The Black Leadership Institute (BLI) — publicly announced on December 1, 2021 — seeks to connect, inspire, and uplift 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 needed to build upon their social, financial, knowledge, and cultural capital as they step into positions of greater power and influence.

To Connect, Inspire & uplift Black Leaders

BLI will bring together a national cohort of Black leaders (Fellows) in senior roles across sectors. In its first year, we will recruit at least 20 Black leaders leading in fields or on issues with significant outcome disparities for Black people, i.e. incarceration and recidivism, health and health care, environmental justice, poverty, and education. The national cohort will be comprised of four to five smaller, local cohorts located in Founding Communities across the country, allowing Fellows 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 6 months of 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 to build power and greater 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.

Erica Hamilton, INP Chief of Staff and Executive Vice President, is the Founding Director of BLI. She brings over two decades of experience as an executive in the nonprofit, private, and academic sectors.

Become a Founding Sponsor of the Black Leadership Institute

We are grateful to the Founding Sponsors who have supported BLI to date: Kraft Family Philanthropies, New England Patriots, Barr Foundation, Papitto Opportunity Connection, Angell Foundation, and Fish Family Foundation.

There remain a limited number of opportunities for adding Founding Communities to the first BLI cohort. In order for a community to be designated a Founding Community of BLI, a philanthropic commitment will need to be made to the Institute by March 18, 2022 to ensure we can select the first cohort of BLI Fellows by the launch of our inaugural year in June 2022.

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

Learn more about BLI and becoming a Founding Sponsor here.

Transformative Programming

The program will be designed to allow Fellows to continue to be fully present in their work leadership roles, with a number of hours each week set aside for Fellowship activities.


BLI’s inaugural cohort will begin in the fall of 2022.


More information about the application process for BLI will be available in the spring of 2022.


BLI will be offered at no cost to Fellows or their organizations.

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