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Speakers 'inspire, influence and achieve' at NBC-LEO Summer Conference.

The National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) 2008 Summer Conference, "Inspire, Influence and Achieve," attracted more than 200 registrants including municipal officials, corporate sponsors, speakers and host city representatives. NBC-LEO President James Mitchell Jr., councilmember, Charlotte, N.C., presided at the conference with Felicia Moore, councilmember from Atlanta and past NBC-LEO president, as the conference host committee chair.

Conference speakers kept with the event's theme.

Mayor Shirley Franklin gave a motivational speech about The Power of Women's Leadership. "Atlanta gave me an opportunity to find my voice, and in finding my voice I now have the opportunity to help other people find their voice, even if I don't agree with them," she said.

A stirring speech from Dr. Bernice King allowed many attendees to reflect on her father's work. She spoke about the comparison of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s work for justice and the current African-American candidate for the U.S. presidency 40 years later. She also encouraged others to give back, stating, "It is important that you, too, make a commitment to change."

Dr. Dennis Kimbro, noted author and professor, wowed the audience with his oration about the pursuit of excellence, and motivated listeners by stating, "Time is not running out, but your life is."

Jamal Simmons, political analyst and commentator, reflecting on this year's election said, "It's not often that you see history happening and you know it's happening."

NLC President Cynthia McCollum, council member, Madison, Ala., passionately reminded attendees that "NBC-LEO is the National League of Cities!"

The participation of state municipal league officials, such as Ellis Hankins, executive director of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, Perry Roquemore, executive director of the Alabama League of Municipalities and AI Outland, director of communications of the Georgia Municipal Association, encouraged local officials to become involved with' what their state leagues can offer.

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The session "Community Safety Best Practices: Crime Prevention and Its Impact on Communities" brought to light issues relating to gangs in America's communities. Designed to help delegates adapt model programs from other cities and towns and provide communities with inspiration for creative and cost effective programs, this workshop gave attendees a deeper understanding of how to deal with gangs. The speaker for this session was Warren Turner, councilmember from Charlotte, N.C.

The session "Economic Development Best Practices from Our Municipalities" also helped delegates to become acquainted with model programs from other cities and towns. Municipal leaders learned about creating and transferring innovative public/private partnership programs for their hometowns. The speakers for this session included Charles Brown, councilmember from Suffolk, Va.; Bruce Watts, senior business development manager from the Norfolk, Va., Department of Development; and Greg Cuffey, councilmember from Hopewell, Va.

To learn more about what other cities and towns are doing regarding the key issues that many cities and towns face, visit www.nlc.org, and access the "City Knowledge Network" page through the "Resources for Cities" page.

Bill Behrens, special assistant to the President for intergovernmental affairs, came from the White House to give conference attendees an address from President Bush. The conference also included a mobile workshop through Atlanta geared at addressing historic preservation and the impact of tourism on communities.

In addition to the many informative conference sessions, the NBC-LEO Board of Directors conducted its traditional summer meeting to discuss business and explore policy issues for the coming year.

NBC-LEO President Mitchell conducted an all-day youth summit that included approximately 120 youth from North Carolina, Georgia and Mississippi. This special session engaged students in discussions about leadership, stereotyping, education and local government. As one of the highlights of the conference, the youth made a luncheon appearance and were received with a standing ovation from conference delegates.

One of the main draws for registrants at the event was the correlation with the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) in Atlanta, celebrating the "contributions of people of African descent and their impact on world cultures."

In addition to the time set aside for participants to attend NBAF events, each luncheon during the conference included performances from NBAF jazz, Latin and contemporary musical performers.

Details: For more information about NBC-LEO and membership opportunities, visit www.nbc-leo.org or call (202) 626-3191.

RELATED ARTICLE: Leadership Training Institute partners with National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials.

by Sara Weiser

More than 100 NLC members attended the first-ever Leadership Training Institute seminar held in conjunction with a meeting of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO).

The seminar, titled "Perfecting Your Message: A Guide for Local Elected Officials," was led by Carolyn Sawyer during the NBC-LEO summer meeting in Atlanta on July 24.

"The first-time partnership of the Leadership Training Institute and NBC-LEO was a huge success," remarked James Mitchell Jr., NBC-LEO president and councilmember from Charlotte, N.C.

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The sponsorship of the seminar by NBC-LEO offered several NLC members the opportunity to participate in their first Leadership Training Institute seminar.
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Author:Daher, Sadira Del Rio
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Aug 11, 2008
Words:824
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