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LU hosts alumna and Neighborhood Centers CEO Angela Blanchard

Angela BlanchardLamar University hosts Angela Blanchard, president and CEO of Neighborhood Centers, Inc., March 2 in a day that includes two free public lectures and a presentation at a Women and Philanthropy luncheon. Women and Philanthropy promotes philanthropic education, leadership and advocacy by empowering women to be active participants in the giving process.

“The investments we make in people last forever and they are handed down from generation to generation,” Blanchard said. “Those are always worthwhile.”

At 9:35 a.m., Blanchard will speak on “Figure It Out Leadership, An Evolutionary Approach,” in Landes Auditorium in the Galloway Business Building. At 2:20 p.m., she will present “You Can’t Build on Broken: A New Framework for Community Change,” also in Landes Auditorium. Both lectures are sponsored by the President’s Office and are free and open to the public. She will also speak to guests at a luncheon for which paid registration is required.

Blanchard, who grew up in Beaumont and graduated Lamar University in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in accounting, is a globally recognized expert practitioner in community development, disaster recovery, and effective long-term integration for immigrants and refugees. Blanchard’s breakthrough strategies have successfully revitalized neighborhoods by leveraging Houston’s diversity, while providing a powerful model for cities across the globe facing the complex challenges of community transformation.

Under Blanchard’s leadership for more than 30 years, Neighborhood Centers Inc. became the largest community development organization in Texas and among the top 1 percent of charitable groups nationwide. It currently serves more than half-a-million people in 48 counties and operates with an annual budget of $250 million.

Blanchard’s genuine reverence for people and her unique ability to bring them together in unprecedented ways has played a pivotal role in the growth and impact of Neighborhood Centers Inc. Her innovative, strength-based framework—Appreciative Community Building—has set the new standard for integrating diverse populations into thriving communities. The success of her approach in the country’s fastest-growing, most ethnically diverse city positions Blanchard as a visionary leader for evolutionary change. She has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Places Journal, CNN, NPR, Associated Press and Houston Chronicle, among many others. She was recently appointed as a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Centennial Scholar Initiative at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Frequently sought out by international nonprofit organizations and government leaders, Blanchard provides context and clarity for those looking to bring about local and regional change. In that capacity, she has participated in a wide range of Strategy Sessions and Learning Exchanges. These include the World Inquiry Conference 2016 (Johannesburg, South Africa), The Executive Leadership Academy (Brisbane, Australia), Habitat for Humanity International (cities across the U.S.), Civic Leader & Nonprofit Collaborative (Portland, Oregon) and Health & Wellness Alliance for Children (Dallas, Texas).

Blanchard has remained consistently energized to tackle issues that matter most to local communities. She has been an active participant in the Greater Houston Partnership Board, Executive Women’s Partnership, UpSkill Houston, JP Morgan Chase National Community Advisory Board, Building Healthy Places Network National Advisory Council and the Texas Workforce Investment Council (appointed by then-Governor George W. Bush).

Throughout her career, Blanchard has received three invitations to the White House and been honored by Fast Company magazine, Leadership Houston, YMCA, The University of Houston, National Council of Jewish Women, Aramark, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Houston Woman magazine, Harris County Housing Authority, India House, The Anti-Defamation League, IABC, Escape Family Resource Center, The Chinese Community Center, and the Harris County Women’s Political Caucus.

Learn more at lamar.edu/women.