Charlie Nelms Ed.D.  

“Leadership is the art of creating opportunities… The ultimate goal of the servant-leader is to heal, and to make whole. This was the goal of servant-leaders such as Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela, along with countless individuals in communities around the world. As you can probably tell, servant-leadership is not for the faint of heart. It is a demanding course of action, which takes discipline and responsiveness. But without this special kind of leadership, the great advances of humanity would never have taken place. Too often, people have settled for less, and the world is lesser for it.”


Read Charlie Nelms’ guest blog post at Indiana University Press:

All Eyes on Charlie - IU Press blog graphic


 View Larger From Cotton Fields to University Leadership All Eyes on Charlie, A Memoir

Available on 05/01/2019 — pre-order now 

Charlie Nelms had audaciously big dreams.

Growing up black in the Deep South in the 1950s and 1960s, working in cotton fields, and living in poverty, Nelms dared to dream that he could do more with his life than work for white plantation owners sun-up to sun-down. Inspired by his parents, who first dared to dream that they could own their own land and have the right to vote, Nelms chose education as his weapon of choice for fighting racism and inequality. Read More >



From a national leader in higher education diversity and equity comes a timely collection of compelling reflections on giving, leading, changing, and advancing.

Charlie Nelms grew up as one of 11 children in the Arkansas Delta with parents who believed in education, voting, and land ownership. His parents never had the opportunity to graduate high school, but their faith in the power of education never wavered. They told Charlie and his siblings that they could grow up to be anything they wanted. Read more >


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