Ujamaa Place Announces Lee Buckley As Its New Chief Operating Officer
When asked what this next assignment means, Buckley responded by saying:
"Everything I have done in my professional career prepared me for this calling. I am humbled and honored to serve the young men at Ujamaa Place and to continue to grow and positively impact their lives."
Mrs. Buckley spent nine years working as the Community Reentry Coordinator at the State of Minnesota Department of Corrections. Under Governor Tim Pawlenty, Buckley served as the Special Advisor on Faith and Community Service Initiatives and worked 26 years in leadership roles in the airline and financial industries. Lee holds a Master of Arts degree in Community Ministry Leadership from Bethel Seminary, is a licensed and ordained minister and Associate Pastor at Ruach Christian Center in Maplewood, MN.
Ujamaa Place growth serves as a barometer of the critical needs in the community to help young black men aged 18-30 who have had contact with the penal system and are the most marginalized population in the Twin Cities. The systemic discriminatory barriers associated with exciting the criminal systems serve as roadblocks to stabilizing the life of the men and their families. When men enroll into the Theory of Transformation, they are making a commitment to themselves and their families to be the best man they can be, in spite of their challenges and to understand that they have a loving Ujamaa family to help them navigate their way to stabilization.
Most often, this population has been written off by society, explained Otis Zanders, President / CEO of Ujamaa Place. Zanders went on to say: "Lee has the leadership, courage, strength and determination that Ujamaa Place needs to take our mission to the next level.
A recent survey of Ujamaa men told the story of the impact and value of the cultural brotherhood that is difficult to measure in quantitative data. Ujamaa Place offers wrap-around programs, i.e., housing, education, employment certification training and health & wellness. There are over 26 services offered under these programs that support each Ujamaa man's journey through the Theory of Transformation. These services directly support stabilization, with an emphasis on health & wellness and family connection.
Looking into the future, Ujamaa Place has big dreams for the men that have the courage to walk through its doors. The community is invited to a welcome reception to meet Lee Buckley on Thursday, May 24th from 6pm – 8pm at Ujamaa Place, located at: 1821 University Avenue, Suite N257, Saint Paul, MN 55405. RSVP@UjamaaPlace on Facebook. Go to UjamaaPlace.org to learn more and to get involved.
Listen to Otis Zanders and Lee Buckley podcast on WoC MN.
About Ujamaa Place
The vision of Ujamaa Place is to foster the development of young African American men to become strong, responsible, employed, educated and financially stable men and fathers, who provide and contribute productively to their family and community. More information at: http://www.ujamaaplace.org
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Monique Linder, Founder