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, and have been for at least ten years, with increasing responsibility and vision to drive 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.

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Transformative Programming

The Black Leadership Institute fellowship includes 12 months of in-person regional convenings, virtual sessions with the full national cohort, and two community building retreats followed by six months of individual, virtual executive coaching.

Regional Gatherings (In-Person)

Regional gatherings are held in-person on the first Thursday of each month for the Fellows in a specific Founding Community (Boston, MA, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and Providence, RI; exact timing to be determined by each regional cohort). These convenings include discussions 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. During July 2023, regional gatherings will be paused to allow time for Fellows to engage in independently-led community building activities.

National Sessions (Virtual)

National sessions include all Fellows and are hosted virtually from 1-5pm ET on the third Thursday of each month, lasting for approximately four hours (including breaks and meal time). Sessions will 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. During July 2023, national sessions will be paused to allow time for Fellows to engage in independently-led community building activities.

Overnight Retreats

Opening Retreat: The Opening Retreat is anticipated to occur in January 2023 and will be a three-day, two-night destination event in a location with deep significance and connection to Black history, leadership, and/or wealth building in the US.

Closing Retreat: The Closing Retreat is anticipated to occur in December 2023 and will be a three-day, two-night destination event in a location with deep significance and connection to Black history, leadership, and/or wealth building in the US.

Executive Coaching

Six individual, virtual sessions with an Executive Coach will be offered to each Fellow.

Schedule & Locations

BLI’s inaugural cohort will begin in Founding Communities across the country in January 2023, including Boston, MA, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and Providence, RI. The program is designed to allow Fellows to continue to be fully present in their leadership roles, with virtual sessions, in-person gatherings, overnight retreats, and executive coaching set aside for fellowship activities throughout its 18 month duration.

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.

Regional Gatherings (In-Person)

Regional gatherings are held in-person on the first Thursday of each month for the Fellows in a specific Founding Community (Boston, MA, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and Providence, RI; exact timing to be determined by each regional cohort). These convenings include discussions that anchor on critical topics that enable Black leaders to identify and implement new strategies for building greater power and influence in their communities, along with a meal. Fellows will explore multiple forms of power, currency, and exchange looking through the lenses of social, financial, knowledge, and cultural capital. During July 2023, regional gatherings will be paused to allow time for Fellows to engage in independently-led community building activities.

National Sessions (Virtual)

National sessions include all Fellows and are hosted virtually from 1-5pm ET on the third Thursday of each month, lasting for approximately four hours (including breaks and meal time). Sessions will 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. During July 2023, national sessions will be paused to allow time for Fellows to engage in independently-led community building activities.

Overnight Retreats

Opening Retreat: The Opening Retreat is anticipated to occur in January 2023 and will be a three-day, two-night destination event in a location with deep significance and connection to Black history, leadership, and/or wealth building in the US.

Closing Retreat: The Closing Retreat is anticipated to occur in December 2023 and will be a three-day, two-night destination event in a location with deep significance and connection to Black history, leadership, and/or wealth building in the US.

Executive Coaching

Six individual, virtual sessions with an Executive Coach will be offered to each Fellow.

View Program Schedule

Process

Our application process consists of:

  • An online application, requiring a resume and responses to a few questions
  • Submission of two recommendations
  • Brief video interview (approximately 30 minutes)

Completed applications will be reviewed with priority for each deadline. Applicants will receive a more detailed timeline during the interview process.

Application Deadlines

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

Tuition

Thanks to the generosity of our funding partners, BLI is offered at no cost to Fellows or their organizations.

alumni community

Become a lifelong learner. Check out our Alumni page for more on INP Alumni benefits.

Founding Sponsors

We are grateful to all of the Founding Sponsors who have supported the Black Leadership Institute to date, including:

Presenting National Sponsors

  • Anonymous
  • Barr Foundation
  • The TJX Companies, Inc.

Founding Community Sponsors

  • Kraft Family Philanthropies & New England Patriots 
  • Papitto Opportunity Connection

Gold Sponsors

  • Angell Foundation
  • Kresge Foundation
  • Weingart Foundation

Silver Sponsors

  • Fish Family Foundation

Philanthropists who are interested in supporting BLI and/or bringing BLI to their community should contact Stacey Harris, INP Vice President of National Expansion, at sharris@nonprofitpractice.org.

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