Knight grant to Torchbearers to help in building new leaders

From The Akron Beacon Journal

An Akron young professionals’ organization has received a $50,000 grant to help it develop new leaders and initiate community change.

Torchbearers has received a two-year grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The funds allow the group of about 95 members to build a curriculum with professional facilitation to empower participants to spark positive change for Akron, according to the foundation.

“Knight’s focus is to promote an informed and engaged Akron by developing and engaging the next generation of talent,” said Jennifer Thomas, Akron program director for the foundation. “This program is a chance for emerging leaders to identify opportunity and environments for change, embrace risk and receive guidance from local seasoned mentors,” she said.

The “Be the Change” program launches Friday with an intensive two-day event in Akron and Westfield Center with about 75 attendees. Friday night’s program will feature 11 community leaders, including Thomas, University Park Alliance Executive Director Eric Anthony Johnson, Main Street Gourmet Co-CEO Harvey Nelson and local developer Tony Troppe.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit