To Connect, Inspire & uplift Black Leaders
The Black Leadership Institute (BLI) — publicly announced on December 1, 2021 — seeks to connect, inspire, and uplift senior-level Black leaders doing important work across the country and across sectors. Through transformative programming, BLI supports Black leaders with the resources, network, content, and community to build upon their social, financial, knowledge, and cultural capital as they step into positions of greater power and influence.
BLI brings together a national cohort of Black leaders in senior roles across the nonprofit, philanthropic, public, and private sectors who are leading in fields or on issues with significant outcome disparities for Black people, i.e. workforce development, incarceration and recidivism, health and health care, environmental justice, poverty, and education, for an 18 month fellowship program.
In its first year, beginning in January 2023, the national BLI fellowship cohort will serve 20 senior-level Black leaders from four cities across the country. The program is designed to connect Fellows both nationally and locally, allowing them to develop strong local and national bonds of shared commitment, support, and purpose.
The program includes:
- 18 months of programming including 12 months of in-person regional convenings and virtual sessions with the full national cohort, followed by six months of individual, virtual executive coaching.
- Two in-person retreats (pending travel restrictions) to locations of significance to the Black experience in the US and to the creation of greater Black power as we look towards the future.
- Sessions that anchor on critical topics that enable Black leaders to identify and implement new strategies for building greater power and influence in their communities. Fellows will explore multiple forms of power, currency, and exchange looking through the lenses of social, financial, knowledge, and cultural capital.
- A focus on cultivating joy and renewal through a pedagogy grounded in deep personal connection, community building, mindfulness, and the intersection of self-awareness and leadership.
- A strengthening and building of local and national cross-sector networks.
WHO ARE BLACK LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE FELLOWS?
We know that those most proximate to the social issues impacting our communities are often best equipped to address the critical challenges of our time. That’s why BLI brings together a national cohort of Black leaders across the nonprofit, philanthropic, public, and private sectors who are leading in fields or on issues with significant outcome disparities for Black people.
Ideal candidates for the Black Leadership Institute are:
- Experienced nonprofit, philanthropic, public, and private sector executives, social entrepreneurs, and senior leaders — with direct oversight of a team and budget representing a significant portion of an organization or enterprise’s work — who share a passion for and dedication to racial and gender equity
- Committed to taking on roles that address issues with significant outcome disparities for Black individuals and communities, including but not limited to, workforce development, incarceration and recidivism, health and health care, environmental justice, poverty, and education
- Collaborative leaders who build or expand cross-sector networks, partnerships, and communities for social change, inside and outside of one’s day job
- Engaged in full-time work, for at least ten years, occupying roles with increasing responsibility and a focus on driving impact for historically marginalized communities
- Able to attend all in-person and virtual sessions for BLI; the 2023-24 program schedule of BLI convenings and activities can be found here
- Growth-oriented individuals seeking to enhance their leadership and social impact through peer-based gatherings
- Living in one of our currently confirmed Founding Communities* which now include: Boston, MA, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and Providence, RI
* Don’t see your city on the list of BLI Founding Communities? Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to learn as we expand.
Did you know?
Applications are currently open for our inaugural Black Leadership Institute cohort in Founding Communities across the country, including Boston, MA, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and Providence, RI! The early application deadline is July 30, 2022, with applications accepted on a rolling basis thereafter, pending space available in the program.Apply Now
Erica Hamilton, Founding Director of BLI
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 of a unique program that will give these leaders what they want and need to realize their goals for driving impact in their communities and the world at large.