Emerging Leaders Summit encourages future leaders

The Florida Conference of Black State Legislators hosted the annual Emerging Leaders Summit at Florida’s Historic Old Capitol on Wednesday.

The summit focused on conquering new impactful frontiers for future leaders. Vince Evans, summit coordinator, said the FCBSL brings young people and college students together to talk about impactful community issues and how to emerge as leaders.

“It’s not focused on whether you’re a Republican or Democrat or Independent,” Evans said. “We focus on how to be better leaders for not tomorrow but today.”

The summit brings students hoping to learn about many issues, such as health care, producing a better education system and creating jobs.

Mario Henderson, a member of the summit’s planning committee, said students need to understand that there are many areas African-Americans, and minorities in general, haven’t reached yet.

“We have to be strategic and get involved in as many areas as possible so our voices will be at the table,” Henderson.

Henderson said the way to get to the table is to look for opportunities outside of the highly desired positions. Everybody can’t serve on Congress, he said, but one can take advantage of boards appointed by the governor and district leadership.

Christian “Cici” Battle, a Department of Juvenile Justice employee, presented information on self-doubt.

“Oftentimes, that self-doubt overshadows our ability to actually apply,” Battle said. “The first step is applying, and nine times out of 10, we’re great and we just have to pursue it.”

Battle said people should get away from their individualistic views and look at themselves as pitchers.

“All these experiences you gather, you have to be able to pour it into the lives of others,” Battle said.

Jonathan Moses, a senior business administration student from Miami Gardens, said the summit was a great event for minorities.

“They have a small group in the House of Representatives and in the Senate right now,” Moses said. “That is something we want to continue to grow.”

Evans said he wanted the attendees to use the information from the summit to be successful in every aspect of life.

“We don’t expect everyone to come out saying, ‘I want to run for office and to serve for the Florida legislative,’ Evans said. “But, they will leave here with a sense of urgency about how they can be impactful in their communities or wherever they go.”