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    Giving Back

    Jeremy C. Park

    Last week we discussed Stewards of Children with the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. This week let us highlight the New Memphis Institute, which is attracting, developing, activating, and retaining diverse talent in order to move Memphis forward.

    When it comes to the potential to shape our city, the effectiveness is directly proportional to the number of strong and engaged leaders, who are on the same page. This concept is core for the New Memphis Institute, which believes that individuals are responsible for community change. Similar to a drop of water’s ripple effect, the Institute infuses world-class leadership training into individuals, in order to create waves of positive change in our community.

    Each year New Memphis Institute invests approximately $1 million to support leadership development. Their programs touch all sectors and identity groups. For example, 51 percent of their Fellows are African-American, Asian, or Latinos, the education levels range from Memphis Police Department training to Ph.D., and 50 percent are native Memphians while the other half hails from around the world (Shanghai to Greece) and across the USA (Los Angeles to New York).

    More revealing are after graduation statistics. Here are a few: 100 percent say they have a personal responsibility to improve Memphis, 97 percent are likely to support community efforts through volunteering their time and talents, and more than 160 Fellows alumni have been placed on various nonprofit boards. As another benefit, 52 percent of Fellows alumni have been promoted or advanced professionally within one year of completing the program.

    Their Leadership Development Intensive is a three-and-a-half day training experience delivered in partnership with the world-renowned Center for Creative Leadership. More than 800 executive-level leaders have completed the program, including myself. Their Fellows program is a 12-month engagement that gives high-potential, emerging leaders the tools, experiences, and connections to become change agents and qualified city ambassadors. Core to the curriculum is the development and implementation of Community Action Projects designed to build capacity of existing nonprofit organizations. Other notable initiatives include Embark, Celebrate What’s Right, MemphisConnect.com, and Memphis: The Summer Experience for interns. Learn more by visiting newmemphis.org or call 901-527-4625.

    Jeremy C. Park is president of the Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club. He is host of “The Spark” on WKNO-TV Channel 10 on the third Thursday of each month at 9 p.m. and the “Lipscomb & Pitts Breakfast Club” on KWAM-AM 990 on Saturday at 1 p.m.