December 2, 2021 | News Article

Institute for Nonprofit Practice Announces Black Leadership Institute to Serve Black Leaders Across Sectors


Joined by Founding Sponsors Kraft Family Philanthropies, New England Patriots, Barr Foundation, and more

December 2, 2021, Boston — The Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP), which works to transform the social impact sector to be more effective, equitable, diverse, and connected, announced the launch of its newest initiative, a national Black Leadership Institute (BLI), alongside Founding Sponsors Kraft Family Philanthropies, New England Patriots, Barr Foundation, Papitto Opportunity Connection, Angell Foundation, and Fish Family Foundation during an event hosted at Gillette Stadium yesterday.

The program, set to launch in fall 2022, will address the well-documented racial leadership gap and unique systemic challenges that Black leaders across sectors face as they advance in their careers and influence by offering transformative programming to connect, inspire, and uplift Black leaders across the country.

“INP was built to advance organizational effectiveness and to address the lack of representation of BIPOC in leadership. Through BLI, we have the opportunity to recognize and invest in Black leaders doing incredible work to advance equity and justice, providing the time and space for leaders to connect, collaborate, and build a lasting network of support,” said INP President and CEO Yolanda Coentro. “In a time when progress is being threatened and our nation grapples with its history of anti-Black racism, we hope that this program will fuel Black leaders with lasting inspiration, relationships, and platforms, helping them stay the course. We are immensely grateful to the Founding Sponsors who swiftly responded to this idea with support, making BLI possible.”

BLI will launch with a national cohort of fellows comprised of groups located in Founding Communities across the country. The inaugural cohort will be selected from candidates leading on issues with significant outcome disparities for Black people, including incarceration and recidivism, healthcare, poverty, environmental justice, and education. Leaders will share, learn, and leverage strategies to advance their capital—cultural, financial, social, and knowledge. The 18-month program, offered at no cost to fellows, is set to open applications for those interested in spring 2022.

Erica Hamilton, Founding Director of BLI, who brings over two decades of experience as an executive in the nonprofit, private, and academic sectors, said, “Investing in Black entrepreneurs, communities, and social impact leaders is of critical importance. Black leaders are often the most underinvested in, the least well resourced, and the most isolated in their work to lift up their communities and advance the progress of Black and Brown communities. Through BLI, we have the opportunity to center Black leaders in design and implementation and to give leaders what they need to realize their goals for their communities.”

Kraft Family Philanthropies was among the first funders to support BLI, awarding INP a $250,000 matching gift to encourage future donor participation—a time-bound challenge INP successfully met and surpassed. “My family and the New England Patriots are thrilled INP was able to meet this goal and launch the Black Leadership Institute. We have a long history of making philanthropic investments that support a vision of social justice for all. This new initiative will work to eradicate inequity, at both the individual and systemic level, ensuring leaders who have been historically marginalized receive access to the resources they need to leave a profound impact on the communities they serve,” said Kraft Family Philanthropies President Josh Kraft.

Alongside Kraft Family Philanthropies and the New England Patriots, the Barr Foundation served as a key donor, contributing $1 million to the seed funding INP has raised for BLI to date. Founding Sponsors also include Papitto Opportunity Connection, Fish Family Foundation, and the Angell Foundation which gave INP its first sponsorship for the new initiative. There remain a limited number of opportunities for adding Founding Communities to the first BLI cohort, and interested philanthropists should contact INP.

Barr Foundation President and Trustee Jim Canales said, “INP has proven its model for delivering the highest quality programming, rooted in social justice. Their programs equip racially diverse leaders with the knowledge and networks to have even greater impact in their organizations and communities. Barr is honored to provide significant support to this new initiative fostering Black-led social impact on a national scale. BLI promises to be a powerful program that merits the support of any of us who prioritize racial justice and effective, inclusive leadership.”

BLI was announced during INP’s inaugural Racial Equity Leadership Summit, an event held for its students, alumni, and faculty members. The day featured a fireside chat with Yolanda Coentro and #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist Dr. Ibram X. Kendi; a performance by rapper and poet Oompa; and sessions on race, leadership, and social impact from racial equity strategist and educator Dr. Darnisa Amante-Jackson and INP Faculty Director and Vice President Aviva Luz Argote. The BASE Founder and President Robert Lewis, Jr. provided opening remarks for the summit’s culminating panel discussion Leadership On and Off the Field: A Conversation on the Power of Leadership to Advance Racial Justice which included Kraft Family Philanthropies President Josh Kraft, NFL Hall of Famer Andre Tippett, and former New England Patriots Player Cedric Jones.

About the Institute for Nonprofit Practice:

The Institute for Nonprofit Practice works to ensure that the most promising nonprofit leaders have the skills, knowledge, networks, resources, and confidence they need to effectively lead, advance justice, and build a more equitable future for all. Through academically distinguished certificate programs, the Institute trains executives, managers, and emerging leaders across the country. Central to the Institute’s work is a focus on social justice and supporting women and people of color to step into leadership roles of greater influence; the majority of the Institute’s students and alumni identify as BIPOC, and over 60% are women. For more information, visit or follow @InstituteNP.

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