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LEAD: Leading through Education, Activism, and Diversity

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Overview of LEAD

Established in 1999, the Leading through Education, Activism and Diversity (LEAD) program is a collaborative effort led by the professional staff of the Asian American Activities Center (A3C)Black Community Services Center (BCSC)El Centro Chicano y Latino and the Native American Cultural Center (NACC). In 2018, the LEAD Program expanded to include the leadership of The MarkazQueer Student Resources, and the Women's Community Center and is supported as a premiere program of the Centers for Equity, Community, & Leadership.

LEAD is a two-quarter program that explicitly focuses on leadership that is socially conscious and facilitates transformation to achieve justice The mission of LEAD is to develop the cross-cultural, collaborative leadership skills of student leaders at Stanford for the purpose of creating a shared vision for/and effecting social change. By “social change,” we mean collective efforts that empower individuals and communities to identify and address the underlying causes of problems like police bias, racial and gender inequality, hate crimes and violence against LGBTQ+ people, Islamophobia, and unequal access to educational and health care opportunities.

What’s unique about LEAD is that it adds a cultural component to existing non-hierarchical or collaborative leadership models. It is therefore deliberately cross-cultural and offers students the chance to work with students from other historically-marginalized communities to design their own projects for social change. The LEAD program trains students in the following areas, all of which provide them with both theoretical and practical leadership skills for the future:

  • Leadership Development - Provide opportunities to prepare and practice becoming effective leaders to create effective movements for social change; 
  • Coalition Building—Learn skills in creating community alliances, establish ties between students from diverse backgrounds, and build a foundation for future collaborative justice work;
  • Culture— Understand the narratives of historically marginalized communities, contributions of these communities at Stanford, and the influence politics has on culture. 

Students are required to attend weekly classes/meetings, a two-day off campus retreat, and they are also challenged to apply their learning to complete a social change project by the end of winter quarter.

LEAD alumni have gone on to become VSO and ASSU leaders and leaders in communities outside of Stanford.  Past LEAD projects include the creation of a Cultural Advising Associate staff position within Residential Education focused on diversity education; voter registration drives; diverse art exhibits/cultural performances; revision of the Stanford Acts of Intolerance protocol; and, "The Wall", a project designed to encourage campus wide discussion of issues of race and ethnicity.

Apply for LEAD!

Student are required to attend a two-day off-campus retreat where they will learn more about the LEAD Model, be divided into small groups, and begin to design a social change project within these groups.  Weekly meetings/class sessions will be tentatively held on Thursdays from 4-6PM in both Fall and Winter Quarter.  All participants are required to:

  • Sign up for a 2-unit credit/no credit course in both fall and winter
  • Attend weekly course sessions/meetings tentatively scheduled on Thursday from 4-6PM in both fall and winter quarters
  • Attend a two-day off campus retreat in Fall 2018 (Saturday, November 3 - Sunday, November 4)
  • Develop a social change capstone project

Please submit your completed online application by the priority deadline.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the staff at one of the community centers.