Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement (Spelman LEADS)
Annual Program Overview
Restructured September 2005
I. Leadership & Student Development
a. Spelman Leadership Development Co-Curriculum (SLDC)
Students are able to earn, over four years, a leadership certificate and construct a leadership
portfolio which will support and focus the student in studying leadership models, honing their
leadership skills and developing an in-depth knowledge of the Spelman model for leadership -
contributing to their well-being. This program is managed by Venita Kelley.
b. Project Safe Neighborhoods (Partners: Atlanta Mayor’s Office and US Department of Justice)
The project stems from a grant that is part of an initiative by the United States Department of
Justice, and is also in partnership with the Mayor of Atlanta’s offices. The grant promotes
community empowerment and development through decreasing violence and re-constructing
community mechanisms of self governance. Among other areas, the grant targets Vine City.
Spelman students who become participants in the project are paid a stipend. This program is
managed by Venita Kelley.
c. Women of Excellence and Leadership Series (WEL)
WEL is a competitive program students apply to and, after review, are selected to participate in
a retreat and six week program or specific leadership training through a series of seminars,
focused on leadership values and life skills such as time management, team-building, problem
solving, public speaking and communication competence, ethics, integrity, and cultural
competence. The program features nationally recognized experts, noted faculty and staff,
prominent corporate partners and local and national community leaders. This program is
managed by Venita Kelley.
d. Media Project (Proposed)
This program is currently in development for presentation to Jane Smith
II. The Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development
a. Bonner Scholars Program
The Bonner Scholars Program is a service-learning based scholarship that enables up to 80
students who have high financial need and a commitment to service. The program is designed
to heighten the overall education a Scholar receives by engaging students in ongoing service
work and helping them develop the tools and the knowledge necessary to make their experience
meaningful and lasting. Bonner Scholars are expected to:
Perform 280 hours of service each academic year
Maintain a grade point average of 2.5
Participate in a student developmental model that challenges and supports each Scholar to
develop her skills, knowledge, commitments, and responsibilities
Attend regular group reflection, enrichment, skill and leadership developmental
Complete at least one full time service oriented internship.
This is a four year scholarship that requires a recommitment every year after successful
completion of program requirements. Program is funded primarily by the Corella and
Bertram F. Bonner Foundation and managed by Krislynn Thompson.
b. Shepherd Poverty Alliance
The Shepherd Program integrates academic study and learning through service and reflection in
order to help students develop a strong sense of vocation. It endeavors to inform students about
poverty, to promote a structure for student leadership and volunteer service and to offer
opportunities for students to acquire skills that help them better serve communities and
individuals. This program offers students an opportunity to serve and learn by working fulltime
for eight weeks during the summer with agencies that help disadvantaged communities and
persons. (Shepherd of Poverty Alliance, Spring 2005)
The Shepherd program is staffed by two persons from Washington and Lee University. It is a
consortium between Washington and Lee, Berea College, Bonner Foundation, Morehouse
College and Spelman College. This program is generously funded by the Bridgeway
Foundation, France Merrick Foundation, Frueauff Foundation, Hubbard Foundation, Suhor-
Graham Foundation, T. Rowe Price Foundation, Venable, Baetjer and Howard Foundation,
Washington and Lee alumni and Shepherd family and friends. The program will be managed
by the Community Service Coordinator.
c. Super Service Series
The Super Service Series is a campus-wide initiative that encourages students, faculty and staff
to participate in civic engagements around the metropolitan area of Atlanta. This initiative will:
Enable students to perform their first- and second- year service obligations on the
Motivate students to participate in long-term service.
Improve morale and service involvement among the Spelman community.
Increase the College's visibility in the community.
The program is funded by the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation and facilitated by
Cassaundra White the Service Fellow.
d. UPS Scholars
The United Parcel Service (UPS) Community Service Scholarship Program supports 10
students from Spelman College who have demonstrated a commitment to community service,
who are able to balance that commitment with academic excellence and achievement, and who
might otherwise not be able to remain in college because of financial need.
With the guidance of the Atlanta Partners of Education (a facet of the Metro Atlanta Chamber
of Commerce), UPS has partnered with Fickett Elementary School of the Atlanta Public School
System in an effort to improve reading and math abilities and raise the Iowa Test of Basic Skills
scores at Fickett Elementary School. The scholarship program sends 10 scholars (second-
semester freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and first-semester seniors) to Fickett Elementary to
tutor and assist with teaching assignments.
The program is funded by the UPS Foundation and managed by the Brenda L. Harrison, the
Community Service Coordinator at Spelman College.
