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The Emerging Leader Lecture: Meena Jagannath

In 2013, the Center for Leadership instituted The Emerging Leader Award to recognize a new generation of leaders who are providing innovative solutions to social and business challenges, and improving the quality of life in our community. This award symbolizes the aspiration to transcendent leadership to be pursued by each new generation and to build a better world by creating tangible and practical solutions to some of the most significant challenges faced by our communities. The recipient of the award is recognized at a special lecture where they share their philosophy on leadership and receives $1,000 to further their work in the community.

All nominations of emerging leaders under the age of 40 are welcomed. Nominations are considered by a five-member committee comprised of The Center’s Directors and Advisory Board.


  • About the Lecture

    Do you see what I see (and are you in the frame)?

    In these turbulent times, the world is racked by complex, multilayered problems - economic and racial injustice, gentrification, climate change, migration caused by war and economic instability. These issues seem intractable in the present context, under present conditions. And yet, we encounter signs that a different tomorrow is possible in a variety of human experiences ranging from the mundane to the transcendental: a smile on the street, a stranger's generosity, a moving piece of music or poetry, the overwhelming beauty of nature. In each of these moments we get a glimpse of the world we want to see. If we were to shake ourselves free from long-held assumptions and the confines of what has been, where might our most creative, innovative minds take us? Can we harness our creativity to channel a vision that does not leave anyone behind?

  • Date
    Tuesday, October 29, 2019


  • Meena Jagannath

    Meena Jagannath co-founded the Community Justice Project, Inc. in 2015. She is a movement lawyer with an extensive background in activism and international human rights. Prior to coming to Miami, she worked for the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she coordinated the Rape Accountability and Prevention Project, which combined direct legal representation with advocacy and capacity building of grassroots women’s groups. While using her legal skills to build the power of movements locally in South Florida, she has also brought to bear her international human rights expertise in delegations to the United Nations to elevate U.S.-based human rights issues like police accountability and Stand Your Ground laws to the international level. Meena has published several articles in law journals and other media outlets, and has spoken in numerous academic and conference settings. She received her J.D from University of Washington Law School where she was a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholar. She also holds a Master's degree in International Affairs (human rights concentration) from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a B.A. in International Relations and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University.