The New Urban Leaders

By Joyce A. Ladner

Some of today’s best urban leaders don’t work for the government—they can be found in nonprofit organizations that serve the working class and poor populations. Based on interviews conducted in major cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New York, this study focuses on exceptional leaders who have developed effective solutions to the complex problems of our inner cities, including education, economic development, and community safety. The book includes profiles of innovators such as Robert Woodson, founder of the Washington, D.C. based National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, whose work on affordable housing, gang violence, and black entrepreneurship earned a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (the “genius” award); MacArthur Fellowship and Heinz Prize winner Bob Moses, founder of the Algebra Project that prepares low-income students for joining today’s technology-dominated workforce; Rheedlen Center head Geoff Canada, who received the Heinz Prize for his “anti-violence among youth” work; and Reverend Eugene Rivers, one of the founders of the Ten-Point Coalition that helped to reduce gang violence in Boston. The New Urban Leadership investigates how and why expert problem solvers chose their career paths, what qualities make them especially successful in their work, and the methods they use to train the next generation of urban leaders.

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