Dennis Bland

Dennis Bland, president of the Center for Leadership Development, spoke at an event announcing an $11.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment. (Photo/Tyler Fenwick)

The Center for Leadership Development (CLD) will use an $11.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment to create satellite locations, take its programming into schools and expand its main location.

The two organizations made the announcement Nov. 19.

CLD President Dennis Bland said the organization is looking to add three to five satellite locations in high-crime and high-poverty areas around the city. CLD’s programming will also eventually been in some schools, based on what those school leaders say they need.

Bland said there are young people and parents who haven’t heard of CLD and don’t know what it can offer students, but there are also those who do know about CLD and “aren’t necessarily trying to run to get into CLD.”

He hopes these expansions will allow CLD to reach both groups.

Bland said the CLD building, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street across from Flanner House, will expand by about 15,000 square feet. The organization will then be able to add more classroom space, create a study lab and ultimately enroll more students.

“I’m humbled by the trust,” Bland told attendees. “We don’t see this as much a donation to CLD as an investment in CLD.”

The grant will also allow CLD to build its endowment and support long-term sustainability. CLD was founded in 1977 by a group of civic and business leaders in Indianapolis who wanted to help African American youth to academic and career success. Henry Bundles Jr., who died in March, was founding president.

Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment’s chairman, president and CEO, said Lilly has the money to offer to organizations like CLD, but it takes good leaders to use it effectively.

Mayor Joe Hogsett thanked both organizations for their work in helping Indianapolis.

“Indianapolis would not be what Indianapolis is today without both the Lilly Endowment and the Center for Leadership Development,” he said.

CLD will receive $8.6 million of the grant immediately. The remainder has matching conditions that are designed to encourage more contributions.

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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