This program, originally conceived by Natanja Craig Oquendo of the Boston Women’s Fund, and Andrea Madu and Stephanie Guidry of the Boston Foundation, is inspired by two groundbreaking women of color leaders: Anna Faith Jones and Frieda Garcia. In the 1990s, they led the Boston Foundation as the CEO and Board Chair and were the first women of color to occupy those roles in our foundation’s history. The Women of Color Leadership Circle is inspired by the close partnership, vision, friendship, and legacy of these two incredible leaders. We stand on the shoulders of giants and these trailblazing women have paved the way for women of color within our sector.
The WOC Leadership Circle is a six-month cohort program that aims to support women of color leaders and advance their leadership journeys. Through the program, up to 15 women of color leaders participate in six monthly facilitated sessions that are curated to be a safe space for belonging, fellowship, learning, unlearning, self-care, and restoration—a place where participants can share their challenges and frustrations and learn and grow from each other’s experiences.
The Women of Color Leadership Circle aims to:
Must identify as a woman* of color in a leadership position** at a nonprofit organization, coalition, or network within Greater Boston.
Priority will be given to women of color leaders from organizations with budgets below $2 million; Priority will also be given to women of color leaders in organizations without a professional development budget.
Must be able to attend all six day-long sessions***:
*We are committed to supporting communities and individuals historically excluded from institutional philanthropy – including, but not limited to LGBTQIA people, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities. As such, we strongly encourage applications from individuals who identify with these groups and/or other marginalized communities.
**We define “leadership position” as a role where an individual has decision-making power to establish and influence organizational strategy, vision, and direction, and manages staff/volunteers, budget in collaboration with a governance body.
*** We hope to have in-person sessions in 2022, however, the January-March sessions will be remote in light of Omicron developments. We are committed to ensuring the safety of program participants and will follow CDC guidelines.
Applications are currently closed.
Read Andrea Madu's posts on the WOCLC launch and announcing the first cohort
Charline Alexandre Joseph
Director of Workforce Development
Director of Boston Programs
Center for Teen Empowerment
Wing Ki Winki Chan
Interim co-Executive Director/Director of Education and Family Engagement
The Welcome Project
Kyle Amber Clark
Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer
The Learning Center for the Deaf
Leslie Paije Credle
Justice 4 Housing, Inc.
Creatives of Color Boston
Educators for Excellence
Tia Lites, Ed.D.
Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy
Sr. Director of Visual and Performing Arts
West End House
Erin Muirhead McCarty
Community Art Center, Inc.
Taylor Lena McTootle
Director of Education
Castle of our Skins
New England Innocence Project
Director of Education and Training
Just A Start Corporation
Founder and President
South Asian Workers’ Center
Melissa P. Wu, Ph.D.
In this session, participants have an opportunity to form deep bonds of connection through storytelling and to create agreements and principles for developing and transforming their relationships through trust-building and a heart-centered mindset.
In this session, participants will explore ways to call forth and articulate what's driving their leadership and what they want to achieve in this lifetime.
In this session, participants explore how to create a regenerative work environment that is supportive of their leadership and gifts. They learn how to set healthy boundaries in their work and negotiate terms that support their leadership in areas such as salary, time off, benefits, and other needs.
Participants learn to prioritize their spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional health and growth. They are introduced to various forms of inner awareness, self-care, and healing practices to create joy, peace, resiliency, and connection in their lives.
Participants learn ways to find and honor their true identity and strengths as women, to transform their shame into power, and to firmly own their unique experiences and narrative unapologetically.
In this last session, participants explore their leadership visions going forward and support and celebrate their journey in the cohort together.