On Saturday, April 28, the Multicultural Leadership Program celebrated the graduation of the 25 participants of the Class of 2018. The sold-out event was held in the Brown Ballroom of Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center at 6 p.m. and lasted until 9 p.m. During the social hour, held from 6-7 p.m., attendees were treated to a performance by ISU’s Acafellaz while socializing with other guests and the graduates.
The graduation ceremony started off with the introduction of the night’s Emcee, Justin Vickers, who was also one of the Class’ two facilitators. Each year the class nominates one of their fellow participants to represent them at the graduation by giving a speech and this year’s class speaker was Cecilia Ruffin. Cecilia spoke about the program’s effect on the participants and the value of having a program that allows people to explore and improve their leadership skills at home, at work, and in the community.
Keynote speaker Charlene Carruthers challenged the audience to consider their definition of “leader” in her speech “Leadership in Times of Uncertainty”. Charlene stated that a major component of being an effective leader in uncertain times is having the ability to determine what skills and resources you possess and then deciding what can be done with those assets. She also reinforced MCLP’s mission of creating diverse leaders by saying that change is only possible when diverse people with diverse perspectives are able to lead to their full capability.
Two community leaders were honored with service awards before the graduates were introduced. Both Jacquie Mace and Emily Vigneri have made invaluable contributions to McLean County and are examples of true servant-leaders. During the presentation of the graduates each graduates’ name was called and one of the facilitators read a couple statements by their classmates that recognized the graduate’s strengths.
MCLP is currently accepting applications for the Class of 2019. Applications are due May 21 and can be found here. There will also be a recruitment session May 10 from 5-6:15 p.m. at the Illinois Wesleyan Center for Natural Sciences.