Blog Entry Narrative Change

Reflections: AMEX Leadership Academy at CBMA Fellow Timothy Jackson

"Being a part of the fellowship has been a tremendous honor. Through this platform, fellows are able to advocate and become a more unified voice for the Black community."

In June, CBMA hosted its annual kick-off gathering in Greensboro, North Carolina, where the 2019 Fellowship class had the opportunity to meet each other and learn about all the great work being done in our respective cities. Our first stop while in Greensboro was The Beloved Community Center -- a community-based nonprofit focused on advocating for social justice – where we met the Co-Founders and Co-Executive Directors Reverend Nelson Johnson and Joyce Johnson who are very passionate about their mission. They took us on a tour and shared some of the deeply-rooted pain that Black people have had to endure.

We also learned about some of the Center’s current initiatives, like Black & Brown Unity, a project designed to improve the quality of life amongst communities of color. Through the project, the Beloved Community Center has worked to help bring peace and trust within the community which, according to its website, has resulted in the "development of a peace treaty among various street groups and plans to work with street groups called the Paradigm Shift."

Our Second Stop was to visit the Center for Creative Leadership, whose mission is to advance the understanding of creative leadership. This was a wonderful opportunity. There were tests that provided helpful feedback to better understand how others may view our work ethic, which allowed us to receive honest feedback from peers, clients, and employers. In addition, we were each assigned counselors to receive individual one-on one sessions on how become a better leaders.

The opportunity to visit the Beloved Community Center and the Center for Creative Leadership has impacted the work that I do within the community -- from learning about strategic methods to overcome adversity with love, to being assessed and understanding what it takes to practice effective leadership.

To be a part of the CBMA fellowship cohort is a true reward -- one that is vital to our efforts to change the narrative and create new stories for future generations.


Timothy Jackson is an American Express Leadership Academy at CBMA Fellow, and Co-Founder and Executive Director of Detroit Hives, a 501C3 nonprofit founded in 2017 whose mission is to transform vacant lots into bee farms for the education and conservation of bees.

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