CLD Statement on Current Events

Center for Leadership Development Statement on Current Events

The Center for Leadership Development joins all other concerned and caring members of our city and society in decrying the brutal, inhumane killing of Mr. George Floyd on May 25 at the hands of Minneapolis police. Like many other citizens across our country, we have found the image of this gruesome crime difficult to process. As an organization, board, and staff, we join all others who value life and humanity in speaking out against this heinous act and all forms of racism. Our prayers and condolences are extended to Mr. Floyd’s family and to all who have been impacted by gross misconduct and abuse of police power.

Now that we have had time to allow a respectful burial of Mr. Floyd and engage in deep soul-searching and reflection, and even as we continue trying our best to process this shocking event that has had a ripple effect across the nation and globe, we are left questioning how we move forward and honor Mr. Floyd’s memory. How do we, as an organization, respond?  How should we, as citizens and as a community, respond? How do we help youth deal with and overcome their trauma, questions, doubts, fear, and anger?  Together.

The Center for Leadership Development is committed to uplifting African American youth as we help unite and advance our city. In the spirit of the beloved community, we resolve to fortify our youth to overcome difficult and challenging times. We resolve to cultivate and strengthen our youth to live purposeful lives and excel in academics, college, and career so they can, in turn, enrich our world. We resolve to join with other community partners to create a bold new vision for our city and help make our entire community a better, safer place for all of us to live.

In times of hurt, anger, and deep distress, we pledge to move forward, relying on the sage counsel of the American Civil Rights icon who taught our nation how to confront and redress hatred and discord. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “When evil men plot, good men must plan; when evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind.” At the Center for Leadership Development, we are blessed to work with and collaborate with some very, very good women and men to advance a mission that builds and binds.

The hallmark of excellent leadership is that a place or people are enriched as a result of the leader’s presence. Investing in our future African American leaders is more important and urgent now than ever before. Our organization’s motto is “Cultivating Character, Empowering Youth, Enriching Community.”  During these times that try humankind’s soul, we reaffirm our commitment to helping address our community’s real and pressing challenges by cultivating the next generation of young leaders. United in conviction and purpose, the Center for Leadership Development will powerfully invest in the lives of African American youth as we work alongside our city to move forward in the spirit of optimism and hope.

Dennis E. Bland                                                        Thomas King

President                                                                    Chairman, Board of Directors