1. The disabled Cherokee educator and social activist (1776-1843) who
created the writing system that empowered the Cherokee Nation with literacy.
2. The world's largest and one of the longest-living trees. Designed by
nature to propagate through fire; extreme heat releases seeds that
regenerate on the scorched forest bed. Named for Sequoyah, the Cherokee
Leadership Center, an Organization Ushering in a New Era
Sequoia Leadership Center's mission is to provide leadership training to
grassroots advocates and trauma survivors so that they are able to engage in
the civic process and promote healthy policies.
Why will advocates join the
The Center will provide advocates with the guidance of nationally recognized
leaders in consumer protection, injury prevention, grassroots advocacy, and
civic engagement. Founding Board members Joan Claybrook (Public Citizen),
Dana Raimondi (Survivor Advocate), and Andrew McGuire (Trauma Foundation)
will reach out to their peers to participate in the Center as faculty,
advisors, and Board members. An individual fellow's work will, thus, be
supported by a wealth of experience, expertise, and networking
Why survivor advocates?
Through advocacy, litigation and regulatory reform, some survivors seek to
prevent others from suffering trauma similar to that which they have
experienced. These advocates have an unwavering passion for their cause.
Often, they can undergo a civic awakening as they discover that the systems
that they supported are complicit in human tragedy. They become trusted and
respected spokespersons who merit the attention of their communities, the
media, and policy makers.
Why the Center?
The Center will complement the work of other national organizations--think
tanks, legal organizations working to create a civically engaged and healthy
community. The Center will provided essential training and nurturing of
grassroots leadership. The Center is in a unique position of being able to
develop a cadre of grassroots and survivor advocates committed to protecting
the health, safety, and welfare of people.
In the words of a survivor advocate:
My husband was a vent-dependent quadriplegic due to a roll over accident
while he was driving an unsafe, poorly designed vehicle. He died in May 2000
due to his injuries. As a result of my loss, I'm dedicated to making a
difference so that others will not have to suffer as my family has. The
Sequoia Leadership Center offers me and others a unique opportunity to
accomplish our dreams and make this a safer society for everyone.
--Dana Raimondi, Survivor Advocate