This month, we introduce you to Letecia Rose: 2014-2015 CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow, Public Engagement Manager for Plan International Canada, and an avid community advocate. Learn more about Letecia’s Leadership journey, what she feels every leader should possess, and who she’d love to have dinner with…
Q: What motivated you to join the ELN and/or apply to the DiverseCity Fellows Program?
I always wanted to join the Fellowship but something always got in the way. Finally on a whim, I decided to apply. I was eager to connect with other emerging leaders in the city, acquire new skills and work collaboratively on city building projects. As someone who primarily worked for grassroots not-for-profits, I was excited to bring community-based issues and solutions to the table and work with people and sectors that typically do not engage communities in city-building conversations.
Q: How has your involvement shaped your leadership journey?
My involvement with the fellowship has really shaped how I look at collaboration. I was provided with the opportunity to meet and network with individuals that ultimately played a role in shaping my city-building project on youth unemployment. Through the connections my project partner and I made, we were able to provided mentorship, professional development and career advancement opportunities and employment to dozens of youth in the GTAH. My involvement in the fellowship truly showed me that city building is about collective knowledge and impact and that we have to work together to create meaningful change. These are lessons that have impacted the trajectory and focus of the projects that I work on and has truly showed me that a group of engaged leaders can collaborate to change the city…dare I say, even the world.
Q: Why is diverse leadership important?
As I was growing up it was essential for me to see people who looked me in positions of leadership and influence. It allowed me to say to my self, “If they can, so can I”. More diverse leadership makes room for new conversations, innovation and solutions. Most importantly, it leads to more new voices feeling inspired enough to take the lead.
Q: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess and why?
Leaders need to be in the business of developing future leaders. The best way that leaders do this is by being generous; generous with their time, their priorities, and their knowledge. Great leaders give to improve upon the conditions of those around them but the only way that this can happen is if people in positions of leadership mentor, train and work to inspire others to follow their lead and do the same.
Q: What advice would you give someone who wants to get more engaged in their city or community?
Find out what already exists and who is already doing the type of work that you are interested in. The market is so saturated with so many organizations and everyone is competing with each other for funding, donors and media coverage, we usually do not need another organization doing the same thing. Rather, connect to a cause or a community that you are the most passionate about and share your talents with them. Most agencies are craving the opportunity to access individuals who have diverse skill sets. Providing your skills to these groups allow them to continue the work that that they are already doing and amplify their impact.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would you choose and why?
I would love to have dinner with Barack and Michelle Obama. They have two very different leadership styles but I think they are both so fascinating and possess such a great sense of humor. I am pretty sure at the end of November they should have some more time to pencil me in!