Centenary to host national Changemaker Summit sponsored by Lead For America
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College will open its campus to some of the nation’s most promising young leaders this summer during the annual Changemaker Summit organized by Lead For America (LFA), a national nonprofit dedicated to building a generation of civic leaders dedicated to tackling the toughest challenges facing the communities they call home. Lead For America works to revitalize communities through an approach that rests on educating potential leaders on how to effect change, building strong and sustainable pathways to public service, and working with federal policymakers and local coalitions on concrete systems change.
In partnership with Community Renewal International (CRI), Centenary College of Louisiana, Urban Rural Action, Pepperdine University, and Purdue University, the LFA Changemaker Summit will incorporate both in-person and virtual sessions and will train over 200 young leaders, including 100 who will come to Centenary and the Shreveport community. Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins and Shreveport resident Mack McCarter, the founder of Community Renewal International, are among featured keynote speakers from across the country who will address the LFA Fellows during the two-week summit that begins July 23.
Through its flagship two-year paid Fellows program, LFA has funded and placed over 100 Fellows in over 80 communities and 30 states in newly created positions in their home communities since 2019, and plans to have 100 additional Fellows starting in at least 40 new communities and five additional states starting in 2021. LFA Fellows have leveraged more than $17 million for their communities and impacted the lives of more than 13.5 million people. LFA's national headquarters is located in Dodge City, Kansas.
“In 2019, LFA Fellows began their journeys back to the communities they call home to serve the areas that helped raise them. From the Navajo Nation in Monument Valley, Utah, to Marquette, Michigan, and Jackson, Mississippi, our graduating Fellows have started a movement where returning home is not viewed as a failure, but a brave decision to do something bold and necessary,” said Lead For America CEO Joe Nail. “Now a new class of Fellows will embark on a similar path to help tackle issues facing their own hometowns and states.”
LFA’s Changemaker Summit at Centenary will mark the graduation for some 50 LFA Fellows, while also marking the start of the two-year fellowship for over 100 additional Fellows.
Graduating LFA Fellows will make pitches to secure seed money for proposals to start their own community ventures like nonprofits, businesses, or other entrepreneurial social enterprises. Current and incoming Fellows will build community together and take part in world class training led by industry experts to gain the technical and leadership skills to help them create meaningful impact in their fellowship placements and communities.
“Centenary is very pleased to be able to host these distinguished young leaders and to partner with national and local institutions that have such a passion for creating positive change in our communities,” said Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman. “For almost 200 years, Centenary has been preparing great students to live lives of purpose and leadership; this is a wonderful new opportunity for us to further that legacy.”
For more information about Lead For America, visit Lead4America.org.