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Certificate Training Series

When James Bell founded BI as a declaration of his unwavering commitment to racial justice, there was little philanthropic giving or charitable donation-making for nonprofits explicitly focused on race, and very few for justice. We laugh now, but he couldn’t have chosen a tougher mission for which to fundraise. James never looks for the easy path, only the right one.

His relentless pursuit of justice, fairness, and equity flows from the love of our people. And as Tshaka, Mike, and I began to share leadership, we wanted BI to honor James and his name, carrying it into our everyday work and into the future, just as he’s done for Haywood.

The James Bell Racial Justice & Structural Well-Being Certificate Training Series is our opportunity to share our best thinking, ideas, and lessons from the field, in a space to shower our people with love, thought partnership, trust, support, and connection. 

Launched in 2023, we accepted 20 participants from an impressive pool of 70+ applicants. After nine months and eight modules (January-September), in a special in-person ceremony in Albuquerque this October, the series graduated its first cohort of racial and social justice advocates across nonprofit, government, and philanthropic sectors. They came from all over the nation, including Dallas, Brooklyn, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Albuquerque, and Asheville (NC), and are at various stages in their careers and vocations.

Witnessing their incisiveness, spirit, and vision has been inspirational. We can’t wait to see how far they go, how they flourish. In the meantime, our goal is to grow the ranks of graduates well into the future. The application process for the second cohort begins in January 2024.