Seventeen individuals were recognized on December 12th for successfully completing Step Up Savannah’s Neighborhood Leadership Academy at Savannah State University. The men and women and their family members participated in an evening ceremony at the Liberty City Community Center.
The intensive leadership program is designed to train and inform community leaders who will serve as advocates in their communities and can be resources for area organizations working to improve social and economic conditions for local residents.
At the outset, each participant identified community or neighborhood issues of concern; at the end of the 12-week course participants were required to present issues to the full class that they’d researched together in small groups. The issues ranged from organizing/ empowering the residents of West Lake Apartments to have a voice to offering creative solutions to the “food desert” in the West Savannah community to early identification of mental health issues in preschoolers.
Dr. Amir Jamal Toure, local lecturer, author and living history performer, recounted colorful images of past leaders while challenging and inspiring the graduates to step up as leaders in their communities and organizations they represent.
The 2016 Neighborhood Leadership Academy started on September 12th and concluded on December 5th. Step Up’s eighth class of neighborhood leaders included residents that ranged in age from 23 to 70 and represented communities throughout the city including Liberty City, Tatemville, and West Savannah’s Sustainable Fellwood.
The names of the graduates are: Emily Bower, Jackie Brown, Breyana Davis, Jane Dukes, Andria L. Fennell Loadholt, Denise German, Lisa J. Goggi, Mercredi Giles, Howard Lipscomb Ruby Lipscomb, Christopher Nunnery, Quan Reid, Gertrude Robinson, Janae Robinson, Bethany Rushing Ashley Sapp, Yolandra Shipp
The Neighborhood Leadership Academy is made possible by a grant from the Charles A. Frueauff Foundation.