The Leadership Institute (LI)

Applications are now open for the semester-long Fall 2022 Leadership Institute!

Please submit your application to join the Leadership Institute by Monday, Aug.1, to be prioritized for the limited number of spaces in the fall 2022 cohort.


The Leadership Institute: For Faculty, Staff, & Students and Community members engaged formally or informally in diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and justice work

Launched in 1998, Leadership Institute (LI) is the longest-running learning community facilitated by LCICE. It provides participants with the opportunity for sustained exposure to divergent identities, experiences, and viewpoints through dialogue where each individual contributes to others’ learning and unlearning. Meeting weekly and co-creating a safe and respectful learning environment, participants share experiences, confront assumptions and deconstruct historically dominant social paradigms and systems of power. In doing so, participants develop their leadership capacities to interact more effectively across multiple perspectives and social identities. Semester-long engagement engenders relationship-and trust-building, which is key to promoting and sustaining equitable and just working, teaching, and learning environments for all at UW–Madison.

This space upends the traditional definition of “leadership” based on position and hierarchy to build opportunities for all participants to hone their leadership capacities, commitment, and agency to be a leader of societal change toward equity and justice. To that end, Leadership Institute is a space for people engaging formally or informally with diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice work at UW–Madison. This may be written into your job description, part of your service work on campus, your informal role within your team or department, or infused in many other ways into your work at UW.

photo of LI participants in conversation
LI Large Group session from 2017

As a participant in Leadership Institute, you will have an opportunity to explore:

  • your own social conditioning through dialogue in community
  • your personal story within the larger historical contexts and systems of oppression
  • tools and practices to build inclusive spaces, including:
    • value of dialogue – listening with intention to hear (not respond)
    • sharing personal stories; demonstrating vulnerability
    • engaging with conflict; giving and receiving feedback
    • heightened awareness of self and others within group dynamics

Weekly Group Meetings
You will be part of a group of approximately 10-12 participants, including group participant facilitators, who meet weekly for 2 hours on Tuesdays from 10:00am – 12:00pm from Sept. 13 – Dec. 13.  Your group will consist of participants selected to reflect diverse social identities, backgrounds, and professional experience. Some meetings will occur in Caucus/Affinity Groups based on race/ethnicity and potentially other social identities.

Large Group Meetings
Periodically, all participants will gather as a large group for 3 hours to deepen our learning together. All large group meetings will be held on selected Tuesdays from 10:00 – 1:00. The dates of these sessions will be shared when you are accepted to join Leadership Institute so you can make any necessary arrangements to attend the longer sessions more easily.

For some reflections of the impact of Leadership Institute by past participants, see select

LCICE sessions 2017

video and written testimonials.

For more information about the program please contact:
Learning Communities for Institutional Change and Excellence (LCICE)
188A Bascom Hall, 500 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706