Harvard Kennedy School’s Initiative to Prepare Future Latino Leaders Grows in Diversity and Support

Contact: Patrick McKiernan
Phone: (617) 496-4695
Date: June 12, 2012

Cambridge, MA— The Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced today that the third installment of its Latino Leadership Initiative (LLI) will comprise the most diverse group of students to date, more than 70% of whom are the first in their families to attend college. The number of participants in the initiative, the number of participating universities, and the number of financial sponsors have also grown.

Launched in 2010, LLI is a weeklong program that prepares rising college seniors for the opportunities and challenges they will face in the coming decades. On June 23, Harvard will welcome to campus 41 students who were chosen from a highly selective application process. The participating schools are Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles); University of California, Merced; Texas A&M International University; the University of Houston; the University of Massachusetts–Boston; the University of Texas–Pan American; Miami Dade College; and, for the first time, the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College.
The LLI curriculum includes classes on public narrative, community organizing, negotiation, moral leadership, innovation, arts and activism, and public speaking. LLI participants will also have opportunities to build relationships with respected Latino mentors from the government, nonprofit, and business sectors.
This year’s faculty includes Andy Zelleke of Harvard Business School; Marshall Ganz of Harvard Kennedy School; Harvard Divinity School professor Davíd Carrasco; and Georgetown University professor Robert Bies. Among the guest speakers will be Dr. Robert Sackstein, a Harvard Medical School professor who specializes in bone marrow transplants and stem cell research; Gustavo Arnavat, executive director of the Inter-American Development Bank; Laura Nieto, senior manager of community affairs and grassroots at Southwest Airlines; and Johnny Marines, manager of the Romeo Santos/Aventura music group.
After their week in Cambridge, students will work in teams with faculty and administration from their home university to design and implement a community service project. For example, Texas A&M International University’s community project for the past three years has been a mentoring program that has served more than 300 undergraduates and has led to the creation of a leadership minor. The University of Texas–Pan American project has helped more than 6,000 students register to vote.

Quarterly teleconferences hosted by CPL will promote cross-pollination among the projects while helping students integrate into the projects the personal development goals they identified during LLI.
“Entravision Chairman and CEO Walter Ulloa’s hope and commitment brought LLI into being three years ago,” said Andy Zelleke, LLI faculty director and senior lecturer at Harvard Business School. “Since then, the program has grown in so many vital ways: the number and diversity of students it serves, the depth of the academic experience, the number of participating colleges and universities; the amount of support from outside organizations, and especially—as we’re seeing from the service projects—in the impact the students are having in their home communities. We here at Harvard are deeply gratified by the strength and breadth of the network we and our partners have been able to build.”
“Entravision is honored to once again be a core part of the LLI initiative, as we seek to offer this diverse group of students a truly unique and life-changing experience which will position them to become the next generation of leaders,” said Walter F. Ulloa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Entravision. “These young men and women have bright futures and we strongly believe in the importance of helping to foster their personal development. Giving back to the community is one of our biggest responsibilities and we are proud of our role in LLI.”
Coca-Cola will be the lead sponsor of this year’s initiative. Other supporters include seed donor Entravision Communications Corporation; third-year sponsors Texas A&M International University, Univision, Farouk Systems, Southwest Airlines, and the Surdna Foundation; as well as the Walt Disney Company, the Knight Foundation, the Hispanic National Bar Foundation, Time Warner Corporation, Miami-based entrepreneur and philanthropist Gus Machado, and former Harvard professor and Purpose Prize Fellow Diana Barrett, founder of the Fledgling Fund.

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