Our Strategy

The V(i)llage Think Positionality investigates how we can celebrate youth identities while honoring their school and societal contributions to humankind.

Utah Rep. Sandra Hollins discussing political, communal empowerment with participants of the 3rd Annual Black Youth Summit (2015) hosted by The V(i)llage at Rowland Hall.

How the work gets done.

Since 2010, Dr. Hotchkins has investigated how student leadership identity development is shaped and facilitated through organizational experiences, which include K-20 learning environments. Hotchkins and Dancy (2015) and Dancy and Hotchkins (2015) posited organizations encourage cultural expression, holistic leadership development, transparent discussions about difference and group decision making, which positively influences Black student success. Specifically, Black students thrive in organizations with these types of outcomes whether historically Black or predominantly White in origin, vision and mission statement (Hotchkins, 2014). In exploring the interconnectedness of student identities we have applied community-centered strategies to promote school involvement, encourage cultural validation, develop non-cogitative academic preparedness, and foster holistic understanding between youth, and adults participants. The V(i)llage challenges traditional leadership paradigms like generalized leader efficacy, servant and transformational leadership (Burns, 1978; Greenleaf, 1977; Hannah, Avolio, Walumbwa & Chan, 2010) that fail to consider holistic identities of leaders (e.g. race and gender) when determining how leadership is learned and performed. By using an integrative, collaborative approach to transform followers into leaders, we introduce an effective interconnectedness of leadership identity model to be used as an intervention to reduce racial, gendered and sexual orientation related disparities.

The V(i)llage work gets done through the support of community leaders like Calvary Baptist Church Pastor France A. Davis (pictured below), who was the keynote speaker at our Acknowledging Black Excellence Awards (2016) held at the University of Utah in May. Our middle and high school students, site liaisons, University of Utah Champions and supporters were in attendance. We realize that we can not do the work of helping inclusive-minded and Black youth alone, so we depend on community relationships!