March 01, 2021

From FLIP the Script to LEAPing Forward: Why the Change?

Presenter from iCode teaching a coding session

Previously known as Diversifying Future Leadership in the Professoriate (FLIP) Alliance, the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) in collaboration with the faculty and staff advocates, replaced the name of this  signature program to one that is more inclusive. The FLIP Alliance will now be called the LEAP Alliance to embody the vision of diversifying LEAdership in the Professoriate. This  program will continue to focus on increasing the diversity of faculty in computing by increasing the diversity of the doctoral student graduates at the institutions that are the top producers of computing faculty.  

Last year, the CMD-IT leadership team, along with the alliance, were made aware of how the former name has historically been used in an offensive manner towards people of Filipino descent. CMD-IT is committed to being culturally competent, sensitive, and aware. Before considering naming a program, a great resource to review is List of Ethnic Slurs by Ethnicity.  

“Since the inception in 2017, the LEAP Alliance has made strides with respect to building community among the faculty and staff advocates as well as the fellows, and increasing the diversity of the doctoral students at the LEAP institutions,” said Valerie Taylor, the CEO and President of CMD-IT and PI on the NSF INCLUDES grant that launched the alliance.  The co-PI on the grant is Charles Isbell, Dean of the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. 

“We’re thankful that our community feels welcomed and engaged in a way that allows for transparency and evolution. It was some of the Fellows who brought this name issue to our attention,” said Rosario Robinson, the Executive Director of CMD-IT. “Just like we aim to inform others within the industry, we too recognize that we are learning and look forward to continuing to respond in the best interest of those we serve.” 

For more information on LEAP, click here