Public Policy & Skill Building Topics

Arts and Culture

Let’s not forget the Artist! In addition to critical policies like education, economic development, and public safety, arts and culture is an important piece to local communities. Should art be displayed in public spaces? Are the visual and performing arts accessible to all regardless of socio-economics? Through in-depth and insightful debate and discussions, Leadership Newark will bring together policy makers, artists, musicians and other leaders to discuss the value of Arts and Culture for communities. This very value allows us to face broad issues of arts in our society, including but not limited to enhancing creativity, creating stability within the creative workplace, adapting to new technology and advocating for policies that advance the use of arts and creativity as tools for health among vulnerable populations.

Business Etiquette

Whether you’re eating lunch with a client, skyping with your boss, or meeting a business partner for the first time–it’s all about how you present yourself. Doing business in a global society requires knowledge expertise and the ability to get along with other cultures. Understanding why manners matter, how to meet, greet and make an impression as well as how to have a professional presence are critical for success.


Whether it’s a face-to-face conversation, a professionally written e-mail or a text exchange, a meaningful message entails establishing a connection that leaves a powerful impression. In today’s competitive business world effective communication skills training is more essential than ever before. It is the foundation on which companies and careers are built and a crucial component of lasting success. You will be challenged to reach your potential as a public speaker as you get exposed to highlights & techniques as valuable tools necessary to work with individuals or the media.

Community Development

The conversation around community development policy continues to shift as we delve deeper into the 21st century. Vibrant communities allow for various stakeholders to collaborate in addressing many challenges. The ability to create strategic partnerships and collaborations ensures a neighborhood that is financially, socially, and civically stable. Indeed, Critical questions around how to best address challenges facing low-income communities and whether policies like the Community Reinvestment Act provide positive benefits will be presented. During our community development policy seminar, Leadership Newark will create a nexus between fellows and experts in the field. Fellows will be exposed to policies surrounding housing, community relations, zoning ordinances, affordability, rent regulations, and more.

Criminal Justice

Criminal justice policies provide for federal, state, and local government to support effective processes in preventing and mitigating crime. These policies also provide support for those who have violated laws but seek rehabilitation initiatives to support the transitioning back into local communities in Newark, NJ. Questions that we will address include the challenges facing policy makers to ensure safety and confidence. Leadership Newark exposes fellows to policy experts and leaders in the criminal justice, legal, and social services field to provide an in-depth view on what it takes to create an honest, fair and efficient criminal justice system here in the Greater Newark area. Discussions will also center around the role and responsibilities of uniformed services. Fellows will also explore and discuss issues of trust and equity and the community’s role in improving relations as leaders and role models.

Economic Development

Economic Development in urban communities like Newark, NJ provides for an improvement in their economic health. Economic development policies include policies that improve opportunities for small/local business development, entrepreneurship, workforce development, taxation and much more. During our public policy sessions on economic development, experienced corporate and non-profit leaders will share the big picture on approaches necessary to build sustainable communities and spirited discussion will ensue regarding downtown versus neighborhood development.


In this day and age, the American educational system is in need of an in-depth and impartial analysis to ensure student success. Leadership Newark will take the lead in facilitating a spirited debate and discussion centered on educational policies established to impact education in Newark. During our education policy seminar Leadership Newark will connect fellows to key leaders and experts who are helping solve the city’s critical education challenges, suggesting new ideas to ensure student achievement and providing an in-depth look in leadership in education in the 21st century. These experts will support fellows in uncovering accurate, and impartial conversations on educational policies that include socio-economic achievement gaps, school choice, Abbott ruling, it’s impact on education, the State of New Jersey’s ability to follow through with funding, and how the community and institutions of higher education can work together.

