Diversity Leadership Institute – FAQs

What is the Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI)?
DLI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)3 organization that addresses disparities in educational achievement and healthcare access and is committed to advancing quality services and providing choices to  families and children in underserved communities on the national level with a focus on local opportunities for change.
When and where was DLI founded?
DLI was founded in 2009 in Columbia, MD.

What is an Opportunity for Change?
The Diversity Leadership Institute serves as a critical change agent creating and cementing new sustainable partnerships in underserved communities.  Its core work is identifying and capitalizing on Opportunities for Change (OFC).  Put simply, OFC represent simultaneous alignments of multiple significant system players capable of facilitating transformational change geared towards particular improvement outcomes (e.g., improvement in school performance, access to preventive healthcare) in a given community.  DLI’s role is to help community stakeholders identify their own OFCs and offer assistance in those instances when:

  • DLI can bring added expertise, e.g., leverage of additional technical or funding assistance;
  • the process used and outcomes sought is of local, state or national relevance capable of creating a corpus of ‘best practice’ solutions adaptable to other locations;
  • the coalition of actors present are dedicated to leading action and producing change that is both time and cost effective;
  • there are adequate peer institutions interested in pooling resources (financial or otherwise); and
  • a “tipping point” event has occurred to act as the catalyst for transformative action.


What is DLI’s Value Proposition?
Transformational social movements that 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.

How does DLI impact the community?
DLI 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 the organizations themselves 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. 

Why alliances are so important?
One of the major strengths of DLI is its ability to leverage and/or facilitate collaboration and coordination with organizations and agencies working in areas and with programs that support its Education and Healthcare programs and initiatives.  These associations provide an ideal mechanism to have an impact locally and nationally by their outreach capacity to quickly, efficiently and effectively disseminate materials and information to large sections of their target populations.
What makes DLI different?

DLI’s differentiator and keys to success are guided by the following core beliefs:
  • Equity and Access

    We believe that all children and their families should be afforded access to a quality education and to preventive health care opportunities and the adequate preparation needed to reach their full potential.
  • Transformational Change

    We believe that the current crisis in education and health care in underserved communities requires radically rethinking and redesigning of the existing educational structures, organizations and culture with the objective of achieving large-scale improvements in overall performance.
  • Empowerment

    We believe that education enables individuals to recognize opportunities and make informed choices because building knowledge and capacity leads to self-sufficiency.
  • 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.
  • Cultural and Linguistic Competency

    We believe that cultural competency and linguistic appropriateness are at the core of every family’s life experience and its promise is central to educational and health opportunities.  We recognize native language as an asset to linguistic, cognitive, and educational development.
  • Critical Friendship

    We believe that commitment, trust, and respect allow partnering organizations to offer constructive suggestions and advice in order to further positive change.

What is a co-investor?
A co-investor can be an individual or an organization committed to working together to provide financial support and/or a service towards the fulfillment of an Opportunity for Change.
How can I become a co-investor?
By contacting us at info@diversity-leadership.org or by clicking the DONATE button.  All donations are great contributions to communities we work with and make a huge impact!  Plus, all donations are tax deductible!  Act now.



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8840 Stanford Blvd. Suite 1700 | Columbia, MD 21045 | Office: 703. 518.8819 | Fax: 703.879.6034