The CrisisFar too often leadership is defined by:
- Having massive followers
- Acquiring mass media attention
- Earning European, and increasingly Asian or another group’s approval.
Increasingly, those being prepared for leadership examine our community through the eyes of those who are alien to our community – ignoring the cultural and actual strengths of our community and our people.
Identity with our community, culture and our greatest aspirations is buried for fear that massive followers, mass media attention, and alien approval (money, promotions, good reviews, etc.) will allude us.
More illusive is the manipulated use of individual convenience (ipods, iphones, ipads, etc.) to erode the experience of community of shared history, experience, culture, aspirations, and destiny.
More obscure, still, is the use of education to crush our youth’s spirits, or failing that, to alienate them from their culture and the very community from which they come, and for which later they will be expected to speak.
Our leaders are not prepared academically to serve us, and our academics are not prepared for leadership that serve us.
L.E.A.P:To turn us around, we must cultivate a new leadership development approach that addresses these issues. AYA’s LEAP does just that!
The goal is to produce students who:
- Identify fully with Black people-African people
- Demonstrate a commitment to academic and cultural excellence that serves the needs and highest aspirations of their families, and the local, national, international African community, and the world (in that order)
- Who embrace their role as warriors – challenging oppression and the subtle and overt threats to our community
- Who embrace their role as healers – working to heal themselves of the wounds of oppression and who account for those wounds in others.
- Who embrace their role as builders – family builders, business builders, institution builders that can thrive in a hostile environment without shedding its purpose to serve our people first
- Who measure their academic excellence based on how well Black people --locally, nationally and internationally-- judge that they are prepared to use their academic success to achieve the above.
- Imagine our youth as scholars -warriors, healers, and builders.
- Imagine them demonstrating academic excellence within and because of the community.
- Imagine them becoming youth change agents - advocating for a better community.
- Now, imagine them inspiring other youth and adults to do the same.