As part of its ongoing efforts to build leadership within the community, Public Allies Los Angeles hosted an event yesterday at Mercado La Paloma promoting the work of organizer Paul Schmitz. The author of “Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up” and the national CEO of Public Allies, spoke to a crowd of about 50 people interested in creating positive change within their community.
“It’s important to build leadership capacity, because it’s up to you to come up with solutions that will help change your neighborhoods,” Benjamin Torres, CEO of CDTech told the participants before introducing Schmitz.
“Everyone Leads” is Schmitz’s first book. His focus is not on how to lead organizations, but about how to lead communities. Throughout the course of his presentation, he spoke about the importance of civic participation, community building and leadership, guiding the audience through some exercises.
Most of those present are part of the Public Allies program class of 2012. The 10-month intensive program, run by Public Allies Los Angeles affiliate CDTech, identifies young adults who want to make an impact and promote social change in their communities. The AmeriCorps program combines skills training, personalized coaching and active community building projects rooted in social justice framework, with full-time, paid fellowships and internships in nonprofit organizations.
“The goal of the program is to encourage allies to formulate projects that will impact and serve the needs of the community. It’s a practicum to create leadership and build coalitions to create change,” explains Vanessa Vela-Lovelace, senior program manager and director of recruitment of the Public Allies-CDTech program.
“It’s a fantastic action-oriented program where participants see how they change themselves and their community,” says Vela-Lovelace.
Public Allies Los Angeles says it has developed more than 200 young leaders since 1999.
The Public Allies class of 2012 is currently in its eight month of the program. There are 31 people participating, with about 15 from South LA.
The deadline for the next program is June 1st. If you’re interested in being a “public ally,” click here to apply to the 2013 program.