Since the “Dubya” years, the American people have been growing increasingly more conscious of the issues plaguing minority groups. Founded in 2005 and headed by President Mark Riddle, New Leaders Council is an organization weaponizing millennial activism by providing intensive training on how to be a politician. The goal for NLC is to arm new progressive thought leaders with the tools necessary to successfully take seats in positions of power and in doing so, increase the diversity of the American governing system making a more inclusive political system.
You will find n0 mention of men working for NLC on their website, not that there aren’t men on the payroll, NLC is very proud of their diversity statistics with over 60% of its members being female and over 60% being people of color. NLC is providing a pathway for those who are traditionally outside of the conventional power scheme and since its founding has grown to be a nation-wide network of chapters working in unison.
Their Mission Statement
According to their website:
“New Leaders Council is a 501 (c) (3) public charity dedicated to educating a new generation of leaders and to provide those leaders with the tools they need to succeed. NLC does not support or oppose any candidate for public office and serves only as an educational leadership training ground.”
NLC provides a professional development program that teaches its fellows skills in entrepreneurship, political activism, campaign management and starting non-profits. Alumni are then encouraged to take action in their communities using these skills to forward progressive ideologies and lay out the groundwork for futures in in office as democratic candidates.
NLC’s commitment to empowering new leadership has led to a number of outstanding projects helping communities and I’d like to spotlight a couple in particular.
Mr. Solomon started “One Stock, One Future” an organization that aims to “Plant seeds of wealth” by allowing the underprivileged to own shares of public companies.
Public schools fail us when it comes to financial literacy and projects like OSOF can be massive forces for good. Financial freedom is one of the most highly desired goals for a large number of people, sometimes all it takes is a little nudge and some gentle support to change the destiny of an entire lineage.
Housing Rights Initiative is an organization tackling the greedy real estate market by filing lawsuits against rent gouging landlords and corrupt real estate agents who break the laws meant to keep those of us who don’t make a living in real estate safe.
Real Estate is known for being a greedy game with a highly speculative market that can ruin a family’s finances quickly if they are not prepared play. For new homeowners, the process of buying a house can be intimidating, information regarding the process is not always so clear cut and not everyone knows how to watch the market. It is incredibly easy to get suckered in to a bad deal by a friendly soccer mom in a pantsuit.
The rental market is another story. With real estate prices rising in some places to levels that far exceed the utility and value of the property, renters are faced with sky-high housing costs, often paying 40% more to rent than their landlord pays on their mortgage. Often renters are buying the house they live in for the person they are renting the home from only to be displaced when the owner decides the market is good enough to sell.
HRI fights on the side of the disadvantaged and keeps greed in check. Legal battles are expensive and for those who cannot afford the legal fees, there is no alternative to find justice when they’ve been wronged.
I find that it is important to be aware of where nonprofits get their funding, especially in the current age of information where it is so easy to be misled by pretty infographics and well laid out websites that don’t really tell us very much about them.
Non-profits luckily have their financial statements in the public domain so we can see the basic flow of money through the organization on their form 990. In 2018 NLC received nearly 2 million dollars in contributions, up a quarter of a million dollars from their prior year, they also make revenue from their programs but at under $100,000 (markedly down from prior years) most of NLC’s funding comes from private donations, mostly from other progressive non-profits.
National Leaders Council: a Summary and a Personal Note
I spent a fair amount of time on the organizations Facebook, where they are quite active, and watched a number of seminars presented by NLC fellows. It is incredible to see how much a few months in training can do to foster a public speaker who otherwise might not have had a voice. One individual, Justin Thomas, is a reformed convict who serves as a success story for re-entry programming for those who are returning to society after serving their sentence behind bars. It warms my heart to see that these things are possible.
The majority of the issues discussed by their fellows were about inclusivity and social justice. Their President in a thank you announcement to the organization remarked that “It is all hands on deck to defeat Trump and Trumpism.” I really wish that we could move on from the war on the President. I don’t think that being “against trump” is a very well laid out political ideology. New Leaders Council is working hard to push progressive ideas and I think overall the country is better for it.
About the Author
Hello, you can call me Suede. I am a Millennial living in Southern California and over the course of my short life I’ve worked in more industries than many will ever experience, experimented with psychoactive substances and explored the inner workings of the human mind to find the underlying truths that we all live with. My journey has led me all over the United States and a few places outside it in order to understand what makes a life worth living. I am an entrepreneur, an autodidact, and a creator. I am Suede, nice to meet you.
Mid-South Peace & Justice Center
Alliance for Youth Action