Established in 1998, Leadership Newark, Inc. was born out of a desire to strengthen the City of Newark’s civic infrastructure through public policy enrichment and leadership training & development. Why the focus on public policy issues – because government policy affects the entire community. Why the focus on leadership training & development – to enable those armed with a deeper understanding of community issues to develop the skills necessary to make change and have lasting impact. As a result, the founders determined it would be wise to tap Newark & New Jersey’s greatest asset – it’s people to make a difference. Leadership Newark invests in the intellectual capital of the community to improve the state of affairs for the greater good.
Key stakeholders in a variety of sectors- government, business, corporate, nonprofit, education and more were brought together to assess the type of support such a program would garner. It was determined not only would such a program be supported, but it was needed to help the City of Newark undergo a Renaissance. As a result the organization designed a leadership development program. Today, LN is known for administering a 2-year public policy fellowship program attracting very diverse, active and committed professionals to participate in a program that expand their knowledge and pushes one to delve deeper into the public discourse to improve community.
Nearly 20 years later, Leadership Newark continues to create a network of emerging leaders with the drive, knowledge, skills and connections needed to improve Newark’s future. In addition to the flagship public policy fellowship program, LN has expanded to offer additional programs reaching youth, teens and adult populations. The programs include board service training, public policy summits, board match/placement and special initiatives to support local non-profits. The network is 600+ strong. The personal achievements and collective impact can be felt throughout the City, County and State.
In 2014, Senator Cory Booker during his tenure as mayor for the City of Newark stated, “My Administration has been a great beneficiary of the tremendous work of Leadership Newark….And, we are partnering with dozens of organizations throughout the City that are being led by Leadership Newark alumnae. The impact of Leadership Newark is being felt throughout our great City.”
In April 2016, Mayor Ras Baraka notes, “Leadership Newark has played a major role in our City’s transformation, by working tirelessly to build the future we want for the City we love. I am proud of the vital role Leadership Newark is playing as a partner in our work. Truly, Leadership Newark is a winner.”