About LEAD

LEAD is an acronym for Langston Education and Arts Development, Inc. Founded by alumni of Langston High School in Johnson City, Tennessee along with many friends and supporters from the community, LEAD has as its mission to: preserve the integrity, legacy and historical value of Langston High School campus for the posterity and enhancement of the community. LEAD is committed to providing responsive educational and multi-cultural opportunities designed to bring diverse groups of people together in a safe learning environment.

LEAD is working with the City of Johnson City to preserve the historical campus of Langston High School, which served our Black community from 1893 to 1965. The organization seeks to preserve the cultural relevance and heritage of the Langston High School site and hopes to utilize the building as a multicultural community center for educational and artistic programs. Once the renovation is complete, LEAD members are committed to providing youth programming focused on computer science, theatrical arts, and mentoring in the facility. Further, the site is a highly-visible structure that serves as a gateway to the downtown Johnson City community, which will substantially impact improvements to downtown aesthetics and redevelopment.

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Our Mission

Preservation

To preserve the integrity, legacy and historical value of the Langston High School campus for the posterity and enhancement of the community

Education

We are committed to providing responsive educational and multi-cultural opportunities designed to bring diverse groups of people together in a safe learning environment

Our Goal

The historic Langston High School campus is in a highly visible location just off the Watauga/Unaka exit from Interstate 26 in Johnson City. It has housed the City’s school maintenance division for a number of years. School maintenance has been moved to another facility and the building is in disrepair and requires renovation in order to be useful. A firm has created the following renderings for the renovation of the building. The first exceeds the project budget by approximately $500,000. The second is a revision that fits the current City budget for the project. The key differences are:

  • Eliminating the grounds improvements, primarily fencing;
  • Eliminating the addition of a foyer/reception area; and,
  • Moving the stairway tower to the interior of the building which reduces usable square footage and significantly impacts the overall layout of the interior.

Reaching our capital campaign goal of $500,000 will ensure that the original design can be implemented, resulting in a facility better suited to serve the community as a multicultural center to house educational and arts programming.

Preserving a Legacy

Creating a place for our diverse future.

Need

America and our region are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse every year. Several studies have shown that this rapid multicultural growth is on a path of continuance for the next several decades. LEAD is in a unique position to bridge a gap in our community’s development.

Johnson City and the surrounding region as a whole lack a focal point and home for multicultural programs and endeavors. Having such a hub for multicultural programs helps to create a welcoming environment for the increasing diversity in our population. A welcoming environment for diverse populations is vital to economic development, especially illustrated by our regional employers’ need to retain a diverse workforce.

Vision

It is LEAD’s vision that a renovated Langston High School campus serve as a hub and a home for multicultural programming for Johnson City and the region. The goals of LEAD are to provide an impactful learning, developmental, continuing educational environment and experience that would:

  • Encourage positive and personal interaction between participants and leaders in the multicultural community.
  • Create, promote, and develop cutting edge and competitive programs that would focus on interactive activities across various fields of interest such as Science and Engineering, Computer Science, Performing Arts, and Mathematics differing from the classical school classroom settings.
  • Promote programs that will continue to be advantageous to the community, encourage competitive, positive attitudes and leadership skills in our future generations, and create sustainable economic success for our City.
  • Stand as a steering force for community rehabilitation, improvements and growth, particularly through networking and community building opportunities among diverse sectors of the region.