top of page
Inclusivity & Equity for Diverse Boards header.jpg

2022 Cohort
Accepting 25 Board Candidates and 10 Nonprofit Organizations 

About the Cohort

Our goal with this cohort is to advance equity and inclusion on diverse boards in order to more effectively and efficiently get to root causes of social problems.

When boards diversify, they often do so without the right mindset on how their board will need to change to be inclusive, fail to prepare themselves to be challenged with different lines of thinking that are not consistent with their own life experience, and aren't ready for the boat to be rocked in a healthy manner. 


The result when diversity does not include equity and inclusion:  more damage than good.   

This cohort will become a pipeline for new and diverse leadership for nonprofit boards of all sizes.   Further, with the inclusion of leaders from nonprofits which are dedicated to solving root causes smarter with boards that represent stakeholders, the network will be a collective powerhouse for moving the needle on social issues in our community. 


With nonprofit board experience often being a criteria for Corporate Board Leadership opportunities, the longer term vision is to create a pipeline for leadership in for-profit board rooms as well, thereby influencing social impact on a grander scale.



Every person's authentic self can exist and they can feel safe, seen, heard and valued.

Key Dates

Preview Night:

Wednesday, March 23rd 5:30-7p

Orientation Workshops Candidates (2 parts):

Wednesday, April 13th 3-6p

Wednesday, April 20th 3-6p

Orientation Workshops Nonprofits (2 parts):

Wednesday, April 27th 3-6p

Wednesday, May 4th 3-6p

Quarterly Power Plays:

Wednesday, June 15th 5:30-7p

Wednesday, Sept. 20th 5:30-7p

Wednesday, Dec. 7th 5:30-7p

Wednesday, March 15th 5:30-7p


Nexus Impact Center 9511 Angola Ct. (I-465 & Michigan Rd.)

This cohort will provide intentional development that has some flexibility with self-study work (we don't all fit into the same box).  Nonetheless, it is vital that you are processing in a safe environment  with a diverse group of allies and peers.  All participants will sign a nondisclosure agreement due to the personal nature of some of the topics and organizational information that may be shared.

The cohort will have 4 different components:

  1. Interactive Orientation Workshop (2 sessions for 3 hours each)

  2. Monthly Self-study Materials & Challenges available online

  3. Monthly (10 of 12 months) Smaller Ally Group Meetings (live and virtual options approximately 1hr)

  4. Quarterly Power Play Gatherings (1.5 hours)

What it is Not

  • Match Making - the goal is not to match you with someone else in the cohort for opportunities.  Those relationships will be organic.

  • A quick and easy program - there are many resources out there for a one hour, one day or one week program.  

Martin University's National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion, assists leaders, communities, and organizations
in their efforts to strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion. 
A few of NCREI's priorities
are around developing inclusive leaders and social responsibility through education, collaboration, and collective impact.
Martin University is a social anchor for achieving inclusive excellence and opportunities for all, making them a powerhouse partner for this cohort.

What kind of environment can I expect?

To set you up for success, and all of us for collective impact, we agree to the CREED which is a set of values, level of transparency, grace (with self and others), and commitment to ongoing learning and engagement.  Overall, while the subject may be heavy at times, it is also a space for encouragement, positivity and real change!

CREED Document
If you are considering applying, look over the CREED to learn more about the expectations and commitment.




Keep scrolling for frequently asked questions on . . . 

Time Commitment,
        Application Process,
              and more...


Certificate Awarded upon Completion of Cohort:  
Inclusivity & Equity Board Leader Certificate

Deadline for Applications: 
Friday, March 18th

“If I walked you into a Fortune 500 and everyone around the board table was black, you would think THAT IS WEIRD.  If I walked you into a Fortune 500 Board Room and everyone around the table is a white male, WHEN will we think THAT is weird too??”   

Melanie Hobson 

Business woman, speaker and chairperson of Starbucks Corp.


Sponsor & Partner Opportunities

Accenture has over 2 million views on this video which addresses many different perspectives: sharing pressures, anxieties, strains and more. 

To invest in

your own


you must

invest time



Accenture Video.png

in partnership with


frequently asked

What is the time commitment?
The program was designed with a certain level of flexibility to ensure that people weren't precluded from participating due to too many time constraints. Nonetheless, there are some essential elements that are required: 

  1. Two orientation sessions which are 3 hours each (see key dates above).  

  2. Monthly self-study/challenges - these will vary in time but will be done on your own schedule.  They may range from 30 minutes - 2 hours depending on how much time and effort you put into to reflection and learning.

