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Leadership Across Difference (Overview and Resources)This is a featured page

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The civil unrest in Los Angeles increased awareness about the need to cultivate leadership with the ability to cross ethnic divides within communities. The Asian Pacific American Legal Center took the lead in convening people engaged in leadership work to talk about leadership approaches and programs that help communities to coalesce across differences and around larger community issues that connect the concerns of different groups. In California the recent passage of Proposition 8 which threatens to pit the gay and African American communities reaffirms the need for leadership that understands and fosters our interdependence. The election of a biracial president in the US points to an opportunity for mobilization across identity lines. On a global level there is interesting work occurring around a new pluralism that transcends religious difference. We are a global world where the lines of national differences are blurred and require a new response of global citizenship. There are many dimensions of the need to think about leadership from the lens of human divides as a critical part of Leadership for a New Era and we look forward to your contributions.


Books and Articles

  • "Building Alliances: Collaboration Between Rural Organizing Project (ROP) and CAUSA in Oregon: A Leadership for a Changing World Collaborative Ethnography." By Lynn Stephen. New York: 2006.
  • Learning Community Partnerships and the Evaluation of Boundary-Crossing Leadership Development in Health by Claire Reinelt, Dianne Yamashiro-Omi and Deborah Meehan (Submitted to The Foundation Review for publication)
  • The California Endowment. (2006). A Conversation on Boundary-Crossing Leadership, September 2006.
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Center (2003). Crossing Boundaries: An Exploration of Effective Leadership Development in Communities, April 2003.
    Asian Pacific American Legal Center (2005a).
  • Equipping Leaders for Change: A Rational for Boundary-Crossing Leadership Development in the Health Sector, A Report by the Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR) Program, Submitted to The California Endowment, March 2005.
    Asian Pacific American Legal Center (2005b).
  • LDIRs in Health: Proposed Program Outlines for a Boundary-Crossing Leadership Development Program for the Health Sector. A Report by the Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR) Program, Submitted to The California Endowment, March 2005.
  • Blackwell, A., Kwoh, S., and Pastor, M. (2002). Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America, New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Connerley, M. L., & Pedersen, P. B. (2005). Leadership in a diverse and multicultural environment: Developing awareness, knowledge, and skills. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Powerpoint Presentations


  • The Center for Creative Leadership Leading Across Differences Initiative
The Leadership Across Differences (LAD) project is a multi-year, multi-country research project examining the challenges of leading in a context of difference. Especially focused on how understanding and bridging differences in organizational contexts.
  • The California Endowment formally launched its Boundary-Crossing Leadership in Health Initiative in 2004. TCE embraced a “grassroots to treetops” approach to grantmaking that placed an emphasis on training and development of individual and community leadership in diverse communities and fostering increased collaboration across sectors and professions to accelerate social change. Seven leadership programs were funded as part of the initiative, along with the Leadership Learning Community which convened the grantees in a learning community and evaluation process. One of TCE’s core strategies for disseminating BCL and increasing the number of communities that were using BCL in their work was to fund the creation of a learning community where key program staff from each of the programs could engage in shared inquiry about what BCL is; what forms it takes in different contexts; what they know about how to develop and assess BCL; and what impact it has for community health. The purpose was to learn from one another how to measure and communicate the impact of their work and how to increase the capacity of boundary-crossing leadership to foster the changes needed to significantly address health disparities broadly.
    The final component of TCE’s BCL Initiative approach was to raise the visibility of BCL as a strategy among TCE staff, and capture and promote the variety of approaches for cultivating and supporting BCL in different contexts. TCE funded videotaping of interviews with Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO of PolicyLink; Stewart Kwoh, Founder and Executive Director of APALC; Bob Ross, President and CEO of The California and Endowment; and Alonzo Plough, TCE VP of Program, Planning and Evaluation; and field footage and interviews with participants of each of the programs. Both a publication and video were produced and disseminated through the TCE website, LLC’s Health Leadership Learning Circle, and at a statewide meeting of program participants from across all the seven programs. Videos of each program were also made available to their staff so that they could use them to promote their programs.

Research Projects


  • Leadership Development in Interethnic Relations (LDIR)
  • Blogpost on Boundary-Crossing Leadership
This blogpost shares two reports that were written about a learning community partnership between The California Endowment and eight grantees that were funded as part of a Boundary-Crossing Leadership Initiative. LLC convened and facilitated the learning community partnership which has now become LLC's Social Justice Circle.

Meetings and Events

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Latest page update: made by nataliallc , Oct 12 2010, 3:39 PM EDT (about this update About This Update Edited by nataliallc

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