Leaders of Color identifies, trains, and supports community-based Black and Brown civic leaders, empowering them with the tools and resources to advance educational equity and the broader cause of racial justice. Since our launch in 2018, 116 leaders have graduated from our program and are now leading change in their communities. Our alumni serve in elected office, lead community-based organizations, and steer Boards of Directors. Our goal is to train 400 Fellows by 2023 across eight sites.
Our country is in the midst of recognizing what has long been true—racial inequity is baked into every institution and systemic reform is required to bring about transformative change. This broad-based change will not be possible without Black and Brown leaders playing a driving role. Our Leaders of Color program fills in the gap between the tremendous talent of community-based leaders of color and the resources and investment required to empower those leaders to create lasting civic and electoral change.
The Leaders of Color program is seeking Black and Latino community leaders who aspire to public service and civic engagement in their communities. Our goal is to create an ecosystem of Black and Latino leaders, who have a hyper-focused lens on education and equity. We specifically support leaders who may not typically have the opportunities and institutional support to run for public office, helping them develop the skills and leadership experiences needed to make a global impact.
Ideal candidates will possess the following core competencies and characteristics:
• Have demonstrated a deep commitment through action or orientation to the movement for educational excellence and equity
• Are action-oriented leaders who have a history of community relationships and connections
• Are committed and believe in public service as an extension of leadership
• Have vision and purpose
• Are interpersonally savvy
We work to support community leaders with tools, network, and knowledge so they can become powerful political and civic leaders in their communities. Here’s how we do it:
Our intensive, 70-hour training program equips our fellows with the skills, knowledge, and network to become political and civic engagement leaders.
We support our alumni with ongoing personalized coaching to achieve tangible results in civic change.
We work to build connections in Black and Latino communities to build power and increase equity across sectors.
Our alumni serve as change agents for their communities.
Tatiana has spent nearly a decade working on political campaigns with Redhorse Strategies in New York City. She has worked in all campaign roles from manager to organizer. In addition to campaign work, she was a Community Organizer for the IDNYC Program, an initiative with the Mayor’s office and the Department of Homeless Services. Ms. Rivera also spent time working with HRA HEAP, and at Girls Incorporated, where she facilitated diversity work and managed a database of prominent Latinas.
Sheleah, a graduate from our Memphis program, brings a lifetime of commitment to underserved youth and families to her role as a Shelby County Schools board member in Memphis, TN.
Leaders of Color-Memphis graduate Marquita Bradshaw became the first Black woman to win the Democratic Senate Primary in Tennessee and the first Black woman to win a Senate Democratic Primary in the American South in 2020.
Our monthly newsletter provides a snapshot of our work to build Black and Latino civic engagement and political power in our communities.