  3. Monthly Ally Groups - there will be 10 of these between May 2022 - April 2023.  You may chose which Ally Group works best for you each month.  Facilitators will set dates/times and locations (some may be virtual) for the groups.  

  4. Quarterly Power Plays - these are the live events at Nexus where the entire cohort gathers.  They are 1.5 hours each (see key dates above for dates/times).


Who is a Board Candidate?
A board candidate is anyone interested in serving on a nonprofit board, or already serving on a nonprofit board.  They are coming for their own development to be an active player in creating cultures where inclusivity and equity are thriving in the board room.  Inclusive boards that genuinely share power, take in different perspectives and properly represent the people the nonprofit serve are the organizations that are best equipped to move the needle on social issues.  

Do I need to be serving on a Board or have a Board opportunity already?
You do not!  Many people may have a passion for a certain cause and desire to serve on a board, but aren't sure what that entails, not sure if they can provide value, or don't want to be the first woman or person of color to begin the diversification on a particular board.  This cohort will equip candidates to serve on diverse boards (and newly diverse boards), as well as help them figure out what types of board (there are various types of boards and board expectations), and areas of social impact that are the best use of their time and talent.  Further, there will be connections and resources for helping the board candidates find a board to serve with if they would like to utilize those resources.

What are the qualifications?
Both board candidates and nonprofit organizations must demonstrate that have already done some personal work on understanding implicit bias and for nonprofits organizational work on advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.  We are also seeking a variety of socioeconomic levels and professionals from different industries.  Board applicants given priority will be those that meet at least one of the following demographics that are historically not represented or under-represented on nonprofit boards:

     a.  Women

     b.  People of color

     c.  People age 18 - 35

While these do not represent all underrepresented groups, anyone who represents an underrepresented group will be considered with a recommendation or referral.  Future cohorts will likely focus recruiting efforts/prioritize different underrepresented groups.

What is the Preview Night and is it required to attend?

The preview night is encouraged but not required.  The Preview Night will have a similar format at the Quartlery Power Plays, enabling you to get a feel for the program, meet others, and learn more about the cohort to make sure this is a good fit for you too.

What does the orientation cover?

The two orientation sessions are required for all participants and facilitated by Davyd Hall, Executive Director of the National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion at Martin University.  The orientation has 3 sections: 

  1. DEI Foundations Training establishes an equivalent baseline for participants to embark on their DEI journey. This training session introduces the DEI Foundation Model, works to provide a common DEI language among attendees, gain familiarity with unexpecting identities, learn about systemic barriers and oppression, and understand allyship.
  2. Effective Communication explores communication and how it impacts our daily lives. With meaningful activities, this session instills the importance of communication in DEI and the sense of belonging with others you work with.

  3. Sense of Belonging sessions are designed to develop an understanding belonging and igniting coalition building efforts within an organization or group. Attendees will navigate through nuances, situation, perspectives, and opinions that directly correlate to recruitment, retainment, and experiences of employees and stakeholders.

What if I can't make a Quarterly Power Play?

The Quarterly Power Play is where you get to connect with everyone else in the cohort, receive a motivational and compelling Ted-type talk, and have opportunities for some more formal networking.  While not required, it will be well worth your time to attend these live events!


Is there a cost?
There is a small registration fee (compared to other programs), but there are also opportunities to request scholarships or get discounts provided for volunteering to help with the quarterly Power Plays and other logistics of the cohort.  Board Candidate cost is $100 for the year, or $10/month.  Nonprofits cost is $200 for the year or $20/month.  

What is the application process?
We are accepting online applications starting February 1st (see links below).  Applicants need to be invited or referred to the cohort.  If you are interested in applying and do not have a referral, you can schedule an interview with the Executive Director of Nexus to be considered.  All accepted applicants will be notified on or before Monday, March 28, 2022.

More Questions?
We would love to chat!  Whether you have questions about the program, or want to offer resources/support or scholarships, email Robin K. Lee at

Thank you to
our collaborative partners and sponsors!

ProAct University.png
CharitableAlliesHorizontal white.png
Next Pivot Point Logo.jpg
PerSonal Logo.jpg
Brewer & Associates.png
Untitled design (1).png
JGA Logo Horizontal RGB.jpg
bottom of page