Building a nation of Latino leaders
Background and Need
As the country’s largest and youngest minority, Latinos have the capacity and potential to take a leadership role in shaping the 21st Century. Latinos come from a hard-working, collaborative, generous, and people-centered culture and have a great contribution to make to America. To actualize this potential, however, they must be prepared for leadership and be able to work together to address the myriad issues in their community. It is generally acknowledged both in the Latino and mainstream community that people’s engagement and abilities are strengthened by leadership training. Increasing the number and quality of leadership programs, therefore, is vital to prepare a critical mass of Latino leaders. Leadership development is a process that takes years, experience, mentoring, and practice. This underscores the urgency to start NOW to prepare Latinos for effective leadership. It is equally important that leadership programs are culturally-centered and strengthen people’s identity while at the same time provide skills and perspectives to be successful in the mainstream culture.
Cultivating Latino Leadership Programs
LIDERAMOS was formed to enhance existing programs and initiate programs in areas where none exist. Our first task was to conduct a national survey to identify current programs and to determine their scope, geographic area, and focus. The result is The Latino Leadership Program Directory – the first publication to document existing programs on the Latino community. A total of 90 programs were identified. Successful leadership programs generally offer intensive services and training aimed at the personal development of the leader. Programs, therefore, serve an average of 25 to 50 people a year. LIDERAMOS estimates that approximately 3,500 Latinos participate in programs every year. This is a drop in the bucket considering there are 57 million Latinos in the U.S. LIDERAMOS aims to triple the number of leadership programs serving Latinos by 2022. America’s future well-being is closely tied to the preparation and deployment of a critical mass of Latino leaders. Now is the time to prepare Latinos for leadership so that they are strategically positioned to guide their community and our nation forward. Join us!
LIDERAMOS will enhance and develop Latino Leadership Programs to strengthen a nation of diverse leaders who are culturally aware, civically engaged and community-serving, providing effective leadership for a multicultural society.