What is BOLD?

What is BOLD?

Building Opportunities through Leadership Development (BOLD), developed by the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center, improves the leadership development capacity of rural and underserved communities throughout Louisiana. BOLD is an evaluative and technical assistance project designed to develop teams of emerging leaders who work together across racial, class and community boundaries in innovative ways to promote community and economic development.

BOLD is a pilot project developed by the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s community and economic development office to improve the leadership and economic development capacity of rural communities throughout Louisiana.

Through a combination of workshops and community projects, BOLD nurtures the ideas and focus the energy that is already present in the region. The project offer training and support to both emerging and established community leaders through sessions which topics include:

Leadership Introduction
Team Building                                                                                    
Community Vision and Change                                                         
Group/Organizational Leadership Skills
Community Assessment
Conflict Management

BOLD is an evaluative and technical assistance project designed to develop teams of emerging leaders in rural communities throughout Louisiana. Leaders will work together across racial, class and community boundaries in innovative ways to promote community and economic development.
To provide Louisiana residents with the tools and knowledge necessary to become stronger, equipped leaders in their communities.

Through extensive training, exercise, skill development, and individual and group activities, BOLD participants will be able to effectively and efficiently develop leadership roles in their community through a logical approach.
BOLD will also enable individuals to apply learned leadership skills and principles to individuals and issues in the community and develop teams of community residents who will work together to address community concerns.



Building Opportunities through Leadership Development
P.O. Box 10010
Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Dr. Kenyetta Nelson-Smith, Project Director

Dr. Renita W. Marshall, Co-Project Director

Dr. Kenyetta Nelson-Smith

Technology Consultants
Q&A Technology Consultants
Q & A Technology Consultants


Meet BOLD Directors

Dr. Kenyetta Nelson Smith, project investigator is assistant specialist of community and economic development at Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center. She graduated from Louisiana State University with her Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Resource Education and Workforce Development in which she also received her Master of Science degree. Dr. Nelson-Smith received her Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Science from Southern University and A&M College in 2002. Dr. Nelson-Smith, resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is an active member of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education; Adult Higher Education Alliance; and current 1890 board representative for the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals. Dr. Nelson-Smith spends a lot of her spare time volunteering as a Community Investment Volunteer and chair elect for Capital Area United Way; board member of Urban Restoration Enhancement Corporation; and a strong advocate for public education as an elected member of the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. 

Dr. Renita Marshall, co-project investigator, is a native of Mansfield, La. She graduated from Mansfield High School in 1995. After graduation she attended Southern University and received a BS degree in Animal Science in 1999. Dr. Marshall attended Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine where she received her DVM in 2003. Dr. Marshall later went on to complete a residency in Comparative Animal Medicine and a MS degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Dr.  Marshall is an associate professor of animal science at the Southern University Agricultural Research & Extension Center. Contact Dr. Marshall at



BOLD Graduates & Projects

BOLD Graduates & Projects

BOLD Graduates & Community Projects BOLD participants are required to develop new community projects or enhance existing projects throughout the duration of the course. As they matriculate, knowledge and skills acquired must be acclimated towards their community projects, which are monitored by the community and economic development office periodically.

The list below is past graduates and their existing projects and parishes:

2011-2012 Class

Calcasieu & Jefferson Davis Parish

Team Five
Carol Sensley & Alisa Stevens or

East Baton Rouge Parish

Bereavement Enhancers
Angela Jackson

Heel to Toe Micro-Lending Steps
Joyce James

Teaching Humility, Independence, Necessities and Knowledge (THINK)
Kim Butler

Iberville Parish

BOLD Experience: Project Feed the Community
Shaun Dixon

Iberville & East Baton Rouge Parishes

I AM Man Project
Kyle Grace & Isiah Nelson, IV or

Livingston Parish

Women’s Missionary Emerging Leadership Institute
Vickie Smith

Pointe Coupee Parish

Building Better Opportunities for Home Ownership
Annette Nelson & Dana Isaac or

Inform, Engage, Mobilize: Public Education in Pointe Coupee Parish
Gail Hurst

St. Landry Parish

Farmers Enrichment Group (FEG)
Aubrey Williams

Mentoring At-Risk Youth Wilbert Harris

St. Tammany Parish

Project Man
George Burris

2012-2013 Class

East Baton Rouge Parish (Zachary)

Vanessa London

East Baton Rouge Parish

BOLD Black Butterfly (Art Education)
Antoine & Erica Williams-Mitchell

E.V.E. (Empowering Virtues and Excellence) Women
Nedra Wilson

Livingston Parish

The Journey Upward: Next Step
Marques Smith

Madison Parish

Citizens for Change

Sarah Sims & Darrell Sims or

Pointe Coupee Parish

Speak Boldly Blog Shavella Carter

St. Landry Parish

Street Creed
Jonathan “Tyrone” Glover

2013-2014 Class

St. Landry Parish

Sunshine Ladies
Melanie Doucette

Pointe Coupee

Pointe Coupee Parish Project-Empowering faith-based leaders
Isaiah Nelson

Pointe Coupee Parish- Project-Caring Hands
Carla Davis

Pointe Coupee Parish-Project- Mental Health Consortium
Charnel Jackson
Charnel Jackson

East Baton Rouge Parish

East Baton Rouge Parish- Project-Community PDHC
Sherletha Nelson

East Baton Rouge Parish- Project-Man Up & Each One, Teach one
Janice Carter

St. Helena/ Tangipahoa Parishes

St. Helena/ Tangipahoa Parishes- Project Agriculture Academy
Ahmad Robertson
Ahmad Robertson

Apply Now


Applications are due September 15 of each year. Late applications will not be considered. Please submit applications to:

Ms. Dana Issac
Fax: 225.771.2861
Mail: P.O. Box 10010
         Baton Rouge, LA 70813

Bold Application BOLD Application
Bold Nomination Form BOLD Nomination Form.pdf
Videos and Photos

Videos and Photos

BOLD CLASS 2011 - 2012

BOLD CLASS 2013 - 2014, PART I

BOLD CLASS 2013 - 2014, PART II