Founded 34 years ago, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP) is a national, nonprofit organization, with a mission to achieve full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) through leadership, empowerment, and policy. It started with a simple yet powerful idea: that in order for API communities to realize their full potential and to foster robust participation in this increasingly globalized world, these communities would have to begin producing leaders who could advocate and speak on their behalf.
LEAP’s core strategic approach
- Developing People, because leaders are made not born and need to be at the decision-making table;
- Informing Society, because leaders need to know the issues and be a voice for the communities they are representing or advocating for;
- Empowering Communities, because strong leaders give back to and are grounded in strong, vibrant communities.
LEAP does this by:
- LEAP provides leadership development opportunities for APIs and encourages leaders to “Keep your values, develop new skills. ®”
- Through a variety of leadership services, LEAP provides support for individuals to hone their leadership skills and organizations in all sectors to strengthen their leadership pipelines.
- Extensive network of program graduates and partners spans across sectors.
- Trainings are tailored to the unique characteristics of the API community.
- LEAP conducts leadership research to inform society about the diverse needs of the API community including the lack of API representation at the highest levels of leadership.
Why is this important?
Today, despite steady and rapid API population growth, LEAP’s own leadership research indicates APIs continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles across sectors. LEAP’s experience providing culturally relevant workshops and programs to more than 125,000 people across the nation indicates that challenges and roadblocks continue to exist for APIs and their climb into leadership. It also recognizes that the need for API leadership has two separate yet linked components: quantity and quality. Not only is there a need for greater numbers of API leaders, but these leaders also must be more effective if API communities are to thrive.
Thus, the role of LEAP in the API community continues to be essential as we strive to grow leaders for all sectors of society. Guided by the philosophy: “Keep Your Values. Develop New Skills.®”, LEAP believes that Asian and Pacific Islanders can retain their culture, identity and values while developing new and vital skills that will enable them to be effective leaders in their organizations, their communities and the broader society. Over 2,700 LEAP leadership development programs, workshops, and presentations anchored by this guiding philosophy have been delivered to clients including: colleges and universities, community and student organizations, federal and state government agencies and Fortune 1000 companies across the country.
Intent on “growing leaders”, its core strategic approach is Developing People, because leaders are made not born and need to be at the decision-making table; Informing Society, because leaders need to know the issues and be a voice for the communities they are representing or advocating for; Empowering Communities, because strong leaders give back to and are grounded in strong, vibrant communities.
LEAP is currently the only Asian and Pacific Islander organization dedicated to cultivating a robust pipeline of leaders by encouraging individuals to assume leadership positions at work and in the community, and ultimately, become role models for future leaders.