Clark Atlanta University has just announced its first honorary fellow and it’s only right that the person has ties to the Atlanta area.
The HBCU Executive Leadership Institute’s (HBCU ELI) first honorary fellow is none other than current Atlanta Mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms.
This first-of-its-kind program includes a roster that is made up of 58 percent women which in turn makes it the nation’s most diverse cohort of future HBCU leaders.
The program is funded largely by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and aims to serve as the incubator for developing and recruiting the next generation of leaders for over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
PR Newswire reports that CZI’s $1 million donation is the largest gift to the HBCU ELI organization to date.
A product of an HBCU — Florida A&M University to be exact — Bottoms is the only mayor in the history of Atlanta to have served in all three branches of government.
Upon being sworn in as the leader of the metro city, Bottoms served as both a judge and City Councilmember.
“For more than 150 years, HBCUs have not only played an important role in American higher education, but also in building stronger communities and world-class leaders in every sector of society,” said Mayor Bottoms in an official press release. “As a proud graduate of Florida A&M University, I am excited to accept this honorary fellowship and support HBCU ELI’s efforts to ensure this legacy continues.”
The program’s mission is to ensure the long-term sustainability of over 100 HBCUs thanks to the help of the HBCU ELI Advisory Board and the Council of former HBCU presidents.
“Mayor Bottoms is experienced, intelligent, and has a strong commitment to the next generation of women leaders,” continued Clark Atlanta University President, Dr. George T. French, Jr. “As an alumna of Florida A&M University, she continues to remind us that HBCUs can indeed create leaders who help solve society’s most pressing challenges even in the face of crisis.”
Click here for the complete list of HBCU ELI’s 2021 cohort.