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10,000 Lives Initiative: One Year Later

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In May of 2020, Core Strengths launched the 10,000 Lives Initiative after recognizing the importance of investing in the lives of emerging leaders of color. By certifying dozens of educators and community leaders in the SDI 2.0 and donating learning resources to their students, our goal is to improve 10,000 lives through greater self-awareness and interpersonal skills that will open doors of opportunity both educationally and professionally.

We began with a focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), but quickly expanded to include service and faith-based organizations that serve communities of color. Where we could leverage the good work of others, we partnered with current clients to fuel efforts to advance social justice and develop leaders–primarily in public education–for economically challenged communities.

One example of an effective partnership is the support we provided to a community engagement arm of Truist Bank, formerly known as BB&T Leadership Institute. For years, they have trained hundreds of emerging leaders in public education. Through our 10,000 Lives Initiative, principals and other school administrators from economically disadvantaged districts received world-class leadership training that now includes Core Strengths. Using the SDI 2.0, these administrators developed greater self-awareness and communication skills that help them engage and inspire students and faculty throughout the southeastern part of the United States.

With the idea that starting at the top would allow relationship intelligence to flow down through the organization and improve the educational process, we coached the President’s Council at Delaware State University as they prepared to begin an incredibly challenging 2020-2021 academic year. Dr. Tony Allen, president of the HBCU and second-largest university in the state of Delaware, was grateful for the time Core Strengths invested in his team. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Allen chaired President Joe Biden’s inauguration committee, so his new RQ skills were likely useful in that capacity as well.

But the training certainly wasn’t reserved for people at the top of their respective organizations. In fact, one of the fundamental premises of the initiative was to introduce Relationship Intelligence to people where the impact could be truly life-changing. This was the case when Dr. Mike Patterson of the Core Strengths team, in partnership with Yield and Believe Development Center, led a session for 64 inmates inside the Women’s Detention Facility in Denton, Texas, part of the Texas Prison System. The women were incredibly attentive and eager to learn about themselves, improve their relationships, and make different choices upon their release.

Dr. Mike Patterson working with Yield and Believe at the Women’s Detention Facility in Denton, Texas.

Donetta Williams, founder of Yield and Believe Development Center and Yield and Believe Prison Ministry, had previously coached the women at the Henley Unit on self-awareness, spiritual guidance, and life skills. She was thrilled to be able to offer our SDI 2.0 training as a tool to further develop their communication and leadership skills:

“Core Strengths had a significant and positive impact on the women at the Henley Unit. SDI training helped them to better understand themselves and helped to improve their communication with other inmates. Dr. Patterson not only invested his time, but by donating Core Strengths packets he left the women with a lifelong tool that will enhance their lives during their time in prison, upon reintegration, and beyond.  We were able to help 64 women learn and understand their language! For that, Yield & Believe will forever be grateful.”

– Donetta Williams, Yield and Believe Founder

Ray Linder, another Core Strengths Master Facilitator, has certified dozens of new facilitators over the last 8 months through the 10,000 Lives initiative and helped them deploy Core Strengths training for hundreds of learners. Beyond just showing them how to lead training, Ray has found himself partnering with the team at By the Hand, a ministry of the historic Moody Church in Chicago that provides safe places for homework and after-school activities for marginalized youth in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods.

“I was honored that I was contacted to present to By The Hand Club For Kids. Our goal was to empower our families to communicate with their peers and each other effectively. Our participants learned their Motivational Value Systems and how to show up in the world. To celebrate their success, By The Hand hosted a virtual family dinner to discuss what students and parents learned and how they will continue to promote healthy parent/child relationships.”

– Yolanda Perry, Director of Crisis and Compassion

Daniel Washington, a high school senior, completed the Core Strengths assessment along with his mother. Daniel said Core Strengths helped him learn and understand himself and those around him better. He discovered that his MVS is Blue, and his mother is a Hub, and by recognizing their unique motives and values their communication and connection has improved.

We recognize that true change demands a long-term commitment. If you’d like to join us in this effort to change lives, please contact our Core Strengths team to explore the next steps.

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