Environmental Justice, Equity, and Sustainability

Recent environmental and infrastructure challenges have demanded special attention to this policy. Taking a closer look into the contribution of local government and community-based organizations with respect to the environment allows the City of Newark to build a resource-efficient, safe, sustainable and thriving economy in sync with a clean natural environment. With the support of versed experts, Leadership Newark will help fellows pay closer attention to laws, regulations and other policy mechanisms addressing issues like air/water pollution, waste management and industrial waste. Experts in the field will also be at your disposal to share ways of maintaining a healthy community environmentally. Finally, this will be an opportunity to debate the funding priorities and the impact at all levels.


Fundraising is one area where a variety of different competencies can be applied in different ways.  For example, strong writing skills are important for writing successful grants and communicating effectively with donors.  Excellent interpersonal skills are necessary for positions focusing on identifying and nurturing donor relationships.  While some development positions are primarily research-based, others focus on the logistics of planning special events for an organization.  There are also positions that are more general and require the development professional to integrate all of these skills.


Leadership Newark will give you an opportunity to meet and interact with elected officials at the state, county and local levels. During this seminar, you will meet local leaders, including but not limited to the current Mayor and learn how s/he acts within powers delegated to her/him by legislation or directives of higher forms of government. Lastly, during Leadership Newark’s public policy seminar on local government, you will have an opportunity to assess the challenges they face representing an urban district in New Jersey and learn first hand why they may have taken a particular position on legislation.

Health, Healthcare, and Wellness

Leadership Newark provides an experiential opportunity to assess the quality of services provided, access, delivery and the financing of services.  In addition, fellows are provided exposure to health policies serving as vital mechanisms to advance the development, implementation and delivery of healthcare services. Through our efforts, Leadership Newark will connect the fellows to policy makers and providers that will discuss clinical challenges, patient safety and social services in the greater Newark community, as well as how the healthcare/insurance industry works globally.

Human and Social Services

This multi-disciplinary policy topic affords Leadership Newark fellows the opportunity to understand the human needs through the health, educational, and social lens. Leaders and administrators who work in this field will provide a comprehensive overview on the evolution in policies around serving community residents, what the future holds for service delivery, and the very importance in creating community partnerships that help delivery optimal service to stakeholders in the Greater Newark area.

Leadership Style & Personality Type

Leadership style is a highly personal thing. According to the theory behind the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test, everyone has a natural leadership style that correlates to their personality type, as determined by preferences for Introversion versus Extraversion, Sensing versus Intuition, Thinking versus Feeling, and Judging versus Perceiving. Regardless of whether or not you were encouraged to be yourself while growing up, you can still hone your own leadership style. One of the most powerful keys to developing effective leadership ability is self-awareness. First and foremost, know who you are. How do you prefer to think, act, socialize, process information, etc? Developing a style that reflects who you naturally are will allow you to project more confidence, competence and vision, and more readily engender respect and build trust with those with whom you work.

The Master Plan

The Master Plan is a comprehensive document that sets out an overall strategy to move cities like Newark forward. It is usually long term and involves strategic collaborations between various agencies and departments in local government. During this seminar, Leadership Newark will incorporate key leaders in the City of Newark to initiate debate and discussion on the role government plays in developing a Master Plan. Key issues regarding city planning, the role of the community and the legislative timetable will be explored.

Opening Retreat

Team building is an ongoing process that helps a work group evolve into a cohesive unit. The LN Class are in essence a team who will not only share expectations for accomplishing group tasks, but develop trust and support for one another as well as respect one another’s individual differences. You will learn team effectiveness will rely upon using the diversity of skills and personalities among the team. When people use their strengths in full, but can compensate for each other’s weaknesses, yields optimum results in solving problems/issues. Different personality types balance and complement each other.

Public Safety

The welfare and protection of the general public is the core value of public safety. Leadership Newark’s seminar will address the governmental and community responsibility. Local leaders and experts from the field will share the strengths and challenges of policy development and discuss the current initiatives and programs underway to deal with the challenges in police-community relations, privacy (i.e. patriot act), community-wide safety plans and more. In addition this seminar feature leaders who will shed light on the push for reform in light of the uptick of tension between police and community members.