The Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity
(LEAD Fund) provides thought leadership in promoting inclusive organizations and institutions by providing research and education on issues related to diversity, social responsibility, human and civil rights.
DE&I and its Return on Investment
Preparing for the Future - Together
Diversity Leadership and Leading Diversity
Diversity is a Global Reality
DE&I Includes Access for Everyone
Preparing Our Future Leaders
Diversity, EEO and Virtual Reality
History and Mission
The Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund) was established to provide thought leadership in promoting inclusive organizations and institutions through research and education on issues related to diversity, social responsibility, human and civil rights. The LEAD Fund is a “Think and Do” tank, which advances new knowledge and tested strategies aimed at eliminating prejudice and discrimination. The scope of the Fund’s activities is both domestic and international. The LEAD Fund places a special emphasis on the emerging demographics in the United States in all of its work.
The Fund was established by officers of the American Association for Affirmative Action, now called the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED) www.aaaed.org.
The LEAD Fund seeks to eliminate barriers and to promote opportunities that fully and productively integrate the nation’s populace into the social, economic and political fabric. This is not only a matter of social justice; it is a national imperative. To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this is the “Fierce Urgency of Now.”
Research and New Knowledge Development
Consistent with the Public Education program, the LEAD Fund conducts research on persistent and cutting-edge issues that expand our knowledge and provide effective strategies and best practices to ensure access and opportunity for all.
The Fund seeks to support and promote research and education in the fields of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access, Inclusive Excellence, Social Responsibility, Human and Civil Rights. Also, the Fund supports:
Education and training of Leaders seeking Inclusive Excellence in Organizations and Institutions
Policy Analysis and Thought Leadership in the Preparation for the Demographic Shift
Access and Equity in STEM and other fields
Research and Education on International Diversity Issues
Promoting Collaboration within institutions seeking diversity, equity and inclusion
Preparing and promoting the next generation of leaders
News and Articles
Diverse Issues in Higher Education publishes OpED by LEAD Fund's President, Shirley J. Wilcher
"National Opinion Polls on Affirmative Action: Inflaming an Issue that is Divisive Enough"
Nov 17, 2022
Since the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke case of 1978, the Supreme Court has been asked on several occasions to rule on the constitutionality of using race as one factor in higher education admissions. The Court has consistently held that diversity is a compelling interest and that race – not quotas, can be one of many factors in selecting a class of students. In the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College and the University of North Carolina (SFFA), the Court is once again faced with the decision to respect decades of precedent or reverse the holistic admissions policy that selective colleges have used since the Court ruled in the Grutter v. Bollinger decision in 2003....Diverse Issues
Marilynn Schuyler, Esq., former LEAD Fund Board member and co-author of the AAAED/LEAD Fund Brief, speaks on CNN regarding affirmative action and the Harvard/UNC cases: CNN
On December 1, 2022, AAAED hosts webinar "Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and UNC: What are the Implications for Admissions and Diversity Programs?"
LEAD Fund Chair Christopher Metzler speaks. Register here.
Affirmative Action and the Supreme Court: What’s at Stake? Diverse Issues Rebroadcasts AAAED's 48th National Conference panel on Affirmative Action.
American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity Urges the U.S. Supreme Court to Affirm that Diversity in Admissions is Constitutional
Student Body Diversity in Higher Education Is Essential to Promoting the Nation’s Future Workforces and Developing the Next Generation of Leaders
Washington, DC – November 1, 2022. The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), a national not-for-profit association of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, strongly urges the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the lower court’s decision in the case of Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College and Students for Fair Admissions Inc v. the University of North Carolina. The Association strongly urges the Court to respect forty-four years of precedent and maintain race conscious admissions in higher education as consistent with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.... Shirley Wilcher, AAAED Executive Director and President and CEO of LEAD Fund quoted. Press Release
National Poll Shows Majority Believes Affirmative Action in Higher Education Is Essential, Must Be Protected by the Supreme Court
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mattie Goldman, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON — The Leadership Conference Education Fund today released the results of a national survey exploring people’s opinions on affirmative action, diversity, and opportunity in higher education. The survey, commissioned by The Education Fund and conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, found that a majority of people in America believe that diverse college and university campuses are beneficial to students, college admissions should take into account a student’s whole story, and the U.S. Supreme Court must protect affirmative action. Key findings include:
87% of respondents believe all students, no matter their race or background, benefit from college campuses that reflect the diversity of who we are as Americans.
76% of respondents believe college admissions should take into consideration the lived experiences and the whole story of a student, in addition to high school grades and test scores.
69% believe affirmative action helps create diverse campuses, which benefit all of us
64% of respondents believe affirmative action helps level the playing field and gives all students, regardless of their race or background, a fair shot at attending college.
54% of respondents believe it is important that the Supreme Court protects affirmative action, including 32% who believe it is very important. (more) Press Release
LEAD Fund joins AAAED and others on the Supreme Court amicus brief filed in support of Harvard and University of North Carolina.
The Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund) was established to provide thought leadership in promoting inclusive organizations and institutions through research and education on issues related to diversity, social responsibility, human and civil rights. On why the Fund joined the brief, Dr. Christopher Metzler, Chair of the LEAD Fund Board, stated: “The Lead Fund realizes the importance of Affirmative Action and Diversity in America. Colleges and universities benefit greatly from critical thinking among a diverse student body. Harvard's and UNC’s holistic, race-conscious admissions policies create an environment from which the world gains conscious citizens and leaders.” For a copy of the brief,
Ambitious Diversity Goals? Take
Care Not to Discriminate
CEO Update, Sept. 9, 2022, William Erhart
LEAD Fund Chair Christopher Metzler states, "Let's be clear. There is no diversity law. You can accelerate it, but you cannot accelerate it by discriminating." Dr. Metzler joined Dr. Richard Baker, past President of AAAED, and Dr. Carmen Suarez, AAAED Board Member, at a workshop given at the Annual Conference of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in Nashville, TN. https://ceoupdate.com/ (Membership required)
Admissions Survey in a World of Change
Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschik
September 19, 2022
AAAED Announces Featured Keynote Speaker Dr. Christopher Metzler for its 48th National Conference
Dr. Christopher Metzler, a Founder of Diversity Management Training, will Keynote the Organization’s 48th National Conference on October 11th
"Dr. Christopher Metzler will be presenting on Technology-Driven DEI Programs: How Technology is Increasing their Impact.” — L. Jerry Knighton, Jr., AAAED Conference Chair
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, September 22, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- The American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity (AAAED), a national not-for-profit association of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals, announced that Dr. Christopher Metzler will lead its host of speakers at the 48th National Conference. The conference will take place October 11 – 13, 2022, and will be virtual. The conference theme is “Building an Infrastructure for Equitable and Sustainable Change.” Dr. Metzler will speak LIVE on October 11, 2022 at 1:30 pm (ET). Press Release