The organization was founded in 2001 by Freada Kapor Klein, Mitchell Kapor, and Christina Feeny, and was initially known as the Institute for Inclusive Work Environments. The focus area of the institute was expanded to incorporate higher education in 2002.
Level Playing Field Institute has several education programs associated with the University of California at Berkeley. Freada Klein was one of several UC Berkeley alumni that founded the IDEAL, Initiative for Diversity in Education and Leadership, Scholars Fund for exceptional students of color, now a Level Playing Field Institute program.
The other educational programs from LPFI include: