Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership
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The Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership, working with business, government, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and within Rutgers, provides leaders and future leaders with the education, training and critical-thinking tools needed to make ethical decisions. Part of a broad-based academic institution, the Institute believes that cultivating and rewarding sustainable ethical practices assist leaders to create a more powerful and successful organization. The Institute, under the direction of co-founders, Alex J. Plinio and James Abruzzo, aspires to a position that leaders, across all sectors, look to for guidance, partnership, and support. The Institute believes that ethical behavior drives good business and that legal compliance alone may fail to address the complexities of ethical conduct.
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New Rutgers Leadership Program Selects Local Arts Professionals
Training Program Aims to Increase Diversity in Arts Leadership
NEWARK — The Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL) and Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation are pleased to announce six New Jersey arts professionals are among the first class of a new training program designed to increase the diversity of the leadership of arts and culture organizations.
Kim Chan of Maplewood, Evonne Davis of Newark, Rodney Gilbert of Newark, Jeremy Johnson of Newark, Marshell Jones Kumahor of Montclair, and Desi Shelton of Camden were selected to participate in the Institute’s Rutgers Executive Cultural and Ethnic Arts Leadership Program. The full list of 18 professionals from throughout the United States and Philippines may be found on the program’s website.
The Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School created the training program in response to research showing an alarming lack of diverse leadership within the arts and culture field, said James Abruzzo, co-founder of the Institute for Ethical Leadership.
“Our nations' cultural institutions, located mostly in urban environments, would be better served if their leaders reflected the local populations,” Abruzzo said. “This program is designed to encourage and prepare arts executives from underrepresented populations who clearly have the skills and the ambition to become CEOs.”
The program will launch this summer in Newark with a 10-day residence, followed by ongoing learning experiences, and a year-long mentorship for each participant.
The six New Jersey members bring to the class a depth of skills, knowledge and experience, including expertise in visual arts, public art, community engagement, and theater community development.
- Kim Chan is general manager of PEN World Voices, a New York City-based nonprofit that defends free expression and promotes literature around the world.
- Rodney Gilbert is executive director of Yendor Productions/ Yendor Arts, a Newark-based organization dedicated to alleviating the challenges experienced by underserved artists and communities as it relates to cultural and artistic expression.
- Evonne Davis is artistic director at Gallery Aferro, a Newark-based organization working towards an arts community that is available to everyone, without sacrificing standards or quality of experience.
- Jeremy Johnson is executive director of Newark Arts Council, dedicated to bringing the transformative power of the arts into the lives of those who live in, work in, and visit Newark through programs, advocacy, promotion, education, and coordination.
- Marshell Jones Kumahor is vice president of education and community engagement at New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark dedicated to enriching lives through a passion for musical excellence and a commitment to New Jersey.
- Desi P. Shelton is executive director of Camden Repertory Theater, which uses performing arts as social activism to encourage, heal and transform lives of the people of Camden.
The leadership program is produced in partnership with New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences and the Institute for Arts and Media Management at the Free University in Berlin. It is supported through a special Rutgers-Newark Chancellor’s seed grant with additional funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Wells Fargo.
"It's essential that the senior management of non-profit arts organizations across the country are authentically reflective of the diverse audiences we serve daily,” said John Schreiber, NJPAC executive director. “The new Cultural and Ethnic Arts Executive Leadership program is a pioneering step in addressing this urgent need. NJPAC is proud to have one of the most diverse performing arts executive teams in America, and we're honored to be a partner in this groundbreaking initiative."
A $25,000 grant from the Dodge Foundation supports the New Jersey participants.
“Investing in leadership and network creation plays a critical role in telling and showcasing the stories of the state’s diverse cultures, leading to more robust programming and stronger community connections,” said Sharnita C. Johnson, Dodge arts program director. “The development of this program is especially timely as the arts and culture sector here in New Jersey continues to examine issues relative to diversity, equity and inclusion.”
About the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation was established in 1974 through the foresight and generosity of Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, daughter of William and Almira Rockefeller. For more than 40 years, Dodge has supported leadership, collaboration and innovation, with a focus on addressing the issues most pressing to New Jersey. Dodge also offers a comprehensive technical assistance program geared towards strengthening the capacity of New Jersey’s nonprofit community. For more information, visit www.grdodge.org.
New certificate program for arts leadership gets funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
According to James Abruzzo, co-founder of the Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL) at Rutgers Business School and director of the certificate program, "Cultural institutions, located mostly in urban areas, are better served when their leaders reflect the local populations. This program is designed to encourage and prepare arts executives from underrepresented populations, many of whom clearly have the skills and the ambition, to become CEOs.”
THE NEW PROGRAM ENCOURAGES AND ENABLES ARTS MANAGERS FROM UNDERREPRESENTED COMMUNITIES TO BECOME CEOS OF U.S. ARTS ORGANIZATIONS.
Cheryl Ikemiya, senior program officer for the arts at DDCF, said, "As the demographics of the United States continue to change rapidly, the need for more diversity in the leadership of cultural institutions grows increasingly evident. Given this, we are pleased to support the IEL’s efforts."
"The Duke grant, combined with other funding, will allow us to remove a major barrier for many – the program costs are very modest and no one will be rejected because the program is unaffordable," Abruzzo said. "This is the first and only program designed specifically to diversify the CEO demographics of arts organizations."
The 10-day program will bring together a cohort of arts managers from diverse races and ethnic backgrounds and from the LGBTQIA and differently abled communities to live and learn together. The program faculty, comprised of arts management CEOs and board members and Rutgers professors, a majority from underrepresented communities, will also serve as mentors throughout the year. Beginning on June 17, 18 arts and culture executives will experience a leadership curriculum designed to remove many barriers to the executive office. The program includes leadership training, site visits, and sessions on cultural competency, interviewing with search committees and negotiating a CEO contract.
The inaugural cohort of outstanding participants includes arts organization founders, senior arts managers from major institutions, artists and CEOs of smaller arts organizations. They work at dance, visual arts, theater, literature, museums, performing arts centers and arts education organizations located across the United States and abroad.
For more information, and to meet the cohort as they are announced, go to http://www.business.rutgers.edu/iel/cea
About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people's lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke's properties. The Arts Program of DDCF focuses its support on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. For more information, please visit ddcf.org .
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