Our 1828 Leadership Project, Class X recently met at White River State Park with guests Taylor Schaffer, Deputy Chief of Staff for the City of Indianapolis, Ryan Vaughn, President at Indiana Sports Corp, and Judith Thomas, Principal, Cultural Architect at Judith & Co., to set the stage for a lesson on Indy’s past, present, and future. As our city endures an economy rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and action that has led to racial reconciliation, this conversation between 1828 members and leaders in our city was profoundly impactful. We were able to catch up with a few class members to hear their takeaways. Take a look at their insights below!
“I think the panel was an interested mix of community leaders – all focusing on a different important topic from the people/cultures to the economy and development of Indianapolis I wish there was more time to speak to them and ask questions but the panel was a interesting discussion about what matters for the future of Indianapolis.”
“I found Judy’s tidbits about building, maintaining and continuing to cultivate relationships, even when things get “complicated.” I appreciated her appreciation for people, even those who didn’t value her perspective. There’s a lesson in that; I’m working to learn that lesson.”
“I thought that meeting was incredible. I especially loved Judy’s advice that you don’t have to be in government to make a change- you can just know all the right people and bring them together.”
“A key takeaway is intergenerational wisdom. I was excited to see a mix of natives and transplants as well as a mix of age demographics. Indy has really created a landscape where intergenerational collaboration can not only supercharge networking efforts but inspire resilience in those who are trailblazing similar spaces in other industries/organizations. I got to hear about the past, present, and future of what these leaders bring and a clear understanding that although very complex, authentic relationships can get you just about anywhere. In order to truly innovate we have to respect the efforts of those who came before and actively find ways to partner with those still on the front line of preserving the community.”
“The ability to impact change in Indianapolis is special – unlike many cities of similar size and stature. Indianapolis and its’ potential spark this crazy little belief that I can act to make things better.”
“I’m newer to Indianapolis, so I wasn’t aware of the history of Indiana Avenue. Loved getting to learn about this and talk about how we can avoid repeating history…on the contrary how we can treasure our black history/neighborhoods and be more aware of gentrification. I also appreciated the discussion on how we can affect change in our work/organization and lessons learned from leaders in the city.”
“That Indy is a city where you can actually see and feel your impact. I’m really optimistic about the future of this city, and I want to be a part of it.”
“There were a few things I took away from this session. The first being that Indianapolis is a place that’s ripe for growth; with the right idea and with sufficient support, you can make almost anything happen given the diminished degrees of separation in the city. The second is that there are various types of leaders in our city, one doesn’t necessarily need to go into politics in order to be a leader. And lastly, we have an energized, great group of young professionals in the Class X cohort.”
More about the 1828 Leadership Project
The 1828 Leadership Project presented by Citizens Energy Group brings together young leaders to learn about the challenges facing our city, meet the many individuals who are shaping policy and practice in our community, and to identify ways in which they can have an impactful role moving forward.
Program participants are nominated by community leaders and selected by a committee of program alumni and community stakeholders. Class members, who participate at absolutely no cost to them, meet over the course of nine months.
To date, The 1828 Leadership Project has served nearly 150 participants.