William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations
Wildacres Leadership Initiative launched the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations in 1994, with the first class beginning in the fall of 1995. We are committed to inspiring a new generation of courageous leaders for North Carolina that model Mr. Friday’s civility, transparency, and collaboration across divergent ideas and identities. As an organization, we believe that leadership must be a lifetime practice, not dependent on the skills, virtues, or vision of any single person, but upon shared power and mutual responsibility in our various communities and roles. The William C. Friday Fellowship hosts six leadership development seminars with cross-sector leaders across the state of North Carolina in two-year cohort cycles. The purpose of the William C. Friday Fellowship is to build leadership that reflects Mr. Friday’s human relations values and practices and that generates social innovations throughout the state.
The William C. Friday Fellowship is a nonpartisan, results-focused leadership development opportunity for North Carolinians who wish to positively impact their communities through leadership grounded in improving human relations: leading with courage, speaking one’s truth, engaging differences with civility, collaborating to solve problems, and embracing equity and justice.
Candidates for the William C. Friday Fellowship are committed to leadership in North Carolina, model humility and continuous learning, and are courageous risk takers seeking to create innovation through their work in the world. Candidates for selection must 1) be a North Carolina resident, and 2) have at least five years of leadership experience in the private, public, nonprofit, and/or as part of communities not connected to any of these sectors. Applications and nominations for the next class of Fellows are not currently being accepted. The application process for the next class of Fellows will begin in November 2019.
Mr. Friday was an exemplar of adaptive and complex adaptive leadership through his quality of presence and the relationships he built in service to our state. Modeling civility, transparency, and collaboration in today’s world remains an urgent necessity as we face dramatic demographic, environmental, economic, cultural, and democratic challenges. Individual and collective adaptability are core leadership capacities in the life of leaders and organizations operating in complex community environments. The art of deliberation is a foundational aspect of individual and collective adaptability. We are facing a time of deep paradox, inertia, and general confusion about how to update deliberative models to make work a democracy initially grounded on inequity that now models inclusion, innovation, and prosperity.
•The Fellowship begins with a series of six experiential seminars over two years. Twenty-four individuals from all over the state, who might otherwise have never met, are chosen for each class of fellows.
The 2017-2019 class met for six seminars in five different counties in North Carolina representing different geographic regions including McDowell County, Durham County, Carteret County, Tyrrell County, and Henderson County.
Seminar I: October 19-22, 2017, Wildacres Retreat Center, Little Switzerland, NC
The next William C. Friday Fellowship class is scheduled to begin in Fall 2020. The nomination and application process will begin in November 2019. Watch this site for details at that time.