Many cities boast a leadership program that connects the area’s most powerful people representing diverse constituencies. Founded in 1976, Leadership Nashville was one of the first, still serving as a model for dozens of other programs around the world. A carefully curated cross-section of established leaders is chosen every year.
These people, representing a variety of professions, political interests, economic backgrounds, races, ethnicities, religions, geographical origins and interests, meet once a month for intense days of confronting issues facing the community. Members stay connected through the annual directory which lists all participants since the program’s inception. The Harnisch Foundation underwrote the directory from 1999-2011, and our Founder Ruth Ann Harnisch (class of ’88) still cherishes the lessons in civic engagement with diverse colleagues.
Leadership programs build deeply trusting relationships among people who see the world very differently. These relationships can and do prevail when politics, race, gender, religion, and other factors threaten to divide us. (Hmmm. How about Leadership Congress?)