What We Do

Policy Project

The LEDA Policy Project trains and positions young leaders from underrepresented backgrounds to lend their voices to federal policy discussions pertaining to postsecondary education.

LEDA launched the LEDA Policy Project in 2017 thanks to a transformative investment from Lumina Foundation. The Policy Project trains and positions young leaders from underrepresented backgrounds to lend their voices to federal policy discussions pertaining to postsecondary education.

LEDA Policy Corps

The LEDA Policy Corps is comprised of LEDA Scholars and Career Fellows selected through a competitive application process to participate in the Policy Project.

Education policy frames so much of our lives, yet many of the diverse voices that are disproportionately impacted by the lack of equitable opportunities are left out of key policy discussions. The LEDA Policy Corps equips leaders with the knowledge, resources, and confidence needed to bring higher education conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion to the fore.

Carolina Espinal, 2019-2020 Policy Corps member

The following 20 Scholars and Fellows represent the LEDA Policy Corps for the 2020-2021 term, which runs from August 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021.

Jesse A

University of Richmond ’21
Jesse Amankwaah

University of California at Berkeley ’22
Ariana Berumen

Yale University ’23
Valeria Bula

Smith College ’22
Jackie Centeno

University of Southern California ’23
Arleth Cespedes
Chris G

University of Pennsylvania ’21
Christopher Garcia

Denison University ’22
Cynthia Guerrero

University of Southern California ’22
Jenny Ha

University of Richmond ’21
Omar Ibrahim

Washington University in St. Louis ’21
Denye Mickens
Jessica M

Cornell University ’22
Jessica Morales

Middlebury College ’22
Daniel Nazarit

Harvard University ’22
Nidhi Patel

Middlebury College ’22
Yasmine Signey

Boston University ’22
Stephanie Tavares

Georgetown University ’21
Janeth Preciado Vargas

Harvard University ’23
Juan C. Venancio

Occidental College ’22
Katrina Weti
Christopher W

University of Richmond ’23
Christopher D. Wilson, Jr.

Tufts University ’22
Tiffany Xie

LEDA Policy Corps Key Issues

The 2019-2020 LEDA Policy Corps identified a set of key policy issues that affect students from historically marginalized communities. These issue areas are:

  • Higher education data and transparency
  • Higher education access, affordability, and completion

To address these issues, the Policy Corps recommends that:

  • Higher education laws and policies proactively adapt to the needs of the changing demographics of college students, with a specific focus on equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Higher education institutions and related postsecondary programs should provide holistic and culturally services that address mental, financial, socioemotional, and academic needs for historically marginalized students. These might include:
    • Opportunities to help students transition to college(e.g. summer bridge programs)
    • Support for basic needs including affordable housing, access to healthy and affordable food options, and emergency grants for unanticipated expenses
    • Proactive advising that follows and opt-out model instead of opt-in
    • A community that supports health and wellness
  • Higher education programs and institutions should be transparent in how they report data and information, ensuring that it is presented in a way that is transparent, easily accessible, and disaggregated by race, income, first generation status, class year and program. Reported information should include:
    • The true cost of attendance,
    • The resources that are available to students,
    • Diversity of students and faculty,
    • History of the college,
    • Financial aid offers,
    • Graduate salaries, and
    • Loan repayment information

Selected Press and Media (2019-2020)

Selected Press and Media (2018-2019)

Please direct questions about the program to Amber Briggs, Project Director, at amberbriggs@ledascholars.org.

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