Leadership Institute

Transform your passion for social justice into action.

All over the world, youth are advocating for change both locally and globally. Through the Brown Leadership Institute—no matter your current level of engagement—you’ll increase your ability and effectiveness in advancing social justice.

Students laughing in a Leadership Institute course.There are two ways to participate in the Leadership Institute: 

  • a two-week on-campus session
  • a four-week online session

Through both methods of learning, you’ll meet students from all over the world who are passionate about a wide variety of issues, including topics such as racial justice, educational access, and gender equity. You will spend your days delving into compelling topics in a course of your choosing, actively engaging with your peers and instructor. As you grapple with complex problems and brainstorm possible solutions together, you will practice a collaborative model of leadership honing your skills in active listening, public speaking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and teamwork. Building on all of this new knowledge, you’ll develop an Action Plan you can take home and apply in your school or community. (Wondering what this looks like? Check out past examples.)

What to Study?

Select one course of study from an array of options, each focusing on current social issues and topics. Past courses have included:

  • Women and Leadership
  • Leadership and Conflict Resolution
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Law and Social Change
  • The Future of Science and Technology
  • Immigration and Refugee Policy in the United States
  • Leadership and Global Health


Program Snapshot

Students completing grades 9–12, ages 14–18 by June 19, 2022

Enroll in one course for the 2-week residential program or the 4-week online program

Choose one of two sessions:

June 27 – July 8 on-campus
July 11 – August 5 online

Brown University campus in Providence, Rhode Island
Online through Canvas, Brown’s Learning Management System


  • Join a community of young leaders who are committed to social change.
  • Practice socially responsible leadership and develop a meaningful Action Plan.
  • Gain guidance, insight and empowerment to address critical issues in meaningful and sustainable ways.
  • Concentrate on learning without the pressure of formal grades.
  • Receive a Course Performance Report and Certificate of Completion when you successfully finish.



To build a strong learning community, you will be housed with other Leadership Institute students on campus in the same Brown University residence halls. Students living on campus eat their meals in Brown’s dining halls and have access to the University’s libraries, study centers and Writing Center. Although your time will be limited, you’ll also have the opportunity to engage with other pre-college students in a range of activities that help you grow as a person. See Life on the Brown Campus for more information.

A typical day

7:30 – 9:00 am Breakfast in a dining hall
9:00 – 11:30 am Class and Leadership Workshops*
11:30 am – 1:00 pm Lunch in a dining hall
1:00 – 3:00 pm Class and Leadership Workshops*
3:00 – 6:00 pm Free time for homework or co-curricular activities
6:00 – 7:30 pm Dinner in a dining hall
7:30 – 10:00 pm Free time for homework or co-curricular activities
Students will have 1-3 hours of homework each day
10:00 pm Curfew

*Past summer’s topics include: Introduction to Leadership Styles; Exploring Identity and Privilege


Participating in the Leadership Institute online offers all the benefits of online study at Brown, supplemented by twice-weekly required synchronous workshops with classmates and 1-1 meetings with your instructor, and optional webinars with guest speakers. In these  “live” and online course components, you have the opportunity to further enhance your leadership skills, explore socially responsible leadership and work to develop a meaningful Action Plan. Studying online gives you the freedom to decide when and where you learn on a daily basis. And with more time to reflect, read and write, you can enhance important critical thinking skills and strengthen your capacity for self-discipline and personal responsibility; skills that are necessary for success in both in-person and online learning environments.

A typical day

Plan to spend a couple of hours each day (and about 15-20 hours per week) on a variety of activities related directly to the course you are taking.  Most days you will be doing some independent reading, engaging in written discussions sessions with classmates, listening to a guest lecturer or a video from your instructor, and working on your Action Plan. Twice a week your classmates will come together for synchronous workshops. You will also meet virtually with faculty for one-on-one support, and throughout the course engage with students in a community of learners all committed to effecting positive change in their communities and in the world.  

And outside of “class,” you’ll have the opportunity to engage with pre-college students taking other courses in a range of activities that help you grow as a student and as a person. See Your Virtual Community for more information.

Program Director