Change doesn’t happen overnight, but (WE) Lead is where the rubber meets the road for program fellows, an intergenerational group ranging from early 20s through retirement.
(WE) Lead’s priority is to give fellows real-life skills they can use as members of the Woodlawn community in personal, professional, and civic capacities. The program was funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham with the goal of creating sustainable leadership where fellows use their skills to identify, assess, and solve community problems.
The first half of the program focuses on building skills while the second half will focus on subject matter, including health care and economic development. Fellows have already completed 4 sessions in the 14-part program:
- Servant Leadership, where they each took a leadership assessment to set the tone for the rest of the program.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) session, where they were challenged to think broadly about what equity means including classism, ableism, and ageism.
- A two-part Communication workshop and panel led by local communications professionals, Rick Journey and Ronda Robinson.
For fellows, it’s all about effort and connectivity. (WE) Lead creates a safe space where everyone feels comfortable asking questions and learning, without fear of failure or judgement. Fellows also share an excitement to be in the same room, spending time together and learning from each other.
(WE) Lead leader and Woodlawn resident, Myeisha Hutchinson, describes this as a full circle moment for herself as she works with participants building leadership from the ground up. Hutchinson says the group is finding its stride and experiencing many “aha” moments, but for the inaugural class of (WE) Lead fellows this is just the beginning.
(WE) Lead serves as a catalyst for fellows to become community leaders as they seek out new areas of service and set out to impact Woodlawn.