Latino Leadership Institute / Instituto Latino de Liderazgo

The Latino Leadership Institute / Instituto Latino de Liderazgo is a partnership between the School of Professional & Continuing Studies and Sacred Heart Center.

The institute is a leadership training program for Spanish-speaking members of the community. The curriculum, developed collaboratively by SPCS and the Center, adapts Cardinal Joseph Cardijn’s See, Judge, Act process as its teaching and structural framework.

The year-long institute is divided into three sessions (fall, winter, spring). Participants engage in activities to develop critical observation skills and facilitate discussions based on personal observations:

Participants also join community involvement projects that vary by session and availability; focus on leadership practices like writing, editing and publishing; and take a variety of classes focused on topics like the following:

  • Principles of community organizing
  • Researching candidates for state elections
  • Researching issues that affect the Latino community
  • Know your rights workshops
  • Public speaking classes
  • Persuasive writing

The institute requires between 80 and 90 hours of coursework and earns 3 continuing education units (CEUs). Participants who complete the institute receive a professional certificate from the University of Richmond.

History of the Institute

Planning for the institute began in September 2013, when Fr. Jack Podsiadlo, S.J., joined the Sacred Heart Center staff as Director of Leadership. SPCS, through the University’s Center for Leadership in Education led by Dr. Tom Shields, and Fr. Jack of the Sacred Heart Center, consulted to learn community needs, networked with organizations working with the Latino community and designed a curriculum to address those needs.

Because CLE represented a partnership between SPCS and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, the curriculum reflected the Jepson School’s approach to the study and application of leadership. That focus remains in effect.

Sacred Heart Center recruited the first leader cohort to begin in February 2014. Cohort members graduated in January 2015. Since then, leader cohorts have graduated annually from Sacred Heart Center.

Additional locations added through Sacred Heart Center’s network have included Petersburg (2016-17) and Charlottesville (2018-19). The Charlottesville cohort is offered in partnership with Sin Barreras, a small local NGO offering services to the immigrant, mostly Latino, community in and around Charlottesville.

More Information

To learn more about the Latino Leadership Institute, including how to enroll in the next cohort, contact Sacred Heart Center. Questions about the program may be directed to Mary Catherine Raymond at the School of Professional & Continuing Studies.