Minneapolis, MN - The Minneapolis Urban League President and CEO Scott Gray has been selected as a 2015 Bush Fellow. More than 600 people applied for the 2015 Bush Fellowship and out of that record number of applicants, the fellowship was awarded to 23 exceptional leaders from across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native nations.
The Bush Fellowship invests in building the leadership capacity of people in the region working on issues that are important to their community and key to advancing work in their focus areas.
"We are thrilled to invest in this extraordinary group of leaders,” said Bush Foundation President Jennifer Ford Reedy in a press release. “Bush Fellows have a unique opportunity to pursue the knowledge, connections and experiences that they believe are necessary to become more effective leaders. Investing in individual leadership is investing in the future well-being of our region. The extraordinary accomplishments of Fellows over the last 50 years are a testament to that.”
More than 2,200 people have taken advantage of the Fellowship to become better leaders through a self-designed learning experience, academic program or travel across the country to build connections with thought leaders on topics critical to their community. The Bush Fellowship counts among its alumni former Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, Fond du Lac Tribal Chairwoman Karen Diver, New York Times best-selling writer Kathleen Norris, and noted storyteller Mary Louise Defender Wilson.
Gray plans to use his Bush Fellowship to expand his leadership capabilities and to pursue post –graduate work in nonprofit leadership. In his application Gray wrote, “Our changing economic landscape has left many nonprofits and communities of color in dire need. Nonprofit leaders yearn for new models of sustainability and innovation to better transform underserved communities. “
With the Bush Fellowship, Gray is interested in beginning a PhD in nonprofit leadership with a focus on creating a “social enterprise and innovation” institute that inspires, teaches, and develops best-practice models for nonprofits.
“These models will promote self-sufficiency and be replicable in urban communities and around the world. Earning a Bush Fellowship would be a wonderful opportunity to turn my vision into a world-class initiative that will create lasting change,” Gray said.
Applicants described their vision and passion for transforming their communities, their capacity to be a transformational leader and how a Bush Fellowship would help them achieve their vision and grow their capacity.
“I am thankful for this opportunity to grow my leadership skills. The Bush Fellowship is an investment in leaders which makes them stronger which in turn makes their organizations and our entire community stronger,” Gray said.