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About the Powerhouse Cohort

Application Deadline:
June 30th

Applications received by 5/31/22 will get priority.

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.   

With the completion of the 1st cohort in March 2023, the Alumni Network is a  powerful network of leaders who are a pipeline for diverse leadership on  nonprofit boards of all sizes.   

Martin University's National Center for Racial Equity and Inclusion, assists leaders, communities, and organizations
Martin University is a social anchor for achieving inclusive excellence and opportunities for all, making them a powerhouse partner for this cohort.

Specifically 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.

Apply for the
2023 cohort?

Deadline June 20th

Support the Cohort:


Sponsor & Partner Opportunities

All live Cohort Gatherings (Orientation and Power Plays) are held at Nexus Impact Center : 

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

2nd Cohort Key Meeting Dates

Preview Night:

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 (5:30-7:00pm)

For applicants, alumni, partners and sponsors

Foundations Orientation (2 days)

Individuals/Board Candidates:

   Thursday, August 10th & 17th (3-6pm)

Nonprofit Boards (join as an organization):  

    Thursday, August 24th & 31st (3-6pm)

Power Plays (5:30-7:00pm)

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2023 

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2024 

  • Wednesday, April  17, 2024 

Ally Groups (virtual)

September, November, December, February and March.  Dates will be published at a later time.  There will be options for different days/times of days to accommodate different schedules.


September 2022
Power Play Recap

Power Talk:  Slowly, Slowly and
Mock Board Meeting

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December 2022
Power Play Recap

DEIAB Panel:  The Fear of Offending or Being Offended

Melanie Hobson 

Business woman, speaker and chairperson of Starbucks Corp.

“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??”   


in partnership with

frequently asked

What is the time commitment for the 2nd Cohort?
The 2023 Cohort is a nine month commitment from August - April with the following elements:

  1. Two orientation sessions which are 3-6pm in August (Thursdays 10th & 17th for Candidates, and 24th & 31st for Nonprofits).  

  2. Five Monthly self-study/challenges - these will vary in time but will be done on your own schedule.  They may range from 30 minutes - 1 hour depending on how much time and effort you put into to reflection and learning.

  3. Three Full Cohort Power Plays - these are the live events at Nexus where the entire cohort gathers.  They are 1.5 hours each (October 18th, January 17th and April 17th)

  4. Five Ally Group Meetings (smaller groups) - these are in the months that there is not a Power Play (Sept, Nov, Dec, Feb and March) Facilitators will set dates/times and locations for the groups.  These meetings will be virtual.  Dates will be published prior to May 1st.


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. 

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 candidates figure out what types of boards (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 they have already done some personal work on personal bias, and systemic inequities.  Nonprofits organizations should be able to show they have already began doing some work on advancing diversity, equity, inclusion access and belonging.  We are also seeking a variety of socioeconomic levels and professionals from different industries.  Board applicants given priority will be those that are historically not represented or under-represented on nonprofit boards:


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!  Check out the CREED document HERE.  Once the cohort starts, participants will create a community agreement to collectively set safe spaces for sharing and learning.

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 as the 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.  This workshop will set a baseline for participants to embark on their DEIAB journey.  We'll work through common DEIAB language among attendees, gain familiarity with unexpecting identities, learn about systemec barriers and oppression and create what DEI allyship looks like.  All of which we will build on and practice throughout the year.

What if I can't make a 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.  It will be well worth your time to attend these live events!


Is there a cost?
There is a registration fee, but there are also opportunities to request scholarships or get discounts provided for volunteering to help with the Power Plays and other logistics of the cohort.  There are also options to pay monthly or annually. The fee for 2023 is $150 per person or to pay $35/month August-December 2023.  Nonprofits are required to send their Executive Director and at least one board member who has at least a year of service left.

What is the application process for 2023?
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.  The deadline for applications will be May 15, 2023.  All accepted applicants will be notified on or before the  June 1,  2023 and will be encouraged to attend the June 21st Preview Night.

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!

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