INDIANAPOLIS - INDIANAPOLIS -- The Center for Leadership Development in Indianapolis has received an $11.6 million grant from Indy-based Lilly Endowment Inc. The funding will support expanded program offerings that the organization says “supplement and reinforce tens of thousands of African American and minority youths’ learning and developmental experiences.”

CLD will receive $8.6 million of the money immediately. The remainder has matching conditions that seek to encourage additional contributions to support the organization's efforts.

“We cannot overstate the impact of Lilly Endowment’s generosity,” said CLD President Dennis Bland. “Expanding CLD’s reach will move the organization from transforming individual lives to transforming entire communities, breaking cycles of poverty and serving as a model for other cities facing challenges in education, public safety and building a diverse workforce. Thank you, Lilly Endowment, for prioritizing minority youth in Indianapolis and for supporting organizations that seek to positively impact their future.”

The grant will also:

  • Help to establish support services and mentoring for CLD students attending colleges and universities where a significant number of CLD alumni are enrolled
  • Expand CLD’s outreach efforts at satellite locations across Marion County, increasing the number of students served and amplifying the organization’s message
  • Supporting CLD’s effort to build its endowment and support long-term sustainability

“Lilly Endowment is proud to have supported CLD since its very beginning because of its commitment to the character development, leadership formation and academic and career success of African American and other minority youth,” said N. Clay Robbins, Lilly Endowment’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The testimonies of CLD alumni to the impact CLD has had on their lives are quite compelling, and our community benefits every day from their leadership. We are pleased that this new grant will help enable CLD to reach even more young people and enhance their CLD experiences.”