Leaders of Color

The Leaders of Color (LOC) Initiative aims to address the current deficit of racial and ethnic diversity in the various advisory bodies and leadership opportunities across the University. Targeted specifically towards first and second year students of color (who are generally less likely to feel welcome in political environments or become involved in leadership roles early on), the initiative seeks to bring these students in and prepare them with the skills to be extra-competitive applicants for internships and leadership positions on campus. This is achieved through a comprehensive leadership institute in the winter quarter with guest facilitators and community building activities. In addition to the winter workshops, the spring quarter focuses on the group mentorship component in which small groups of students are paired and meet with a mentor, as well as each student meeting with a student leader or staff member to discuss summer internship opportunities and career paths for the summer. By providing both professional skills training and critical discussions of identity politics, we hope that the participants of the program will be better prepared to become leaders for their communities not only at the University but also in politics and public service as a whole.

The Leaders of Color Initiative has wide-reaching benefits for students, the Institute of Politics, the University of Chicago, and beyond.

  • Students will gain invaluable professional leadership skills such as public speaking and conflict resolution, while also delving into discussions about what it really means to be a “leader of color.” Additionally, the mentorship and internship guidance will be catered to the needs and interests of individual students.
  • The Institute of Politics will benefit from each cohort of diverse students who will hopefully go on to become engaged in other IOP leadership opportunities.
  • The University community as a whole can benefit from having passionate and committed student leaders to serve on various boards and committees like the OMSA Advisory Board, Student Government, and others.
  • Broadly speaking, we hope that the program develops close-knit cohorts that will eventually lead to careers in government, politics, community organizing, and public service, and that we can contribute to creating representation that's truly reflective of America’s racial and ethnic diversity.

Get Involved!

Keep an eye out for more information on how to get involved in the 2017/18 academic year. 

Please contact Anthony Downer at adowner@uchicago.edu for more information or with any questions.