On Saturday, March 28, 2012, the African American Legacy Project hosted a gathering at the Toledo Club. The event's intent was to serve two purposes. First, the AALP gathered past Honorees and Emerging Leaders to unveil it’s 2012 Honorees. It was an incredible site to see our past honorees bedecked in their personalized kentes. It was far more pleasurable to watch them wear their kentes with such pride and dignity.
The second and perhaps of equal or greater importance was to gather a cross-section of community members to hear several individuals speak to the leadership needs of our community. The African American Legacy Project joins the chorus of individuals, organizations, and community leaders who understand without reservation our community is at risk. We respectfully understand the efforts and diligence of our current and past leadership, but also understand we as a community must do more.
The AALP's view is a long term view and we desire to tap the wealth of "human capital" this community has and continues to produce. Yet, we must find ways to cultivate and groom new leadership that will exercise the greatest forethought in planning for the future of Toledo's African American community. Our history says its possible; our children are depending on us.
Our view is a long term view and while leadership may change, we must create a working infrastructure that will allow our community to set the stage for our future. We believe this can only be accomplished with honest, open discussions such as at this event among those who are vested in this community.
Dr. Shanda Gore (2011 AALP Emerging Leader) chairs the University of Toledo President's Council on Diversity and leads a number of campus-wide, diversity enhancing committees including facilitating the President's committee on African American Recruitment, Retention and Scholarship support for the Health Science Campus. She spoke passionately about matriarchal leadership of a family and of a community. Dr. Gore iterated and reiterated a recent family experience in which the family matriarch had recently passed and how she now profoundly understands the leadership roles of women both in the family and in the community. According to Dr. Gore, her sense of self and role as a family leader was incredibly heightened from the experience and she is proud to wear the mantel bestowed upon her. We [The AALP] can say - without reservation - our sense of Dr. Gore's leadership abilities and commitment to community were amplified having the opportunity to hear her voice and provocative, some would say, life changing experience.
Judge Myron C. Duhart (2011 AALP Emerging Leader) presently serves as one of ten (10) judges and the only African-American on the Lucas County Common Pleas Court. He is currently campaining to retain his seat.
Judge Duhart delivered a message of raw honesty to the audience. Always honoring his grandmother who raised him, Duhart not only understands community, he breathes community, better stated, he is a product of this community.
Judge Duhart spoke of cultivating new leadership. Duhart suggested, with great respect for our senior leadership, that our senior leaders must take this opportunity to embrace the next generation of leadership. Judge Duhart poignantly stated that the Emerging Leaders of 2011 are ready, willing and able to take on the leadership mantle. No one in the room or no one who has ever heard him speak would question his ability to lead, govern, or facilitate.
Retired postmaster Mr. Frank Goldie offered cursory remarks at the beginning of the program. Always animated and entertaining, Mr. Goldie’s remarks were couched in wisdom, "My philosophy [leadership philosophy] was "team effort be fair and be on the team." I was an advocate of participative management. No one, man or woman can do it all alone"
Mr. Goldie briefly touched upon his rules for success, " any endeavor requires skills, fortitude and practical sense. Success goes hand in hand with personal happiness. I have lived and worked by three codes. (1) Have something to do each day. (2) Have someone to love. Quoting Goldie,"My wife Cleo and I were married 70 years! and Have something to look forward to.
We're are thankful to Duhart,Gore and Goldie for sharing their voices; voices representative of different generations of leadership. Each presentation provoked thoughts about community where we have been and where we are going. Somewhere couched within these and future presentations we will find answers to set the course for future generations.
If you are interested in participating or presenting at our next leadership workshop, please call The African American Legacy Project at 419-720-4369 or email us at :