Development, News

Words from FLOC’s First Executive Director and the 50th Anniversary Launch Video

Award-winning and journalist, Leon Harris and Fred Taylor, FLOC founding director.
Fred Taylor (right) FLOC’s founding executive director, visits with journalist Leon Harris (left) at the 2014 Fred Taylor Scholarship Dinner.

Looking back on FLOC’s past 50 years is exciting for several reasons, one being that a handful of those who helped to start the organization are still active in the organization today, whether by supporting FLOC monetarily or sharing their talents by volunteering. One of them is our founding Executive Director, Fred Taylor. I was able to get some of Fred’s thoughts on FLOC’s first 50 years as an organization. Fred writes:

As I celebrate FLOC’s first 50 years, three things stand out for me as truly inspiring:

1) the vision and energy with which FLOC began during the rising tide of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and FLOC’s capacity to persist and thrive even as the energy of that great national movement waned;

2) the vision and courage of the FLOC Board in 2003-05 (after my retirement) to risk the huge change from primary financial dependence on DC government contracting to become totally self-supporting through fundraising, and to shift from multiple service programing to concentrate on equipping and empowering DC youth with limited support and prospects to get a 21st century-worthy education with the interior discipline and vision to match through out-of-school programming (catch up, stay in school, graduate high school, gain acceptance, graduate from college, get a job with a future); and

3) the wisdom and boldness of the 2013-14 FLOC Board to revisit the vision that drives the organization by undertaking and adopting a daunting comprehensive five-year strategic plan. This plan envisions FLOC once again as a catalyst for systemic change for left-out and left-behind children and youth in this potentially great city. It commits FLOC to approximately doubling in size and outreach in order to model and nurture the kind of widely shared citywide effort required for achieving educational justice for the young. It dares to believe that a single organization operating from the margins of the city educational system can succeed as a catalyst for system change, provided it functions as a team player for a much larger goal than its self-glorification.  Lastly, as I look back over what I have written I think “Wow! This still developing history is worth celebrating, and I am so grateful to still be a part of it.” 

Keeping in mind Fred’s words, take a look at the video that highlights some of our students and their experiences at FLOC:

(Kate Fleischer is FLOC’s Development Associate.)

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