Luce Foundation Devoted to Nurturing Global Leaders

From Roosevelt Island, Jim Luce Answers the Call for Young Leadership

Updated 12 weeks ago David Stone
Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright ushered Jim Luce and this years class of Young Global Leaders into the New York legislative chamber.
Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright ushered Jim Luce and this years class of Young Global Leaders into the New York legislative chamber.
Photo courtesy of the Luce Foundation

Early in my career as a troublemaker, my friend Joe Palau, with whom I shared duties as directors of the Broome County Peace Center, argued that the reason our country got mired in messes like Vietnam was because we lacked cultural commitment to developing leadership. Evidenced by what we all see in Washington today, politically at least, what Joe believed is still true. From his base on Roosevelt Island, though, Jim Luce has been working to do something about it.

Joe's observation was birthed as the murders Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, leaders who were also troublemakers, created a moral vacuum that opened doors to damaged power figures like Nixon and his enablers.

Our generation stepped up, to some extent, pioneering the digital revolution in Silicon Valley and Seattle and, also, the lesser known but equally significant rescue of theoretical physics from military dominance. But for political leadership, we didn't chip in enough. Bill Clinton was successful, as evidenced by conservative efforts to deny his legacy, but it pretty much stops there.

No, I'm not knocking Hillary, but although a brilliant thinker, her leadership skills weren't enough to pull off what should have been an easy win over Trump. And Barrack Obama came a generation later.

The Luce Foundation: Young Global Leaders

That said, it's exciting to watch developments at the Luce Foundation as a third class of "young global leaders" are taking first steps in the making of a better world. Luce's view excludes a strictly West-centric focus. The young adults he hopes to inspire, this year, represent countries from Vietnam to Mexico.

From Roosevelt Island, Jim Luce Answers the Call for Young Leadership

Leadership is there to be molded, wherever you find it.

To immerse this year's group in the nuts and bolts of everyday leadership, the Foundation arranged a pair of complementary excursion, starting June 13th with a trip to the State Legislature in Albany "...to observe the legislative process first-hand."

They were welcomed by State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, who represents Roosevelt Island.

From Roosevelt Island, Jim Luce Answers the Call for Young Leadership

"She's a longtime advocate for women’s rights and a proponent of the long-awaited Equal Rights Amendment," Luce explains. "She's a brave and determined fighter against discrimination and intolerance at all levels of our society."

Her development as a leader began when she served as the Assistant District Attorney in Kings County. Seawright later became a fundraiser for groundbreaking Texas Governor Ann Richards.

"During Becky's term, ten bills she sponsored passed the Assembly and seven became law."

Luce's young global leaders also met with Daniel O’Donnell, "the first openly gay man elected to the State Assembly" and a progressive voice representing the Upper West Side. 

On To International Stage

In 1995, Luce had a life changing experience when visiting an orphanage in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, on an impulse. Not only did it result in his adopting his son Mathew from the orphanage, it lead to the founding of Orphans International Worldwide and a lifetime commitment to developing young global leaders.

Children currently receiving care from Orphans International Worldwide.
Children currently receiving care from Orphans International Worldwide.
Photo courtesy of the Luce Foundation

This year, he returns to Manado with four young global leaders from the Luce Foundation and four more from a partner organization to, among other things, meet a like number Orphans International Worldwide graduates.

Orphans International Worldwide graduates will meet Young Global Leaders in Indonesia.
Orphans International Worldwide graduates will meet Young Global Leaders in Indonesia.
Photo courtesy of the Luce Foundation

They will visit museums, universities and cultural institutions "...with a focus on the arts, education and orphan care" coupled with a "robust entertainment schedule, cultural performances and local cuisine."

From Roosevelt Island, Jim Luce Answers the Call for Young Leadership

As previously reported, Jim Luce touches the world in a number of significant ways from his base on Roosevelt Island. His impact on global leadership may very well be his most lasting legacy.


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