On two separate days, the Gem Project was invited to speak to the Urban College & Community Leadership class by instructors, Dean Walton and Angela Vena, of Rutgers University-Newark. The TA of the course, Nikita Parmer, recommended us to speak to their undergraduate students. These students had previously learned about our work through a recent Rutgers Magazine publication. We were elated to have this opportunity andnot only thank the instructors and students, we’re also grateful for the hospitality that the TA Nikita and Chris showed us. We were honored to go over the following topics with them:
Long-term goals, advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs, our journey, challenges, and our style of organizational leadership.
We taught a class on 4/19/12 and 4/23/12, see photos below.
Information about the course, as retrieved directly from their website:
“In conjunction with the Urban Education Department, The Paul Robeson Campus Center offers a semester long Community and Cultural Leadership course. Through a comprehensive learning experience, students are exposed to leadership models and provided opportunities to explore current leadership theories including Kouzes & Posner Leadership Challenges, the Social Change Model of Leadership, the theory of Servant Leadership, the community leadership principles Charismatic versus Citizen based leadership, and the Iceberg Theory of organizational change. The participants will be challenged to examine the unique economic, political and social characteristics that shape the urban experience.
By using the urban environment as a living laboratory, the students will employ leadership theory and practice to critically examine and engage the urban experience. Course content examines current leadership and social needs of various urban communities, the influence of culture on leadership, and the impact of popular culture on leadership ideology. Additionally, students will participate in broad leadership experiences on campus including campus cultural events, campus leadership conferences, and a cultural leadership exchange with students from another university. Students will explore diverse leadership models and practices through reading texts, viewing films, guest presentations, and group discussions.”
The students were very receptive to the material being presented. They each provided a lot of insight throughout our presentation. In one class, a student started crying because she connected a lot with what the founder had to say on how we started. It was a wonderful experience overall. All students enjoyed our video clip, we call it our “passion” clip.