Leadership Without Limits

Courage, integrity, humility, curiosity, creativity, and understanding of systems, an understanding of white supremacy – these are the characteristics of the leaders we need. Since we know what we need, and we know in many instances, that is not what we have, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley, created Leadership Without Limits (LWL).


The Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley (PNLV) asks the Lehigh Valley to reimagine leadership by empowering and supporting the leadership of individuals within their own communities. PNLV supports developing a cadre of neighborhood leaders to tap into their inherent leadership ability and provide the resources and training required for residents to actualize their intrinsic ability and emerge as leaders in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley over the next 2-10 years.

Vision - PNLV has launched Leadership Without Limits, with the following vision:

Identify, empower and develop the next generation of local leaders by convening and supporting a cross sector diverse group of emerging leaders that reflect the communities served.
Address the dis-proportionality of leadership of color throughout the City of Allentown.

Engage communities of color throughout the city in identifying and addressing the root cause issues plaguing their communities.

Since 2018 fifty-seven students have participated and graduated from LWL. The course includes 8 weeks of classes. The classes were 3 hours once per week. Followed by 3 months of mentoring. Culminating in the invitation for students to lead a community of practice. In 2021 a team of graduates wrote a grant to support the efforts of 2021, which include coaching up to 15 graduates. Over the years, class topics have included:

The leadership institute is at no charge, however students are required to “give back” to their community.

Ted talk

Healing Powers of Radical Welcome

Reinvention in the Rust Belt

Our work featured in a CNN highlight

Give me Shelter Documentary

The Power of Building Community

Hasshan Batts, DHSc, MSW

A Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leader
Director, Allentown Promise Neighborhood
Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley

Hasshan Batts is a content and context expert who works to uplift the voices of those most impacted, those who often possess the most intimate and creative solutions yet are most often ignored. He is a champion in Allentown, Pa., for trauma-informed care, restorative practices, reentry, community engagement, and collective impact.

Hasshan is a survivor, healer, son, father, husband, champion, neighbor, and friend. Hasshan possesses a unique lens as someone with lived experience, as well as being a practitioner, nonprofit administrator, and community-based participatory researcher.