About CLD

About CLD



The mission of the Center for Leadership Development is to foster the advancement of minority youth in Central Indiana as future professional, business and community leaders by providing experiences that encourage personal development and educational attainment.


This vision – empowering youth and strengthening community – became clear in the mid 1970’s when Indianapolis community leaders identified several reasons why African American youth were failing to graduate from high school, not entering college and failing to achieve economically sound and personally rewarding careers. Youth did not value education as an aspirational goal, they were not aware of the many options available to them, and they did not have the support of family and community. African American role models were not stepping forward in enough force to mentor and guide these young people.

Responding to the many serious obstacles facing minority youth, these visionary leaders founded the Center for Leadership Development. Since that time, CLD has developed programs and events which deliver exceptional experiences to both students and parents. The programs are based on CLD’s Five Principles for Success – five core values that develop and prepare youth for the highest levels of academic achievement, career success and community service.

CLD’s Five Principles for Success

Character Development
CLD empowers youth by instilling valuable lessons that promote respect for self and others, integrity, discipline, purpose and other character traits vital to success.

Educational Excellence
CLD inspires, develops and challenges youth to pursue the highest levels of academic and educational achievement.

Leadership Effectiveness
CLD provides youth with the training and practical experiences required to positively lead and serve their peers in schools, churches, organizations, businesses, neighborhoods and communities.

Community Service
CLD believes that a key component in becoming an effective leader is learning to serve the people you lead. CLD demonstrates this commitment to community service and philanthropy by teaching youth the purpose and process for rendering service to those in need.

Career Achievement
CLD exposes youth to the many career opportunities available to them. CLD facilitates this career achievement by educating youth in the knowledge, skills and educational requirements necessary to realize their career aspirations.

2017 Annual Report