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New Quad Cities Latino leadership program seeks applications

Quad Cities, Iowa / Illinois—Latino leaders in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas have a new resource for building their skills, knowledge, and abilities to succeed, lead, and maximize their impact on their community.

This fall, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Council 10 in Davenport will host the first-ever cohort of the Quad Cities Regional LIDERAMOS Leadership Development Program. Part of the LIDERAMOS National Latino Leadership Alliance (NLLA) framework, the program will reach across generations and sectors with a culturally centered curriculum tailored to the needs of Latino leaders in the Quad Cities region, as determined by the input of a bi-state Latino Leadership Planning Committee.

Applications to participate are open now and due by May 31st or until the cohort is full. The first cohort will be limited to 25 participants. The program will launch in September and meet monthly through February 2024. For program information and to apply to participate, visit:


New Quad Cities Latino leadership program seeks applications

Mike Reyes is past president of LULAC Council 10 and state director of the Iowa chapter.

The program is made possible in part by the Quad Cities Community Foundation, which provided $50,000 in grants for LULAC to plan and pilot the program. The Regional Development Authority (RDA) has also granted $10,000 in scholarships for participants.

“When LULAC first heard about the opportunity to host this program, right away we knew it was needed,” said Mike Reyes, LULAC Council 10 administrator, who added that the program is an organic fit with LULAC’s ongoing commitment to enhancing educational opportunities in the region.

According to Joe Moralez, LULAC Council 10 parliamentarian and one of the program’s lead planners, diversity is too often lacking at the leadership level, especially when it comes to Latino representation. “If we can provide our emerging and current leaders with instruction, tools, and resources to facilitate their success, we can add to the diversity of the Quad Cities area.”


Founded on the principles of character, competence, communication, and community service, the leadership development program will offer a unique blend of self-development, mainstream leadership theory, Latino history and culture, public policy and civic engagement, influence strategies, and other focus areas.


“This is not your traditional leadership development model,” said Alfred Ramirez, a diversity and leadership consultant, facilitator, and coach who is helping build the Quad Cities program and has contributed to the national LIDERAMOS framework. “And the program is not just about leadership ‘only for the sake of power, title, or position,’ but leadership ‘for what?’ and ‘for whom?’ Those are some of the questions we’ll be addressing. We will also operate through an equity, diversity, and inclusion perspective as we develop and support a cross-section of Latino leaders at various stages of their career and leadership development, to influence and enhance policies, programs, products, and services in the Quad Cities region.”

New Quad Cities Latino leadership program seeks applications

“The Latino and Hispanic population continues to grow in both Iowa and Illinois and around the country,” added Reyes. “So, this is more than a Latino issue—it’s a community issue, and it’s going to benefit our whole community.”

Opportunities for established regional Latino leaders to be guest speakers or serve as resources will help hone the program’s local focus. “We are fortunate to have Hispanic leaders who have done great things within the Quad Cities,” said Moralez. Over time, the program’s alumni network will grow and remain active in the community.


Discussions around the opportunity for a Latino leadership program in the Quad Cities began a year and a half ago. At the table for the earliest conversations, the Community Foundation maintained a constant presence of encouragement as Latino individuals, community nonprofits, and businesses explored the need and possible solutions. So, when LULAC stepped forward to host a local LIDERAMOS program, the Community Foundation was a natural funding partner.


“This is one way the Community Foundation is pursuing our imperative to advance equity in the Quad Cities,” said Sue Hafkemeyer, president and CEO. “As we look at strategic growth opportunities for our organization’s mission and our region’s future, cultivating a diverse community of leaders is a priority.”


“We know the value of Latino members of our community and the many ways they are already leading,” added Kelly Thompson, vice president of grantmaking and community initiatives. “When they tell us a program like this is important, we hear them and want to support them. We were excited to be part of this process and see it come together the way it has.” Community Foundation funds contributing to the program include the Quad Cities Community Impact Fund, the CommunityWorks Fund, and the Dorothy Jane Folwell Education and Health Care Fund.


To make the program accessible to anyone regardless of their ability to pay, scholarships will be available thanks to the RDA and other potential organizational or corporate sponsors, who are welcomed and encouraged to support this cohort and subsequent cohorts. “Funding in partnership is powerful, and we hope others will be supportive of this program if they know we see its value,” said Matt Mendenhall, president and CEO of the RDA.


For Reyes, who has been involved with LULAC for the last three decades, the potential impact of the Quad Cities Regional LIDERAMOS Leadership Development Program is clear. The program will help current leaders advance to their next levels. “It’s also a two-way street—we need future leaders, and they need support to be prepared for those leadership positions,” he said. “Maybe some of them don’t see themselves as leaders or think they can’t do this. Well, there’s opportunity out there. Here’s an opportunity. Take it!”


Just the facts

  • Quad Cities Regional LIDERAMOS Leadership Development Program for Latinos at various stages of their career and leadership development
  • Hosted by LULAC Council 10 and part of the LIDERAMOS National Latino Leadership Alliance
  • Open to adults 25 and older (as of September 2023) from all sectors in the Quad Cities and surrounding area who identify as Latino, Latina, or Latinx
  • 25 spots available for first cohort
  • Program website and application: https://lideramos.org/programs/lideramos-quad-cities/
  • Email for specific Lideramos program information or questions: lideramosqc@gmail.com
  • Applications due May 31 or until cohort is full
  • Program runs monthly, from September 2023 to February 2024
  • Sliding scale fee, sponsorship option, and scholarships available
  • Initial funding provided by the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Quad Cities Community Impact Fund, the CommunityWorks Fund, and the Dorothy Jane Folwell Education and Health Care Fund, as well as the Regional Development Authority (RDA)
New Quad Cities Latino leadership program seeks applications

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Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.

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