, but equally committed to excellence. My own focus is the relationship between policymaking and political reality—a topic that’s too often either ignored or given sort-shrift—but not here at Wagner. For example, I’ve been exploring both the policy reasons and the nature and management of political forces that made the difference between the failure of health reform in the Clinton years and its eventual passage under President Obama. My insights into this dynamic—which has shaped outcomes from Lincoln’s policies toward slavery, to the balanced budget, to the uses and misuses of the referendum process in various states—have been immensely enriched by my interactions with students and other faculty.
Social Change Leadership Network
What was something useful you learned from the RCLA Social Change Leadership Network Training for Trainers?
How does leadership happen?
How does RCLA generate knowledge about leadership?
How do organizations engage in leadership practices to bridge difference?
How does the Encore Careers Project focus on getting baby boomers involved in public service?
Waad El Hadidy
What is Cooperative Inquiry and what advantages does it offer as a research process?
What is RCLA learning from the Talent Development Program?
What are key elements of community organizing?
What are key elements of community organizing?
What tools did you gain from the RCLA Social Change Leadership Network training on community organizing?
What tools did you gain from the RCLA Social Change Leadership Network training on community organizing?
The leadership needed (and not needed) in philanthropy
Barbara Ibrahim, Founding Director, John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement, American University in Cairo
What did you learn from the RCLA Social Change Leadership Network session on community organizing?
What did you learn from the RCLA Social Change Leadership Network session on community organizing?
How has the Encore Careers symposium set the stage for new research on baby boomers in public service?
What do you stand for?