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The LEP About Us

About LEP


A Safety Net

In 1983 Ebony magazine published a special edition on “The Crisis of the Black Male.” The cover story of the magazine raised the issue about the “crisis” and placed it on the men of color media and policy agenda. And then the statistics came, which concluded that the crisis of the men of color lie in high rates of criminality, incarceration, alcohol and drug use, unwed parenting, and premature death; their low rates of legal employment, high school completion, college attendance, and active participation in the lives of their children. 


Over 35 years later, the same issues remain and the numbers are rising. Although today there seems to be a renewed sense of urgency because we are losing black and brown boys by Grade 4 and at the same time it seems that there is a sense of resignation to the reality that more prisons are being built to warehouse them than schools. The Center on American Progress released a disturbing statistic concerning the future of men of color…one out of three men of color is destined for prison.


Promising research shows that programming in leadership development and sustainability, mentoring, and the creation of opportunity were key factors in turning the tide.  It is our heart’s desire and prayer to place a net under those two out three young men of color and help to ensure they do not fall through the cracks. 

Read more about the LEP founder and our leadership curriculum partnership with the John Maxwell Organization here.


The Leadership Empowerment Project is 501c3 Charity. 

Program participants will meet criteria outlined by LEP. To be considered, participants must be identified and recommended by college professor, dean, president or representatives of community and faith-based institutions. The final phase of the program matches the participant with an appropriate mentor, based on career goals and fields of study.  


LEP recruits a culturally diverse pool of mentors, trained in life coaching by LEP staff. Mentors guide the participants through the process of securing internships and first time job opportunities. They also continue to support participants as they settle into their respective career paths. 


Project Description


Our Mission & Vision

Our Mission is to identify Freshman and Sophomore college young men of color who, through leadership training and mentoring, are prepared and guided on their journey to become college graduates and effective leaders in the public, private and charitable sectors. 


LEP will become a national model for effective development of men of color at the freshman and sophomore college levels. Our hope is that our training and development program will be considered a “best practice” and can be replicated in the short term statewide and ultimately at the national level. 


We envision:  

  • LEP reaching national penetration through the growth of the alumni network and the placement of LEP mentors and trainers. 

  • A train-the-trainer program so that national growth occurs.

  • An “Each One, Reach One, Teach One” model that will be the basis of a strong LEP alumni network of men of color.

  • The LEP program model for men of color to one day include an outreach to women of color.

  • A LEP network of partners and individuals that can help develop resources that will fund all our visionary intentions so that we may reach as many young people who deserve an opportunity to realize their potential and understand the importance of their contributions to the world.

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