‘We are perhaps the best incubators of African American mayors’ – President Robinson.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., addressed the inaugural session of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) Mayors’ Institute for Racial and Economic Justice, an initiative launched to train Black mayors.
The AAMA partnership is a natural fit for FAMU and other historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU), Robinson said.
“The symbiotic relationship between HBCUs and our cities demands we work closely together. HBCUs have long been the lifeblood of their surrounding communities. When we prosper, they prosper,” said Robinson, who noted the role of HBCUs in molding generations of leaders.
In January, the AAMA announced an award from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation that will support the development of the first-of-its-kind Mayors’ Institute for Racial and Economic Justice Policy.
Since FAMU is the alma mater of several of AAMA’s member mayors, including St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Eastpoint, Georgia Mayor Deana Holiday Ingraham, the organization invited the University to partner with AAMA in this historic initiative as a consortium member.
As a consortium member of the Institute, FAMU will work with the AAMA to identify session topics and recruit experts and thought leaders from FAMU’s faculty, administration and extensive alumni network.
Robinson said the partnership with the Institute is consistent with one of the University’s strategic priorities to expand our partnerships with local, national and global communities.
“We are perhaps the best incubators of African American mayors. The list of our alumni is long and impressive,” Robinson said of HBCUs, especially FAMU.
The Institute will support the ongoing training of Black mayors, with an emphasis on newly elected mayors who represent communities from 500 people to over one million.
Mayors participating in Tuesday’s virtual meeting included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, AAMA President Mayor McKinley Price of Newport News, Va., Wayne Messam of Miramar, and Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, N.Y. Carter, Holiday-Ingraham and Gilbert were also on the call.
“We are thrilled to launch this unique learning experience. As Black mayors, we face unique hurdles in our leadership roles. By engaging with former mayors, academic experts, corporate leaders, and other top professionals, we can better support our communities and strengthen our leadership,” said Price. “We are particularly excited to be partnering with Florida A&M University on this initiative. HBCUs and mayors both play a special role in invigorating communities.”
The consortium will work with the AAMA to utilize information, training and networking to enhance their executive capacity for the benefit of their local citizens. Topics and sessions will address the unique challenges faced by African American mayors such as crisis management, political communication, and the cultivation of equitable and inclusive economies.
Other partners include the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University and Howard University’s Ronald Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center.