UGA Commits New Leadership Development Program to Support Underserved Populations across Georgia

Charlie Bauder

Thursday, August 20th, 2020

A new University of Georgia leadership initiative will partner with eight organizations across the state to build stronger communities by developing leaders within underserved populations.

The J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach, developed the Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative (ICLI) with private funding donated by members of the Fanning Institute Advisory Board, most notably a lead gift from the James L. Allgood Family.

The program specifically targets organizations or communities that do not have the resources or technical expertise to sustain effective leadership programming, said Matt Bishop, director of the Fanning Institute.

“The funds raised for this initiative allow Fanning to invest its resources and expertise in these partner communities and organizations to enhance and innovate community leadership programming,” Bishop said.

The inaugural ICLI recipients are:

“We are very excited to be working with the Fanning Institute,” said Sharon Edwards, founder and executive director of Community Outreach Training Center, Inc. “Through the Innovations in Community Leadership Initiative, we’re going to be able to incorporate leadership development into our existing services, equipping program participants to lead and build better futures for themselves and their communities.”

Over the next year, Fanning Institute faculty and staff will work with these organizations to develop and build out their proposed leadership programming.

“We received a large number of very strong applications that all received serious consideration,” said Brittany Adams-Pope, a Fanning Institute public service faculty member. “These inaugural recipients represent a diverse cross-section of the state, and we look forward to working with them to develop their programs.”

As part of the ICLI, communities are expected to sustain and continue the programming over multiple years.

“Sustainable, consistent leadership development programming positions a community for economic development and other opportunities,” Bishop said. “The correlation between leadership development and community vitality is a clear one, and communities that innovate their leadership programs to better serve all of their citizens are the ones best prepared for a better future.”

The institute will accept applications for a second round of the ICLI in spring 2021. For more information, click here.