Eleanor Jean Grier Leadership Academy
The Eleanor Jean Grier Leadership Academy (EJGLA) was established in 2005 through a partnership between the Riverside African-American Historical Society and The Group. This partnership was created to address the need for more diverse and representative leadership of women, people of color, low-income individuals who aspired to leadership however were not participants in the traditional leadership programs in the region.
In 2006, the James Irvine Foundation awarded a 3 year grant of $90,000.00 to the Riverside African-American Historical Society, the partnership’s Fiscal Officer. The purpose of the leadership academy is to train and develop leaders from under- represented groups. The target population and graduates have been women, people of color, low income individuals. Since the initial grant, the EJGLA has been funded.
Since the initial funding, the partnership has received from from public and private sources. Approximately 135 adults have graduated from the program and many of these individuals have gone on to serve on city and state boards and commissions. Two graduates have run for public office. Others have benefitted from the experience through promotions on their jobs and to start their own businesses. Graduates have joined the Riverside African-American Historical Society’s Board of Directors and serve as officers and committee member for The Group.
Representatives of the Riverside African-American Historical Society and The Group serve on the Project Advisory Committee for the leadership academy. The current Project Coordinator, donates nearly 2,000 hours annually recruiting participants, creating the curriculum and recruiting and providing orientation and coordinating presentations by community volunteer who serve as trainers.
At the conclusion of each 12 week session, a graduation is conducted to present the graduates to the community and their families. Public officials who serve as trainers participate in the graduation ceremony as well.