Posted by Shawn Strader on Oct 01, 2014 - 10:22 AM
Albert is a native son of Mississippi and led the organization of the National Youth Congress for the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer and has been an IDEA organizer and fellow for three years.
Albert has a powerful personal story, one that is rooted in the struggles and search for quality education through community organizing and youth advocacy. The proud father of three sons, Albert grew up in the Shady Oaks community around the corner from where NAACP member and civil rights activist Medgar Evers lived and died. Evers has been one of Sykes’ guiding lights in doing the work needed to move Mississippi and our nation forward. Becoming a student of the Algebra Project and a mentee of Bob Moses brought Evers into Sykes’ life, and made his sacrifices tangible to the then teenager. Through this experience, Sykes gained much firsthand knowledge and understanding of Black Mississippi’s struggle for justice, equity, and full citizenship.
Over the past decade, Albert has served as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Young People’s Project, helped organize the “Finding Our Folk Tour” in response to Hurricane Katrina, and has been active in the development of Independent Television Services’ “The Masculinity Project” sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
IDEA’s new Board President, Kwesi Rollins says, “While leadership transitions can be tricky, the Board couldn’t be more pleased about the possibilities under Albert’s leadership. With Albert playing this new leadership role, the IDEA family of staff members, organizers, national fellows, and supporters is in good hands.”
Sykes officially becomes Executive Director of IDEA on, taking over the role held for the last 4 years by Scott Nine, who remains on the IDEA Board and transitions to local educational work in the state of Oregon.
A message from Albert:
"I'm very excited for the opportunity to work with so many people I've come to know as friends and family over the past few years. I’m also elated at the possibility of partnering and meshing work amongst several key allies, leaders, and organizations. I want to express gratitude for the work and sacrifice of Scott Nine as he has led this family to great heights and set us up to soar much higher in the near and distant future. And, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the entire network for the support they have shown me as I take on this huge responsibility. I’d like to assure everyone that by working together we won't let each other down. We are IDEA and we are ready to facilitate change in the world. I couldn't ask for a better group of people to build with."
Here's a link to the official press release of this announcement.