The People of Color Leadership Network grew out of the Women of Color Policy Network (WOCPN) at NYU Wagner.

WOCPN was founded by the late Professor Walter Stafford in 2000. It conducted original research to influence and shape local, state and national policies that affect women of color, their families and communities and offered leadership development for women of color.

In 2008, WOCPN became an affiliate of RCLA, and in the 2012-13 academic year, we renamed the Network to reflect a new deeper focus on leadership and capacity-building and a mandate broadened to include the leadership of both men and women of color. This shift reflects our recognition of the critical need to applaud, support and accelerate the work of leaders of color conducting research, advocating for more just and equitable policies, and providing services to communities that might otherwise be underserved.

The People of Color Leadership Network aims to play an important role in connecting people of color to exchange best practices and support each other, in strengthening their development as leaders and managers at all levels within organizations, in promoting their engagement in relevant diverse networks where they can collaborate around common visions, and in expanding the impact they have individually and collectively within organizations, systems and on a global scale on issues of public importance.