Achieving Greater Impact in 2022
Since our launch in 2018, Leaders of Color has built a powerful group of more than 200 leaders across the nation who are united in our mission to advance education equity through increased Black and Hispanic political and civic leadership. We are reminded of an age-old truth: When everyone is working towards a common goal, we are able to achieve greater success and make a greater impact.
This year, we set a new organization record of 19 alumni elected to public office and 90 alumni currently serving in positions of community power and influence. We are proud that all of our fellows and alumni act on the great responsibility they carry as community leaders.
Here are some highlights from around the country:
- It was a year of challenges and disruption in our schools. Our National Director, Mike Bland shared his thoughts on a range of issues including increased segregation in our schools and this year’s bombshell NAEP test score results.
- Patrick Young (Louisiana, 2020) spoke alongside NFL Player Demario Davis in a discussion focused on ending youth gun violence in New Orleans. Patrick serves the City of New Orleans as the Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
- Mia Gonzalez Washington (Louisiana, 2022) lobbied Senator Cassidy (R-La.) for Pell Grant funding for low-income students in college.
- Brent Bailey (Louisiana, 2022) won the 2022 Cities United Young Leader Award for his work to end gun violence among Black men and boys.
- Sheleah Harris (Memphis, 2019) was selected as Vice Chair for the Memphis Shelby County School Board.
- Maria Oceja (Memphis, 2022) penned an op-ed about the importance of involving youth in the conversation about the impact of violence.
- Frank Johnson (Memphis, 2022) was appointed to serve on the Memphis-Shelby County School Board.
- Jermaine Sean Smith (New York, 2020) became the Executive Director for the Southern Queens Park Association and recently held the Youth Empowerment Awards honoring youth in Southern Queens.
- Abou Diakhate (New York, 2022) lobbied to get the Sen. John Lewis Voting Rights Act passed in New York.
- Dr. Bryan O Buckley (D.C., 2022) won the Health Equity Leadership Award, which is presented to volunteers for the American Heart Association whose efforts have reinforced the Association’s commitment to achieving maximum impact in equitable health while addressing social influencers of health to achieve better outcomes.
- Leaders of Color-Washington, D.C. Program Manager Victor Horton discussed under-voting and racial equity in D.C.’s elections in The Washington Post.
- LaJoy Johnson-Law (D.C. 2022) delivered the keynote address at the National Charter Schools Conference. In partnership with Comcast and the White House, LaJoy is also an active voice in the national effort to expand broadband access for lower-income families. LaJoy met with Vice President Harris at the White House earlier this year to advocate for increased digital equity.