Today, I am proud to announce that not only have I been selected to participate in this year's LMI cohort, but I received a scholarship. For those unfamiliar, LMI stands for Leadership and Mentoring Institute--held every summer on the campus of Miles College (Birmingham, AL).
The purpose of the Leadership and Mentoring Institute (LMI) is to support African-Americans who want to acquire information and skills to prepare them for senior administrative and faculty ranks. The Institute has distinct, parallel tracks to accommodate the needs of professionals interested in administration and teaching/research.
As an African American administrator who is looking to move up to the senior/executive level rankings, I believe that this is a wonderful professional development opportunity which allows me to gain insight and mentoring from some of the nation's most well seasoned professionals. For many of us, not having a certain level of professional guidance tends to have a negative effect on our promotion, retention, and/or overall career experiences. Therefore, it is paramount for administrators to be "ready" and very intentional in how one chooses to grow their careers. For me, my ultimate goal is to become an executive level chief diversity officer at a major institution. I understand that in order to get there, I must build a particular skill set because "diversity and inclusion" work contains so many intersections from student/faculty/staff recruitment and retention to curricula, organizational culture, policies, and even finances! Yes, I do believe that where an institution invests their money speaks louder than any actual policy or "we value...as a core value" statement.
Anyway, back to this whole being intentional point. I sought out LMI because their faculty bio consists of some "heavy hitters". I'm looking forward to Drs. James Renick, Joseph Silver, Roland Smith, Hazel Symonette, Jack Thomas, and John Wolfe, Jr. (who I may be related to--there are not many brothers out there with that last name). So yeah, I'd say that I'll be in some really great company. Most of all, I'm looking forward to "paying it forward". #Blessed #ToWhomMuchIsGivenMuchIsAlsoRequired #SummerSchoolAtMilesCollege #Accepted