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Student Reflections on Integrative Leadership

By Anna Swanson Bates

Students from the Spring 2010 "Integrative Leadership: From Theory to Practice" course, taught by Professors Jay Kiedrowski and Paul Vaaler, will post their reflections on integrative leadership throughout the course of the semester on the Time to Lead blog.

The city of Minneapolis seems to be undertaking an integrative approach into their approach to Youth Violence Prevention. Homicide is the leading cause of death among youth in the city of Minneapolis. It exerts an extreme amount of cost upon the system and quite obviously, results in the untimely death of young people. The city has written a "Blueprint for Action," outlining an approach to ending violence in the city's most violent neighborhoods. The executive committee of the Blueprint is comprised of many sectors, including churches, nonprofits, government, and educational entities (both K-12 and University). The committee's membership can be viewed here: http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/dhfs/exec-committee.asp

This initiative struck me as a great example of integrative leadership for a couple reasons. First, there is a common shared purpose that is easy to get on board with...it's hard to argue that violence should be reduced, especially among a young, more vulnerable population. Multiple stakeholders are "at the table," even including a young person. Additionally, champions have stepped forward to urge the work around Youth Violence Prevention in the city of Minneapolis. The work has focused on innovative ways that the city can approach reduction that don't focus on policing, but also that don't remove the police from the stakeholders at the table.

It will be interesting to witness the evolution of the launching of the "Blueprint for Action" into actual work within neighborhoods of Minneapolis to see if this Blueprint can be operationalized and effectively reduce violence among youth in the city.

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