The New Urban Leaders

The New Urban Leaders

Joyce A. Ladner
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 144
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt127zhq
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  • Book Info
    The New Urban Leaders
    Book Description:

    Some of today's best urban leaders don't work for the government -they can be found in nonprofit organizations that serve the working class and poor populations. Based on interviews conducted in major cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New York, this study focuses on exceptional leaders who have developed effective solutions to the complex problems of our inner cities, including education, economic development, and community safety. The book includes profiles of innovators such as Robert Woodson, founder of the Washington, D.C. based National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, whose work on affordable housing, gang violence, and black entrepreneurship earned a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (the "genius" award); MacArthur Fellowship and Heinz Prize winner Bob Moses, founder of the Algebra Project that prepares low-income students for joining today's technology-dominated workforce; Rheedlen Center head Geoff Canada, who received the Heinz Prize for his "anti-violence among youth" work; and Reverend Eugene Rivers, one of the founders of the Ten-Point Coalition that helped to reduce gang violence in Boston. The New Urban Leadership investigates how and why expert problem solvers chose their career paths, what qualities make them especially successful in their work, and the methods they use to train the next generation of urban leaders.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-9868-2
    Subjects: Political Science, Management & Organizational Behavior, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. CHAPTER ONE THE LEGACY OF THE PAST
    (pp. 1-12)

    The leaders profiled in this book are trying to fill the void created by the demise of programs arising from the Civil Rights movement and the Johnson-era War on Poverty. The Civil Rights movement offered hope and inspiration, especially to African Americans in the Deep South who were politically disfranchised and economically disadvantaged. The War on Poverty embraced a broad array of services and opportunities for the poor, including Head Start, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the Neighborhood Youth Corps, the Job Corps, and college work-study programs.

    When these various programs were flourishing, the populations these leaders serve had...

  5. PART ONE ON BECOMING A NEW URBAN LEADER

    • CHAPTER TWO KENT AMOS
      (pp. 15-26)

      Kent Amos left an executive position at the Xerox Corporation to become a surrogate parent (although he is quick to say that these are his “real” children), mentor, service provider, and advocate to more than eighty children growing up in the inner city of Washington, D.C.¹ His work has been featured in major publications, including a cover story inParade Magazinein May 1987. He founded the Urban Family Institute in 1991 as a nonprofit community development organization, dedicated to supporting families and creating a seamless web of care for children. His goal is to do, on a broad scale,...

    • CHAPTER THREE ROBERT MOSES
      (pp. 27-32)

      The activist career of Robert Parris “Bob” Moses began during the era of traditional civil rights leadership and continues to the present day.¹ By 2000, at age sixty-five, Moses had spent his entire career working to improve the conditions of poor people in the nation’s major cities and rural areas. What distinguishes him from his peers is his consistent effectiveness, based in part on his ability to switch gears and adapt his problem-solving methods to new realities and demands.

      Moses came to national attention in 1961 when, as a leader in the grassroots Civil Rights movement, he fearlessly headed the...

    • CHAPTER FOUR EUGENE RIVERS
      (pp. 33-42)

      Eugene Rivers is one of the founders of Boston’s Ten-Point Coalition, which was organized as a response to increased gang violence in the Roxbury and Dorchester communities.¹ The Ten-Point Coalition is an ecumenical group of street ministers that formed immediately after what came to be known as the Morning Star attack. The attack occurred in 1992 and involved the beating and repeated stabbing of twenty-one-year-old Jerome Brunson by fourteen hooded men outside the Morning Star Baptist Church. The men chased Brunson inside the church during the service for another young murder victim. Never before had violence reached such a level...

    • CHAPTER FIVE DEFINING MOMENTS AND OTHER INFLUENCES
      (pp. 43-58)

      A career as an agent of social change, in the tradition of these transformative leaders, requires a special type of individual: one willing to take extraordinary risks by pursuing change in the midst of often formidable opposition. Many people who go into these careers have a clear sense of mission, an approach that offsets the disappointments, disadvantages, and other difficulties they encounter. The stories of other new urban leaders follow.

      Jeffrey Brown, a Harvard-trained Baptist minister, a graduate of Andover Newton Theological Seminary, and a doctoral student in American church history, had been pastor of Union Baptist Church in Cambridge,...

  6. PART TWO STRATEGIES AND VISION

    • CHAPTER SIX THE INTERNAL CHANGE STRATEGY
      (pp. 61-98)

      The approach of the new urban leaders to the problems of the black urban underclass differs from that of the older generation of black leaders, whose work concentrated on stemming the effects of white racial prejudice. Many in the younger generation, on the other hand, believe that these problems are manifestations of a crisis among blacks. Individual behavior such as the sale of and addiction to drugs; black-on-black crime; and high rates of incarceration are viewed as symptoms of this crisis. Other quality-of-life problems these leaders address are how to provide education and marketable skills, strengthen fragile families living in...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN PROMISING PRACTICES: FOUR CASE STUDIES
      (pp. 99-126)

      Despite the obstacles the new urban leaders face, there are some success stories that give great reason for optimism. The four case studies described below were designed to have a long-term impact and to produce systemic change. They include a program to detoxify pregnant women so they can deliver drug-free babies and acquire marketable skills; two schools—one private and one public—whose students live in economically distressed high-risk neighborhoods but who score above the national norm on standardized tests; and a gardening project.

      Paul Adams, the president of Providence–Saint Mel independent school for over a quarter quarter century,...

    • CHAPTER EIGHT LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
      (pp. 127-136)

      The new urban leaders face a number of challenges as their organizations age and as they themselves must think of retiring from center stage. To carry on their work into the future, a number of issues must be addressed.

      It is important that stakeholders—civic leaders, government, business, educators, labor, faith-based institutions, nonprofits, foundations, philanthropists, and residents—invest in the long-term, incremental, durable change initiated by urban leaders. For example, a focus on early childhood development may require a broad spectrum of developmental services and protections: early childhood education, developmental day care, improved public schools, access to higher education to...

  7. NOTES
    (pp. 137-146)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 147-152)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 153-153)