Leaders of Color

Advancing Leaders of Color

Only 20% of Black and 16% of Latino students graduated from high school ready for college. Every child deserves a quality education, but our education system is failing those who need it most. We need leaders who are committed to a different future.



Our vision is of a nation where Black and Latino communities are represented by elected officials who not only look like them but are tireless advocates for quality education.

Candidates for Office Elected Officials

Leaders of Color (“LOC”) will recruit for public office leaders who are respected in their communities, and provide a suite of resources to help these leaders win elections and increase their influence. Not only are community-based leaders uniquely essential to the sustainability of education reform, local leaders who support reform values are also the least likely to receive the supportive services necessary to launching and winning elections. The LOC Training Program is the launch of our long-term development to unapologetically usher in a new, bold group of Black and Latino elected officials.

Candidate Profile

We are seeking Black and Latino community leaders between the ages of 25-45 years old who aspire to public service and support education reform in their community. Our goal is to create an ecosystem of Black and Latino education leaders who may not typically have the opportunities and institutional support to run for public office, develop the skills and leadership needed to win and deliver on education equity. 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
  • Action-oriented leaders who have a history of community relationships and connections
  • Be committed and believe in public service as an extension of leadership
  • Command Skills
  • Vision and Purpose
  • Interpersonal Savvy
  • Black and Latino
  • Live in one of our core regions: Memphis, New York City, New Orleans

About Leaders of Color

LOC recruits and develops Black and Brown leaders for public office. LOC provides 70-plus hours of training content, delivered over a span of five months with in-person training weekends, focuses on cultivating leadership abilities, building education policy knowledge, and honing campaigning skills — all with an equity lens.

Our History

In 2018, we launched Leaders of Color Memphis with a cohort of 15 African American community-based leaders and developed a comprehensive 70-plus hour training program. Since then, the program has graduated 28 leaders in Memphis and we launched our third cohort of 19 leaders in March 2020. Four Memphis cohort members are currently running for state house and two are running for school board, with a seventh pursuing congressional office.

In April 2020, we launched our Leaders of Color New York chapter, with an inaugural cohort of 12 aspiring political and education leaders, representing the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, and Harlem.

In June 2020, we launched our 3rd chapter: Leaders of Color New Orleans. This cohort includes 23 fellows who are embarking on a journey toward better advocacy and representation for the students of New Orleans. In pursuit of this goal, we are preparing fellows to run for school board and serve as operatives in those races.

Our alumni are also pushing for policy change in their school districts and working in organizations that are focused on achieving educational equity. By design of our program, LOC alumni are also now better equipped to serve in leadership roles on local, statewide, and national campaigns. So far, 14 alumni have worked on 16 distinct campaigns including Presidential, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, State House, City Council and School Board, and 12 are active in campaigns with elections upcoming this year.

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