Leadership for Equity Institute

  • UNM
  • >Home
  • >Leadership for Equity Institute

Leadership for Equity Institute

The Leadership for Equity Institute (LEI) utilizes critical pedagogy through a critical race theory lens to inform practice.

The Community Engagement Center believes that service alone can do more harm than good, and that learning occurs in multiple spaces. We also believe that the United States perpetuates a global racial hierarchy (Allen, 2001; DuBois, 1996; Mills, 1997), where people of color are economically, politically, socially, educationally, and psychologically disempowered due to race. Within this global racial hierarchy, the power relations are maintained in the micro (individual), meso (community and family), and macro (societal) layers of society.

Based on this understanding, the LEI was created as the education component of the CEC’s program model and provides students, staff, and community member’s space to utilize critical analysis, reflection and theory to inform their practice and engage in community based action and research. Learning from the University-Assisted Community Schools model of the Netter Center at University of Pennsylvania, our UNM Service Corps program began with ten members in two community schools. This has expanded to include over 30 community-based organizations, and additional community schools with a focus on health, education and economic justice.

LEI uses critical pedagogy through a critical race theory lens to inform practice through courses, community-based research, workshops, trainings, symposiums, and long term community engagement. Some of the educational and professional development activities of LEI include:

  • Community Learning Courses – credit bearing courses include interdisciplinary curriculum to establish how health, education, economics, and poverty are interconnected.
  • Community Engagement Workshops – emphasis on community learning and connecting direct service to larger sociopolitical issues.
  • Campus and Community Forums – utilizes civic engagement pedagogy to engage in critical dialogues that results in transformative change.
  • Community Engagement Symposium – annual campus and community gathering connecting to larger socio-political issues.
  • Anti-oppression and Anti-racism trainings – On going training that focus on race, racism, and oppression in the United States and globally. Trainings are offered upon request to students, staff, faculty, community based organizations.
  • Community-Based Research – Initiated over 15 years ago, with Reginald Chavez Elementary School families and community and has continued with various students connecting their academic research to community engagement. The current project is with Santa Barbara/Martinez Town, South Broadway and the South Valley.