Carlton Robert Collins To Lead The Leading Men Fellowship Expansion to Greater Cincinnati

(CINCINNATI, Feb. 1, 2022) — After securing $4.6 million in funding for its expansion to the Greater Cincinnati region, The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship hired Carlton Robert Collins to lead the program’s efforts in addressing educational inequities amongst Cincinnati’s youngest children. In coordination with a Program Associate and Early Literacy Coaching Specialists, and in partnership with school staff, Collins will lead the Cincinnati team to recruit, train, and place 20 men of color, ages 18-24, in pre-K classrooms to provide evidence-based literacy support in the Fall of 2022.

Collins is an activist, author, entrepreneur, and speaker with over a decade of experience in education initiatives nationwide. His book published in 2017, Resist Every Bias on Every Level (REBEL) focuses on Black Male Achievement and Leadership Development. In 2018, he co-founded Engines That Work, a minority business development firm based in Cincinnati. In 2020, as part of The Heights Movement, a community development organization, he launched My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Lincoln Heights in partnership with the Obama Foundation. He has served on numerous boards and aided in numerous initiatives including founding Morehouse Education Association, which focused on getting more Black men into education through tutoring, mentoring, internships, and teaching post-graduation.

Collins is ready to usher in this innovative opportunity for young men of color in Greater Cincinnati: “The Leading Men Fellowship provides an incredible opportunity to begin to solve the lack of Black male representation in our schools. My purpose is to create an environment where pouring back into the next generation becomes a defining characteristic of service to youth. Leading Men gives a platform to impact two generations through education and put some intentionality into building strong young leaders. I’m excited for our future Fellows.”

Ivan Douglas, National Director of the Leading Men Fellowship welcomes Collins to the Leading Men Fellowship community: “We knew that when we decided to expand into the Greater Cincinnati region with the Leading Men Fellowship, it would be critical to find the right dynamic leader who could inspire and empower young Black and Brown men with the skills and confidence they would need to be successful in their college and career pursuits.  Carlton is that man.  We are so excited to have him as part of our Literacy Lab family and look forward to connecting with community stakeholders throughout Cincinnati to provide the kind of wraparound services and supports that our young men deserve.”

The Literacy Lab is an education non-profit whose mission is to provide students who are historically and systemically marginalized with individualized reading instruction to increase literacy skills, leading to greater success in school and increased opportunities in life. The Literacy Lab accomplishes this by empowering members of the community to serve as full-time literacy tutors in elementary and early childhood classrooms to close the literacy achievement gap and build the teacher pipeline.  The Leading Men Fellowship currently operates in Baltimore, Maryland; Central Virginia; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Washington DC. The Fellowship will launch in Atlanta, Georgia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Phoenix, Arizona beginning with the 2022-23 school year.

The benefit of expanding the Fellowship to Cincinnati, which will begin at the start of the 2022-23 school year, was identified by GreenLight Fund Cincinnati after they conducted a rigorous, year-long selection effort to identify a literacy intervention program that had a proven track record of accelerating student achievement and increasing educator workforce diversity.  GreenLight Fund is a Boston-based organization with offices in several U.S. cities that identifies locally under-served needs of families experiencing poverty in partnership with its Selection Advisory Council and community consultants, then evaluates and selects nonprofit organizations that can best address those needs.  

“Beyond selecting and investing in Leading Men Fellowship, GreenLight is thrilled to support the early stage operational and management needs unique to Greater Cincinnati as Carlton grows this evidence-based initiative,” said Clare Blankemeyer, Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Cincinnati.

The Fellowship is currently recruiting for the inaugural class of 20 Leading Men Fellows in Cincinnati. Fellows will begin tutoring in pre-K classrooms in the Fall of 2022.

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