August 2021:

The Center for Leadership Development (CLD) in Indianapolis has broken ground on an addition to its headquarters. The 20,000-square-foot addition is funded by the organization’s RISE Capital Campaign and will enable CLD to strengthen its programs that are focused on supporting the academic, social and leadership development of African American youth in grades 4 to 12. The groundbreaking took place Aug. 26, 2021 on the CLD campus at 24th and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. streets.

“With the trust and support of many, CLD will continue to expand our critical mission and exceptional programs and services to cultivate the highest growth and achievement levels in character, education, leadership, service and career,” CLD President Dennis Bland said during the groundbreaking event. “We look forward to elevating the potential and success of youth across Central Indiana and beyond for years to come.”

Through one-day career exploration sessions, mentoring and tutoring programs, multi-week book clubs and in-depth high school and college readiness programs, CLD strives to help young people thrive academically and be successful in college and beyond. Founded in 1977 with significant funding support from Lilly Endowment, its mission is “to foster the advancement of minority youth in Central Indiana as future professional, business and community leaders by providing experiences that encourage personal development and educational attainment,” according to CLD.

In 2019, Lilly Endowment approved a $11.6 million grant to CLD to support RISE, its $33 million, five-year capital campaign. In addition to  building capacity at its main facility, the organization is expanding programs at satellite locations and strengthening in-school programs in Marion County neighborhoods to make offerings more accessible, especially to young people who come from low-income families.