Training Future Leaders in Pheonix: The Center For Neighborhood Leadership

The Center for Neighborhood Leadership is an organization that was founded in 2014, and serves the Pheonix, Arizona area. The Center for Neighborhood Leadership works with people who want to help their communities, by giving them leadership training in the form of mentoring, classes, or cause-specific workshops.

This gives people who may otherwise stay quiet a way to speak out and initiate the positive changes that they wish to see occur. Leadership training is a valuable asset. When a person wants to make a change, they may not know how to go about it. Read more: Phoenix New Time

Leadership training can teach an individual how to organize their time and resources, understand the existing community structure and policies, and motivate others in order to start grass roots movements. The strategies taught focus on nonviolent methods of causing social change while staying positive, respectful, and aware.

Center for Neighborhood Leadership believes that individuals are the ones who can effect change on a larger scale. Key players within a community can link together and form a network that will uplift a community as a whole. The Center is involved in many projects. One, called Ignite, motivates high school students to get involved in lowering the rates of students that go from high school to prison.

The Ignite project calls people to re-think public educations so that it will change the trajectory that many students of color face, statistically, of ending up in prison. This initiative calls for a re-investment in public school education. Learn more about Jim Larkin: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/ and https://www.crunchbase.com/person/jim-larkin-2#/entity

Another project that the Center is currently involved in is called “Alas” which stands for Academic Leadership Accelerator for Service, and is aimed at supplying students in the Pheonix area with the resources that they need for success.

The Alas project helps students succeed in school, prepare for college, stay interested in learning, and get on track to become the future community leaders that are so desperately needed.

The Center for Neighborhood Leadership is funded by individuals and foundations alike. one such foundation is the Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund. This fund was started up by two journalists, Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin. These two men were arrested for publishing an article in the Pheonix New Times regarding mismanagement at the local Sheriffs office.

Instead of respecting freedom of speech, the local authorities arrested these two reporters. There was national outcry, and they were soon released. The resulting settlement for the unlawful detainment of the two was 3.7 million dollars. Lacey and Larkin put this into the Frontera Fund and began funding civil, human and migrant rights movements.

Mike Lacey is originally from New Jersey, but moved to Arizona in order to attend Arizona State University. He actually dropped out in order to focus on publishing a newspaper that he started, the Pheonix New Times.

He decided to start the paper because he saw that the anti-war protests going on across the Arizona State campus at that time were being unjustly portrayed in the papers that existed. He noticed that the existing papers were ultra-conservative, and he wanted to give readers an alternative perspective on events.

Mike Lacey partnered with Jim Larkin, who was able to manage the financial aspect of running the paper.