Dear friends of MCLP,

It is an honor to write to you as the new Executive Director of the Multicultural Leadership Institute. I am grateful to the Board of Directors for the opportunity to lead this extraordinary organization. I am humbled to build upon the legacy of those who founded and shaped the Institute into what it is today.

For over a decade the Multicultural Leadership Institute has provided our community with a unique leadership development initiative, the Multicultural Leadership Program, or MCLP. During that time, over 300 individuals from all walks of life and with a rich tapestry of experiences have participated in the program. MCLP participants have partnered with over 50 local non-profit organizations on capacity building projects. These projects have created a profound impact on thousands of men, women, and children in our area. The personal and professional growth of MCLP graduates has helped create a more diverse and inclusive community.

This year the Institute’s MCLP class has gone virtual. We have strategically chosen community partner organizations that are focusing on two of the biggest challenges our community faces: COVID-19 relief and racial injustice. These project partnerships are a key component of our curriculum model. The Class of 2021 is addressing these critical issues with passion as they work to change the landscape of social justice.

Just as our 25 current class participants have embarked on their servant leadership journey, I, too, have embarked on a journey of understanding. I have met with many alumni and longtime supporters of MCLP as well as key community stakeholders. I have listened to their experiences and their views on the challenges we face. Let me tell you – what I have heard is inspiring. I have heard stories of fundamental personal growth. I have heard heartfelt stories of relationships that last far beyond the nine-month class experience. I have heard from class members that their participation with MCLP has awakened in them the ability to create generational change, within their own family and our community as a whole. The stories I have heard in these weeks are from people who are making a true difference. I have heard the heart of our organization in the hearts of its people.

As we move into our second decade at the Multicultural Leadership Institute, I invite you to vision with us about our future. Be part of our work in putting the words diversity and inclusion into action. Join us as we build stronger collaborations with others in our community. Journey with us as we give individuals the knowledge, tools, and opportunity to experience justice and equity.

Together we must overcome the fear, uncertainty, and divisiveness that fills our world. You are valued. You are needed. We cannot do this without you!

With gratitude and in allyship,