A Vision Put Into Action: Indigenous Leadership Academy
Traci L. Morris, Ph.D
As we dig into this new year, I see the seeds of opportunity bearing fruit. Just over a year ago, we had the opportunity to envision a leadership program for Indigenous people in Arizona. Knowing nothing like this existed in the Nation, we jumped at the chance to build it. We hosted listening sessions with the community, hired Native staff, contracted with Native curriculum writers, hired indigenous facilitators, found partners at the university, and began the process of designing an indigenous-created curriculum for leadership. On Saturday, January 29th, 2022, we launched the inaugural cohort of our Indigenous Leadership Academy.
Watching the group take shape as our facilitator implemented the curriculum, as the guest speaker inspired the cohort, and as the discussions ensued, I was overwhelmed by how committed this group was to rise to the challenge of leadership. I was inspired by how hard my staff worked to create a program that they would be proud to attend. I do not have words to describe what happened in our first cohort. But I do have words to thank those who made this happen, including Jacob Moore, for bringing the idea; Kristen Talbert, for bringing her A-game; and Miguel Bravo at Arizona Public Service (APS) for trusting us and supporting the development of this game-changing program.
As always: #BeTheSolution