Leaders of Color Announces Departure of Vice President Mike Bland

April 29, 2024

Today, Leaders of Color announced that Mike Bland will step down from his role as Vice President of Leaders of Color. Mike will continue to serve the program in an advisory capacity. Amber Davis-Prince, who currently serves as the Deputy Director of Program Operations, will lead the Leaders of Color program following Mike’s departure

Mike has led the Leaders of Color program to great successes. More than 270 Black and Latinx leaders have graduated from the program and moved on to leadership positions in elected office and civic organizations. During Mike’s tenure, the program expanded from its original location in Memphis, TN to include the state of Louisiana, New York, NY, and Washington, D.C. 

“For nearly five years, I have been part of a talented and dynamic team that is changing the landscape of what it means to fight for education equity,” says Bland. “We are driven by a passionate belief in what we can all achieve for our kids if Black and Latinx people have the network, knowledge, and skills to get elected to public office and lead civic organizations. I could not be more proud of what we have accomplished - and the future of this powerful network.”

Under Mike’s leadership, Leaders of Color alumni have gone on to lead important civic organizations, serving in roles like Executive Directors, Advocacy Directors, and Community Impact Directors. More than 30 Leaders of Color have been elected to public office, holding seats as State Representatives, School Board Commissioners, Community Board Members, and Judicial Delegates. In Louisiana, alum Vanessa LaFleur became the first Black woman to serve in the Louisiana House of Representatives. In Memphis, the Shelby County Board of Commissioners includes multiple Black women voted into office for the first time, including three Leaders of Color program alumni. Over the past three years In New York, alumni have lobbied against the antiquated method of legacy admissions. And in Washington D.C., Leaders of Color alumni fight for public school choice and the right for parents to advocate for their children. More than 100 alumni serve in civic leadership positions, working with more than 40 schools last year alone. 

Importantly, all Leaders of Color alumni move into their civic and elected leadership positions with a deep understanding of the specific education equity challenges in their communities, fresh ideas and resources to help all our kids get the quality education they deserve. 

Leaders of Color is deeply grateful for Mike’s many contributions over the past five years. Mike was instrumental in establishing and growing many aspects of our work, while always putting our people first. We wish him the best in his future endeavors!

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