Civic Stars With Crescent City Connections To Be Celebrated Saturday By The NCFLI


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The Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute (NCFLI) at Xavier University of Louisiana provides education and leadership training to the region’s most promising leaders as they make their impact on civic engagement and social responsibility throughout the southeastern United States, and it will honor four outstanding leaders with ties to New Orleans at its second annual fundraiser, on Saturday, Sept. 21, at the New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00  p.m.

The NCFLI National Leadership Awards will be given to Dean Baquet, a native New Orleanian and the executive editor of The New York Times; Walter Isaacson, a native New Orleanian and the former editor of Time Magazine, the former CEO of CNN and the Aspen Institute and a history professor at Tulane University; and Monty Williams, a former NBA player, the former head coach of the New Orleans Hornets/ Pelicans from 2010 to 2015, the assistant coach of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team and the current coach of the Phoenix Suns.

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The NCFLI will also honor Loyola University of New Orleans President Tania Tetlow with the NCFLI Fellow of the Year Award.

“President Tetlow graduated from the Institute’s program in 2017 and embodies the spirit of our mission to cultivate leadership that fosters positive change and growth in our communities,” said Xavier President Dr. Norman C. Francis, for whom the NCFLI is named. “Especially in the last year, President Tetlow has exemplified the cultural intelligence, spiritual enlightenment and a steadfast moral compass that is at the core of the Institute’s principles.”

“The Institute taught me that having technical skill isn’t enough to really be a leader and that playing it safe and being popular isn’t the point,” said Tetlow of the fellowship program for up-and-coming civic stars. “You have to know why you’re leading, and what your values are. You need to have courage, to be willing to take risks. If you never meet any opposition, you probably haven’t really acted as a leader.”

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The NCFLI was founded in 2012 and its non-partisan principles are directed toward advancing leadership skills. Its mission is to develop “a new generation of leaders and their capacity to become socially active, economically empowered, globally-engaged, policy-educated leaders.”

“NCFLI is on a trajectory to become one of the premier leadership institutes in the country,” said NCFLI Board Member Tim Francis. “Its diversity, stellar instruction and its curriculum for adaptive leadership have already had an impact on inspiring our fellows to take a more challenging direction in their lives and the lives of those they impact.”

The NCFLI’s goal is to address social and economic policies affecting African Americans as well as the nation and global markets. Its leadership development includes:

• Leadership Skill Building: Participants receive extensive education and training to enhance their leadership skills and preparation for service in the public or private sectors of society.

• Research and Policy Analyses: Participants analyze research findings related to social and economic issues currently facing African Americans and other racial/ ethnic groups. With a primary focus on urban cities, Institute participants examine public policies and their effectiveness and the methods for best communicating policies to the larger population of affected citizens.

• International Training and Partnership: Participants study and visit foreign countries to develop and explore opportunities for partnership and participation in the global economy.

• Seminars and Workshops: Taught by experts in the field, NCFLI seminars and workshops are designed for NCFLI participants to address specific leadership topics and challenges, research and data synthesis and economic development.

• Speaker Series: The NCFLI sponsors a public speaker series that brings together national and international leaders in government, economic development, education and international affairs to address domestic and foreign policy issues.

• Roundtables: The Institute Roundtable provides a venue for Institute participants to explore socioeconomic issues of concern and engage in strategic-based discussions with educators, community stakeholders, political leaders and policymakers.

• Field Experiences: Participants engage in a one- to two-week international trip to meet with government, civic and academic leaders to gain insight into contemporary issues and local perspectives of a particular country.

• Impact Studies: Participants conduct data analyses and produce impact studies to inform policy change and leadership decision-making.

As president of the nation’s only historically Black and Catholic university, Dr. Francis is a Xavier alumnus, has been an administrator at Xavier for more than 50 years and holds the distinction for being the longest-sitting university president in the U.S. (at Xavier since 1968). He’s credited for doubling the school’s enrollment, broadening its curriculum, expanding its campus and strengthening its financial base.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Xavier ranks No. 1 in the number of African American students who earn undergraduate degrees in biology and the life sciences, chemistry, physics and pharmacy.

Dr. Francis also served in an advisory role to eight U.S. presidential administrations and was presented the highest civil award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2006 by President George W. Bush. He was honored for his work as chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, playing a vital role in helping the people of the Gulf Coast rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“When I was a young reporter covering City Hall, Norman Francis became a guide and mentor, as he would be over the years for so many people,” said author, journalist and 2019 NCFLI honoree Isaacson. “It’s wonderful that his leadership skills will always be passed along through the Institute that bears his name.”

The NCFLI’s annual gala will also showcase a special performance by Grammy Award-winning singer Eric Benet.

Tickets for the fundraising concert are $250.

VIP and patron party tickets are $500.


For more information and to buy tickets



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