Diversity and Inclusion
As director of CAS LEAD, I am committed to diversity and inclusion. Every year, CAS LEAD brings together students from a diversity of backgrounds, identities, and viewpoints to engage in the study of leadership and ethics. The program curriculum focuses on ethical issues related to inequality, oppression, and systemic injustice and we critically interrogate the relationship between these topics and diversity and inclusion. CAS LEAD, as a part of American University, values open and honest inquiry and the affirmation of the human dignity of all.
In addition, CAS LEAD students are encouraged to participate in student-led affinity groups. For example, the CAS LEAD POC Affinity Group provides space for CAS LEAD students of color to discuss their experiences, create connections, and call attention to leadership challenges racial minorities are likely to face.
“CAS LEAD consists of a group of AU students who are determined to stand up against oppression and inspire others to do so as well. The community CAS LEAD creates is so special in that it promotes personal growth, inclusivity, diversity, genuine relationships, kindness, strength, and opportunities to exhibit ethical leadership within one’s day to day life.”
Arianna O’Brien Cannon, CAS LEAD Psychology Major
“CAS LEAD is a great opportunity to get to know yourself as well as other people through leadership. Without CAS LEAD, I would never have thought to take an ethics class, but I’m glad I did because I’ve learned so much and gained a new perspective. It is also a great way to get involved in the AU and DC community.”
Laura Ellis, CAS LEAD Theater Major
“CAS LEAD offers an opportunity for students to begin cultivating the basic knowledge and skills that every great leader should emulate, regardless of a student's intended CAS field of study. In CAS LEAD, students from different majors and backgrounds are able to form connections with other students, faculty, and staff members through fun events and stimulating discussions. Being a member of CAS LEAD requires students to step into difficult and thought-provoking situations that all leaders experience in their lifetime.”
Yasmine Aziz, CAS LEAD Neuroscience Major
“CAS LEAD has been everything and more than what I had hoped for in a leadership cohort. I look forward to our seminars every week because of their stimulating topics that truly make me think deeply and challenge the ideas that I previously thought on how to be the best leader. Although they make me question social stigmas, ideological differences or ethical principles, my professor and peers have become a place that I have felt most comfortable to express my beliefs or ask any question because everyone is focused on growing as a person as well as a leader. The people I have met through CAS LEAD have been some of the most like-minded people with amazingly different perspectives on topics I never thought I would be able to have conversations about in my college years and I will forever be grateful for the opportunities this program has given me.”
Becky May, CAS LEAD Biochemistry Major
“This program has allowed me a space to discuss complex ethical issues with people who genuinely hope to learn from each other. I have loved watching content from program seminars bleed into other areas of my daily life and even adding depth to issues discussed in other classes.”
Emily Heard, CAS LEAD Psychology Major
"In my everyday coursework, most of my time is spent on the AU Campus, which only offers a glimpse of the professional and leadership opportunities DC has to offer. CAS LEAD encourages us to cultivate and employ our leadership skills outside of the AU bubble; from working with non-profit organizations to volunteering in the community. These experiences have further evoked my sense of purpose, allowing me to visualize the larger societal impact of my work in the classroom."
Jonathan Barley, CAS LEAD Neuroscience Major