Last Friday, nine LEDA Scholars and two staff members attended the White House Convening on Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Ed. Leaders in government, higher education, and the private sector discussed successful strategies for program design in light of extensive research on the educational benefits of student diversity. This event connected the work from President and Mrs. Obama’s January 2014 College Opportunity Summit, December 2014 College Opportunity Day of Action, and the important efforts underway nationwide to promote greater diversity and inclusion.
LEDA was a key partner for the event, as Scholars shared their perspectives around challenges and potential solutions to advancing diversity and inclusion at higher education institutions. Three Scholars served on the “Navigating College Transitions” panel, sharing their experiences as first-generation and low-income college students. One panelist, Joshaya (Brown ’18), stressed the importance of diversity in leadership as a means of helping underrepresented students succeed. “Mentorship is key. We have to see people who look like us in these [leadership] positions in order to receive [relevant] guidance.”
Watch the video below to hear more from Joshaya, Sayra (Rice ’15), and Kevin (URichmond ’19).
This Giving Tuesday, you can help LEDA continue to empower our nation’s future leaders by making a financial contribution at ledascholars.org/givingtuesday. LEDA’s work is critically important, as Joshaya explained to the audience: “It wasn’t until my LEDA summer that I realized that I could do this. I didn’t know what an Ivy League institution was until that summer; I wasn’t planning on going to college until that summer.”