The Diversity Leadership Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)3 organization that addresses disparities in educational achievement and healthcare access. We are committed to insuring quality services and choices to families and children in underserved communities on both the local and national levels.
History Founded in 2009, the Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancement in educational achievement and reduction in healthcare disparities in underserved communities.
We at DLI believe that education enables individuals to recognize opportunities and make informed choices because building knowledge and capacity leads to self-sufficiency. Whether in advancing personal educational attainment or adopting healthier lifestyles, we recognize that knowledge is the key to capacitating people to improve their lives.
Furthermore, we realize that transformational social movements which have had a positive impact on Hispanics are most effective when the responsibility of leadership rests upon credible, Hispanic-led organizations with the capacity to work closely with allies of all races to reach common objectives.
The Diversity Leadership Institute seeks to foster a society in which all children and their families are provided equal access and opportunities to a quality education and preventive health care.
The Diversity Leadership Institute's work to gain equity and access to education and preventive healthcare for all children and their families is guided by the following core beliefs:
i.Equity and Access We believe that all children and their families should be afforded access to a quality education, preventive health care opportunities and adequate preparation in order to reach their full potential.
ii.Transformational Change We believe that the current crisis in education and health care in underserved communities requires radical rethinking and redesigning of the existing educational and health structures, organizations and culture with the objective of achieving large-scale improvements in overall performance.
iii.Family and Community Engagement We believe that effectively engaging families and caregivers in the education of their children has the potential to be far more transformational than any other type of education reform, because parents are the best advocate for their children.
iv.Sharing Power We seek to expand access to education and preventative health care so that people may more fully contribute to their communities and share in the decision-making which affects their lives.
v.Cultural and Linguistic Competency We believe that cultural competency and linguistic appropriateness are at the core of every family's life experience and is central to educational and health opportunities. We recognize native language as an asset to linguistic, cognitive and educational development.
vi.Critical Friendship We believe that commitment, trust and respect allow partnering organizations to offer constructive suggestions and advice in order to further positive change.
The Diversity Leadership Institute serves as a critical change agent, creating and cementing new sustainable partnerships in underserved communities. Utilizing the combined wealth and breadth of its internal professional and network expertise, DLI will work to raise the presence and visibility of underserved community causes in the United States, while simultaneously facilitating transformative change within these areas.
To realize these two related goals, DLI focuses its work on identifying and capitalizing on various initiatives as an Opportunity for Change (OFC). Put simply, an Opportunity for Change is an issue area such as addressing the achievement gap or combating childhood obesity that has broad community support for improving upon the status quo. An OFC represents a movement towards bettering the community at large through coordinated action among multiple community players. The Diversity Leadership Institute has identified OFCs in both health and education, two issue areas which we believe are crucial for community advancement. In the area of education, our OFCs include parental choice and education programs, through our Latino Democrat Elected Officials program, and the expansion of the American Dream Academy model. Our current health OFCs include Promotores de Salud;¡Mentes Sanas, Cuerpos Sanos!; and Family Olympics.
As a Hispanic-led organization, we are uniquely positioned to engage underserved communities in a linguistically- and culturally-appropriate way. We speak the language and understand the challenges these communities face, and are thus best suited to help communities realize their own potential.
DLI understands that no Opportunity for Change can be the basis of sustainable, transformative change without adequate stakeholder and financial resources. Therefore, DLI is committed to using its wide philanthropic network to attract and/or leverage new or existing revenue streams from community, federal, state, regional or individual-based sources. We will utilize the strategy of co-investment, where partners will pool their knowledge and funding in order to address the OFC. This approach to financial development follows the best practice of engaging multiple and diverse funding streams to help ensure project continuation through long-term sustainability planning. To date, DLI professional staff have worked with the following funding sources: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Walton Family Foundation; the Kellogg Foundation; the Annie E. Casey Foundation; the U.S. Department of Education; the U.S. Department of Defense; and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The Diversity Leadership Institute has chosen to engage the existing organizations within the communities in which it will work through two primary, complementary approaches:
·Capacity-Building Assistance activities will provide support, strengthen and transform organizations to better deliver high quality education and health promotion/prevention initiatives in the underserved communities they serve; and
·Leadership Development to improve access and opportunities in education and health care by working to create a more culturally and linguistically-attune executive force with a higher capacity and understanding to create new solutions to the traditional barriers to educational achievement and equitable healthcare access to residents of underserved communities.
One of the major strengths of the Diversity Leadership Institute is its ability to facilitate collaboration and coordination with organizations and agencies that support its Education and Healthcare programs. We count as partners the American Dream Academy, Education Breakthrough Network, Frederick Memorial Hospital and the American Diabetes Association.
These associations provide an ideal mechanism to have an impact locally and nationally through their outreach capacity which disseminates materials and information quickly, efficiently and effectively to large sections of their target populations.
Diversity Leadership Institute critical-friend organizations:
§Alliance for Catholic EducationUniversity of Notre Dame
§American Dream AcademyArizona State University
§Education Breakthrough Network
§Every Person Influences Children (EPIC)
§Frederick Memorial Hospital
§Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley Inc.
§Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey