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LEAD: Leading through Education, Activism, and Diversity

Students participating in LEAD

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 Markaz, Queer 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 centers on equity efforts and explicitly focuses on leadership that is socially conscious and facilitates transformation to achieve justice.  The mission of LEAD seeks to develop the cross-cultural, collaborative leadership skills of leaders at Stanford by providing students with theoretical and real-life experiences in non-hierarchical leadership 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 cause of social issues. Through focusing on leaders, the LEAD program will train students in the following areas, all of which contribute to creating a collaborative foundation towards building social change:

  • 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 work;
  • Culture— Understand the narratives of marginalized communities, contributions of communities of color 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.


Want more information? Come to our Information Session on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at noon at the Black Community Services Center.

Apply for LEAD!

Interested in participating in LEAD?  There are a few expectations to consider:


  • Sign up for a 2-unit credit/no credit course in both fall and winter
  • Attend course sessions in both fall and winter quarters, Time and day TBA
  • Attend a two-day off campus retreat in Fall 2018 (Saturday, November 3 - Sunday, November 4)
  • Complete social change group project

Please submit your completed application to the professional staff of one of the ethnic community centers.  If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the staff at one of the community centers.