Exercising Leadership as a Network to Advance Inclusion
By Troy Zeigler (an excerpt from the Spring 2014 issue)
Each of us who work within the Catholic Charities network has a responsibility to exercise our leadership skills in the advancement of diversity and inclusion. Catholic Charities USA has demonstrated it’s committed to this issue through its publication of Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good in 2008, the annual Keep the Dream Alive Mass and Awards, and the Racial Equality and Diversity (REDI) Professional Interest Section, originally established in 2007 as the National Board Committee for the Advancement of Racial Equality (CARE).
Further, CCUSA has long offered scholarships for its annual Leadership Institute to individuals who are from historically underrepresented backgrounds. The week-long Leadership Institute focuses on strengthening both the knowledge and skills of participants in a variety of key leadership qualities. This institute, now in its thirtieth year, has demonstrated its value through the number of Catholic Charities leaders that are among its graduates, including the recipients of the REDI scholarships, who have enhanced the quality of diverse leadership within our network.
While this national level emphasis is important in the work that we do, it is meaningless without follow-up at the grassroots level. Therefore, we call on all our Catholic Charities employees and volunteers to take advantage of the resources provided and ensure proper emphasis of this work in your local agencies and surrounding community.