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In The Margins

Oct 20, 2022

As a senior consultant for the Association of Governing Boards where he specializes in HBCU governance and leadership, Dr. Charlie Nelms has devoted his life to equalizing opportunities for disenfranchised people.


In this episode, he joins host Dr. Jamal Watson to speak about his new memoir From Cotton Fields to University Leadership: All Eyes on Charlie.


Tune in as the chancellor emeritus of North Carolina Central University reveals the inspiration for sharing his story, his message for aspiring and current leaders in education, and how with hope, we already have everything we need to succeed.



- Why Dr. Charlie Nelms wanted to share his story 

- Growing up in the Delta Arkansas region 

- Charlie’s path from student government to college president 

- What is a role model vs mentor vs sponsor?

- The painful process of reflecting and writing a memoir

- Harnessing the collective power of community 



“My story really isn't my story alone. My story is about a village, a whole group of people who nurtured my dreams, my aspirations, and who stood in the gap for me.”

“Leadership is an opportunity for service, not personal aggrandizement.”



Learn more about Charlie Nelms



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In The Margins is produced by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education and edited by Instapodcasts (visit at