Leading for Equity, Antiracism and Diversity (LEAD) Institute

Main page content

LEAD Institute logo

What is LEAD? 

The LEAD Institute is an 8-week cohort-based leadership program for mid-level faculty and staff administrators. The aim of this new initiative is to grow a critical mass of faculty and staff administrators whose work and leadership practices are grounded in equity, antiracism and inclusion, and to create a campus climate of accountability for this work, that will benefit UW Tacoma students and the communities served by the University. It uses an anti-racist learning framework to provide a foundation for participants to better engage with conflict, foster inclusive workplace climates, disrupt anti-blackness and micro-aggression in workplace practices, respond to bias incidents, mentor and support faculty and staff of color, and other leadership topics.

UW Tacoma mid-level leaders will:

  • Acquire shared language, knowledge, and dispositions necessary for promoting the development of inclusive and antiracist learning and working environments.
  • Develop an understanding of equity and justice-based organizational practices and interventions designed to promote inclusion, retention and success for students, staff, and faculty in accordance with UW Diversity Blueprint goals and UW Tacoma Climate Survey recommendations.
  • Use the LEAD Institute as a launchpad to create a self-sustaining community of practice to support their on-going professional development around work related to antiracist leadership.


We are seeking nominations for the first cohort to begin in April 2021. The program consists of eight weekly 90-minute sessions held virtually in synchronous format. Participants must commit to completing the full program. Nominations must be made by a supervisor or colleague. The deadline for nominations is January 29, 2021. 

Submit a nomination

UW Tacoma Visting Scholar

Dr. Kevin Kumashiro

The initial cohort of the LEAD Institute will be led by Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, an internationally recognized expert on educational policy, school reform, teacher preparation, and educational equity and social justice, with a wide-ranging list of accomplishments and awards as a scholar, educator, leader, and advocate. 

Dr. Kumashiro is the former Dean of the School of Education at the University of San Francisco (2013-2017). 

Race & Equity Initiative: Cultivating a New Generation of UW Tacoma Leaders

In 2015, the President of the University of Washington, Ana Mari Cauce, established the Race & Equity Initiative which was developed to ameliorate challenges associated with adopting a coherent and integrated approach to fostering campus diversity and increasing the representation and retention of students, faculty and staff from historically underrepresented groups at the university. Two years later, UW Tacoma launched, Charting our Course. One of the impact goals named in this Strategic Plan focuses on Equity which prioritizes a number of critical areas that focus on access, campus climate, and inclusive and antiracist teaching in and outside of the classroom. A critical objective that was identified to advance work associated with the Race & Equity Initiative and Equity Goal is as follows: Ensure that all of University of Washington Tacoma’s leadership (i.e., cabinet, deans, associate deans, mid-level administrators) have the tools, resources and training to create and support institutional change. More specifically, UWT leaders must be prepared to work together as a collective to ferret out structures, systems and practices that maintain hierarchies that promote exclusion and limit the success of historically marginalized members of the UWT community. 

It is important to also note that the launch of the Race & Equity Initiative and UW Tacoma’s strategic plan sits within a much larger context that gives a sense of urgency for launching the LEAD institute. Recent tensions on campus stemming from the national political climate as well as bias incidents on UW Tacoma’s campus have rendered more visible the challenges associated with building an antiracist institution. These tensions signify that our challenges belong to a longer history of the University and the geographical areas that surrounds its campus. UW Tacoma’s story, in part, is composed of racial narratives that reflect the broader U.S. social narratives around race and racism.  They speak to a well-documented history of racial exclusion among people of color that includes the appropriation of land that is the home of the Puyallup Tribal community, the removal of Chinese immigrants in Tacoma in the late 1800s, gentrification promulgated by the arrival of new businesses and organizations in Tacoma’s downtown district that helped displace a significant number of local African-American residents. UW Tacoma’s context is also shaped by conflicting meanings associated with what it means to be an urban-serving institution given the diversity of its local demography, student enrollment, and its predominately white workforce characteristics. Acknowledging the weight of our history and present-day challenges as it relates to creating and sustaining a racially equitable campus has become of priori concern to university leadership, and has therefore, led to the creation of the LEAD Institute.

This initiative is funded by the Chancellor's Strategic Initiative Fund.