Center for Public Leadership
Last spring, the American Academy of Achievement hosted its annual International Achievement Summit in Washington D.C., and was kind enough to invite the entire class of Harvard’s Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Fellows in Social Entrepreneurship to attend the three days of programming.
These summits provide more than 70 students from across the U.S. the opportunity to interact with some of the world’s leading thinkers, public servants, journalists, social entrepreneurs, and elected officials. The Academy, now in its 49th year, and the fellowship for social entrepreneurs at Harvard, are both funded through the generosity of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation.
The following clip from this past year’s gathering features an address by Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and retired four-star general.
To view the Academy’s complete video archive, please visit their website at: www.achievement.org.
Filmmaker Kimberley Rivers Roberts was invited by the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School to join students for a morning discussion, “New Orleans Nine Years Later: Reflections on Inequality in Post-Katrina Disaster Recovery.” Tom Wooten, author of We Shall Not Be Moved: Rebuilding Home in the Wake of Katrina, moderated the discussion, which was attended by students from Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
A lifelong resident of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward community, Kimberley Rivers Roberts is the protagonist of the Oscar-nominated documentary Trouble the Water. In 2008, the film won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. The documentary includes footage shot by Kimberley before, during, and after Katrina made contact with New Orleans. Trouble the Water also highlights the struggles residents like Kimberley faced after being displaced and obstacles that prevented a smooth recovery.
The conversation, which took place in the Center for Public Leadership’s Darman Seminar Room, allowed students interested in public policy to learn from a ground-level perspective through Kimberley’s powerful story.
After a brief presentation of the film’s trailer, Kimberley spoke about many of the hurdles she faced in her life before Katrina. Kimberley described growing up in survival mode on the streets of New Orleans with a young mother who died at an early age. She mentioned how this way of life prevented her from gaining the necessary tools to realize her dreams. In the months before the storm, like most of her late teenage years and early twenties, she was selling drugs to survive—earning much more than she was as a line cook in the city’s French Quarter.
While Kimberley responded to questions about the consequences of limited opportunities, she also spoke to her practice of seizing opportunities, on a personal level and for the people of New Orleans. Kimberley also described the importance of politicians responding to the needs of the people. Instead of simply focusing on construction projects, she believes work must also be done to rehabilitate people who suffer from trauma and continue to face challenges.
The conversation followed an evening screening of Trouble the Water with Kimberley in Harvard Yard in partnership with The Harvard Foundation, Phillips Brooks House Association, and the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research.
Here's a look at upcoming leadership events and programs...
- 9/22 - Forum: A public address by H.E. Heinz Fischer, President of Austria (Institute of Politics)
- 9/23 - Forum: A public address by the Right Honourable Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 2007-2010 (Institute of Politics)
- 9/25 - Igniting Innovation: A Summit on Social Entrepreneurship (Harvard College)
- 9/28 - Mentor Training Program
- 9/29 - Webinar: Barbara Kellerman on "Shooting an Elephant" or "Why Be Leadership Literate?" (International Leadership Association)
- 10/12 – Gleitsman Citizen Activist Award Presentation & Reception
- 10/27-30 - International Leadership Association 2010 Conference: Boston, MA