February 19, 2007
Contact: Heather Gray  (404) 765-0991

Federation/LAF's Cornelius Blanding Selected as a Fellow of Emerging Leaders Program
The program bridges American and African values and principles

ATLANTA....We at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund are pleased to announce that Cornelius Blanding, the Federation/LAF's Marketing Director, has recently been selected as a Fellow of the Emerging Leaders Program (2007/08 Class) of the Centers for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University and the University of Cape Town (South Africa). Cornelius will be leaving for South Africa in late March for a week-long orientation at the University of Cape Town.

The Emerging Leaders Program is described as one that "seeks to advance the capacity of rising mid-career leaders to contribute to the empowerment of their communities and the transformation of their countries."

The Program curriculum has five major themes, which are:

(1) Dialogue in Context: This centers on transformative theories of leadership (including African leadership paradigms), their underlying assumptions and values, the contrasts and similarities imposed by culture and context, and the implications of competing ideas about leadership for the practice of principle-centered leadership.

(2) Ethics and Accountability: The key issue to be explored is the reciprocal relationship between leaders and their constituencies, including tensions between often competing interests created by "public expectations", major stakeholder institutions, people traditionally without effective voice, and the leader's own interests in exercising and maintaining power and acting with ethical integrity. The crucial difference between "right v. wrong" and "right v. right" ethical challenges will be explored.

(3) The Importance of Personal Renewal: The objective is to emphasize the centrality of personal renewal - mind, spirit and body - for the exercise of sustained effective leadership.

(4) Communications for a Civil Society: The central question is how leaders can recast communications as a device for political control into a tool for strengthening civil society. Topics will include expanding citizen participation through the dissemination of useful information and how leaders can usefully respond to, and help shape, public opinion ethically.

(5) Building Supportive Networks: The focus is the importance of building and making use of resources, relationship capital and social networks - people and institutions particularly, but information vehicles like the Internet as well - so sustain emerging leaders as their ground decision-making on moral principles.


Note: The Federation/LAF, now in its 39th year,  assists Black family farmers across the South with farm management, debt restructuring, alternative crop suggestions, marketing expertise and a whole range of services to ensure family farm survivability.