The Latino Education and Advocacy Days (LEAD) projects at Cal State San Bernardino will launch its own digital platform this summer with both original programming that includes replaying segments from the past decade of LEAD Summit conferences and affiliate programming that distributes content from collaborative projects.

The programming, which will launch on Thursday, June 17, will be through the newly created LEAD Media Platform website and will also include other LEAD project events as well as new programming on an ongoing basis, said Enrique Murillo Jr., a CSUSB professor of teacher education and foundations and LEAD executive director.

“The world flipped upside down during the pandemic as we could no longer meet in-person, as the safety and security of our communities became our top priority and we wanted to ensure the well-being of all,” Murillo said. The digital programming will complement LEAD projects’ ongoing work, he said.

“We will continue to work with our various long-standing media partners and outlets during our annual LEAD Summit and Conference, which is why we are able to reach 300 million households/media market share,” Murillo said. “We also have regularly hosted for many years on-campus events with thousands of attendees. We, too, have had great success as our yearly social media engagement and impressions count regularly exceed 7 million.”

LEAD serves as a primary site for a set of innovative and productive programs, publications and events for Latinos and education. 

Our impact and success are grounded on collaboration, participation and outreach,” Murillo said.

“Our work, by necessity, involves significant participation of faculty, students and administrators, as well as partnerships in the region and nationally,” he said. “This digital platform hopes to continually increase our professional and public academic visibility as we long have entered into the social network of influencers or influential ideas. This too will better cultivate our learning communities either via individual consumption or through our nearly 2,000 LEAD townhall webcast viewing chapters and collaborative partners across 43 countries.”

The projects also create strong interactive connections with Latino networks in the U.S., as well as with Latin Americans and Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas and the world, many whom are already in contact with LEAD personnel and the university.

The annual LEAD Summit and Conference activities hope to resume Friday, March 25, through Saturday, April 2, 2022, after being canceled in the spring of 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic. The LEAD Summit is tentatively planned for Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

“In hopes of regaining momentum and as part of a post-pandemic future, we feel it’s imperative at this moment to better take our message directly to the people – via distribution of original and affiliate digital programming through our LEAD Media Platform,” said Robert Garcia, CSUSB information technology consultant and webmaster for LEAD projects.

“Both the Academic Technology and Innovations (ATI) Division as well as Pfau Library Special Collections and University Archives staff have been instrumental in the project,” said Garcia. “We are also most proud to have a production team made up of CSUSB students who serve as crew and staff, responsible for many of the technical and editing aspects of creating content, regardless of where in the process their expertise is required, or how long they are involved in the project.”

LEAD-related videos will be available to watch across popular online video sharing and social media platforms, principally YouTube. Videos will also be made available across academic outlets such as CSUSB ScholarWorks, which is an open access institutional repository showcasing and preserving the research, scholarship and publications of Cal State San Bernardino faculty, staff and students, Garcia said.

Digital audio files will also be made available for convenient and integrated listening. Users can download via the most popular streaming applications to manage across multiple podcast sources and playback devices. The cost to the user will be complimentary as LEAD projects is sharing our common interest in the analysis, discussion, critique, dissemination and commitment to the educational issues that impact Latinos, Garcia added.