III. Spelman’s Independent Scholars Program
a. Oral History Project including Publications
Spelman’s Independent Scholars (SIS) Program is a two-semester independent, interdisciplinary
and intergenerational learning experience open to students across all majors. In SIS, we enhance
our critical writing and critical thinking skills. In weekly seminars we share our research,
sharpen our skills and grow in knowledge about oral history. In addition to learning sessions
with the SIS faculty mentor, we are privileged to interview women over the age of 70. As a
group, these women are as diverse as we are. They are professional secretaries, caterers,
receptionists, social workers, domestics, cooks, nurses, school teachers, high school counselors,
journalists, college professors, school administrators, entrepreneurs, notary publics, artists,
preachers, theologians, published scholars and community activists. These interviews are
published into an annual volume of oral histories. SIS is currently in the proposal process for
grant based funding. We currently exist on monies from the college and other small grants.
b. RESONANCE Choral Reading Group
RESONANCE celebrates African American literature, history and culture in choral readings
that blend words and music. All scripts performed by RESONANCE are original scripts, and
many are performed to the accompaniment of musical instruments, among them flute, clarinet,
saxophone and drum. Members of RESONANCE receive neither academic credit nor financial
remuneration for their participation, but they devote evening hours and weekends to the
preparation of their performances. They do so because they are committed to women’s
empowerment. They do so in order to teach, to celebrate, and to give thanks.
All members of RESONANCE are students enrolled full-time at Spelman College, pursuing
different majors and coming from cities all across the nation and from Africa, Trinidad and
RESONANCE, directed by Dr. Gloria Wade Gayles, was founded in October of 2002. Since its
founding RESONANCE has been called to perform by the College and the community.
Noteworthy, among those performances were the first annual Zora Neale Hurston Atlanta
celebration, the inauguration of Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum and the dedication ceremony of the
Robert Holland Jr. Learning Tree.
c. “Voices of Civil Rights” Project with AARP
Is a joint project with AARP and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The purpose is to
collect oral histories, videotaped and written personal histories of participants in the Civil
Rights Movement. Spelman students were selected to facilitate interviews in the Atlanta area.
SIS is not only responsible for providing students for the purpose of interviewing, but
Dr. Gayles has agreed to train students and faculty at other colleges and universities on behalf
of the project. This project is funded by AARP.
IV. Student Associations
a. Bonner Scholars Program (See previous description)
b. Moving Upward by Standing for Excellence (MUSE)
MUSE members are joined in their efforts by more than a dozen male members of the Atlanta
University Center college community. Through mentoring and community activities, MUSE
seeks to create an environment wherein the at-risk students with whom they interact become
receptive to the inspiration the organizations are striving to be in their lives. Jane Smith is the
c. Professional Ladies Understanding Success (PLUS)
PLUS (Professional Ladies Understanding Success) is a newly chartered student group focused
on "preparing our Spelman sisters to enter the world with professionalism and leadership skills".
Along with other projects PLUS will be working to ensure the success of the Spelman
Leadership Development Co-Curriculum (SLDC). Michael Bryant is the organization’s
advisor. This program is managed by Venita Kelley.
d. Student Philanthropy Council (Proposed)
e. Women of Excellence and Leadership Series (WEL) (See previous description)
V. Dialogues and Lecture Series
a. Conversations on Leadership
Conversations on Leadership are small group workshops designed to provide personal contact
and dialogue with a leader. Workshops are funded by the leaders’ companies/associations.
This program is managed by Jane Smith. There will be two workshops per academic year.
b. Johnnetta B. Cole Lecture Series
c. Leaders on Leadership Speakers Series
Leaders on Leadership invites dynamic women from around the world to share their wisdom
with our students and bring important issues of the 21st Century to life. This program is
managed by Jane Smith.
d. The Student Discourse & Analysis Initiative
Initiatives are held as convocations or small group discussions covering current issues and
convened when it is timely for the issue to be discussed. Students will be provided with an
opportunity to learn and share in an environment that fosters analytical discourse and difference
in opinions. This program is managed by Gloria Gayles.
VI. Special Events
a. Women of Color Leadership Conference (May 10-11, 2006)
The 2006 WOC Leadership Conference will significantly advance the scope of Spelman
LEADS’ leadership development initiative as we move beyond our national borders to explore
the global alliances to be developed with women of color leaders who live and work around the
world. This program is managed by Jane Smith.
b. Legacy of Leadership Annual Awards Luncheon (May 11, 2006)
The Legacy of Leadership Annual Awards Luncheon serves as a backdrop for the Legacy of
Leadership Awards, honoring leaders who have demonstrated exemplary service to the
advancement of women. The luncheon also serves as a fundraising tool for LEADS. This
program is managed by Jane Smith.
c. African American Women’s Summit (October 21, 2005)
Sponsored by LEADS and the Women’s Research and Resource Center, the African American
Women’s Summit is held the Friday before Spelman’s Homecoming. This summit takes a
policy focus on issues related to African American women. The summit provides action steps
for Spelman alumnae to affect policy determination. This program is managed by Jane Smith.
d. WOMENomics (March 18, 2006)
Co-sponsored by LEADS and Business and Professional Women/Georgia, WOMENomics
provides personal finance information and resources pertinent to African American women.
Leadership Development – Economic Empowerment – Advocacy through the Arts
– Dialogue across Difference – Service Learning and Civic Engagement