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Many colleagues, friends, and family members have contributed importantly to this book. Let me begin by thanking Gene Carter of ASCD for encouraging me to write it. Many thanks also to Scott Willis and Katie Martin of ASCD for helping me to transform my sketchy ideas into a publishable manuscript.
When I headed the National Urban League, and as I wrote this book, I was inspired by the passion and creativity of countless Urban Leaguers, from Velma Cobb, who spearheaded the League's Achievement Campaign, and the late Dr. Israel Tribble, who conceived of the community-based honor society, to the resolute and resourceful Urban Leaguers across the country whose mantra was "Our Children = Our Destiny" and who mobilized their communities to motivate youngsters to achieve.