Policy Institute

Creating New Ideas and Solutions for the Latino Community.

The Latino Center for Leadership Development-Southern Methodist University Tower Center Policy Institute is a partnership formed to identify and propose policy-focused solutions to the Latino community’s most pressing concerns including educational and economic opportunities, voting rights and immigration reform, the under-representation of Latinos in elected and appointed roles, and many more. This unique partnership attracts and engages scholars and thought leaders in an interdisciplinary think-tank focused on creating a framework to analyze and develop policy priorities important to the Latino community. The Institute also provides public forums and outreach supporting greater understanding and influence for and about the Latino community.

The policy institute, located on the campus of SMU, will work in three major areas:

  • Provide influential voices and data to support research on policy issues
  • Offer two-year appointments for postdoctoral scholars who will research and publish their findings on public policy issues, offer a course of their choosing to SMU students and LatinoCLD academy fellows, and serve as a policy advisor to fellows in the leadership academy
  • Provide research grants and public seminars to promote a stronger understanding about the Latino community and to create a dialogue about key societal issues faced by Latinos. The relationship between the SMU Tower Center and LatinoCLD will also allow the LatinoCLD’s new leadership academy fellows to develop as individuals and hone network skills necessary to assume positions of influence with a focus on policy and politics to help people from all spectrums of society. To receive more information about the policy institute, Sign up to receive updates on the Policy Institute.

As part of this partnership, we held a forum - Latinos and the 2016 Election - to discuss the growing Latino electorate, decisive campaign issues, the states where Latinos are expected to have the largest electoral impact, and historical patterns which have driven Latinos to vote. The panelists discussed that while the Latino population is growing at a rapid rate, that growth is not translating to growing political power.

You can watch the highlights of the forum here and the full forum here.