The Kansas Civic Leadership Academy for African-American Girls (The Academy) is gaining steam in Kansas! Mildred Edwards, Vision 2020’s Kansas Delegate, has focused her State Initiative on leadership development and mentorship for African-American girls. The Academy is a pilot project designed to build civic leadership and to provide positive lifetime impacts for African-American adolescent females residing in Kansas. Ten participants residing in Congressional District 4 (including Wichita) will be selected through a recommendation process for the first cohort group which will begin this June. Funding for this Initiative currently comes from the KS African-American Affairs Commission.
Why Girls? Because we believe girls can change the world! An adolescent girl spends a great deal of her time making life-altering decisions. If she stays in school, remains healthy, and gains skills, she will marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn an income that she’ll invest back into her family and community.
Her alternative is a life impacted by poverty. She’ll leave school early, marry too young, and miss the chance to reach her full human potential. Her tragedy, multiplied by the 6,838 African-American adolescent girls throughout the state of Kansas – contributes to the endless cycle of poverty.
We know that building the civic leadership skills of adolescent girls and growing the next generation of Kansas leaders can aid in breaking this cycle, will build stronger Kansas families, and will ultimately improve the State of Kansas.
Participants engage in a number of leadership development opportunities to include:
- Monthly civic leadership training opportunities featuring prominent community leaders Quarterly opportunities to use skills gained in a hand-on leadership training and/or service learning event
- Tours of prominent historic Kansas sites, buildings, universities and organizations Culminating leadership role in hosting a statewide leadership conference for girls
- Recognition at the city, county and state levels of government
- Leadership Academy participation fee is free for all invited participants
Most recently, the District 4 chapter received a proclamation from the Wichita’s City Councilwoman Lavonta Williams in celebration of The Day of the Girl, and met with Councilman Tom Winters on January 2, 2013 following attending the monthly County Commission meeting.
Over the next three months, the three remaining congressional districts in Kansas will recruit participants and develop Academies as well.