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Nikia Hackworth
Compiled by Erica Wright

April 4 marks the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We asked Birmingham-area residents, What qualities do you look for in a leader?

Nikia Hackworth

Nikia Hackworth: “[Someone] who can spark change and [someone] who can lead from the front and not from the back. I feel like if you’re going to be a leader, I need to know that you’re responsible and that you can take ownership and that you lead the same way you can instruct others to lead . . . and actually do the work.”

Caroline McClain

Caroline McClain: “Someone who is bold [and] willing to strive for whatever they believe in . . . whatever the mission is despite what is popular or what people may say. Also, someone who clearly puts other people first through their actions and their words and promotes greater change for the community.”

Christine Raymond

Christine Raymond: “Someone who is honest and true to their word [and] says what they mean and mean what they say, and someone that I can look up to. I think it’s important to have those qualities in order to be able to trust the person or people leading.”

Catherine Simpson

Catherine Simpson: “Someone who sets a good example and is willing to fight for what’s right for everyone. I know everyone makes mistakes and falls short, and I know sometimes leaders will, but I think somebody who makes a conscious effort to set a good example and not publicize all of their mistakes . . . also, leaders have to be able to fight for everyone, no matter race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, I don’t want a leader that’s biased and is not equal to everyone.”