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Be Present's National Network Leadership Development is grounded in the Be Present Empowerment Model™. This replicable leadership training teaches how to effectively change the dynamics of power and address how the effects of racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and all forms of oppression often disconnect people from their vision. Disconnection from vision halts our ability to build effective alliances that leverage our collective power to expose systemic inequalities, confront institutional practices, initiate policy reform, reallocate crucial resources, and foster sustainable change.


Be Present™ trainings have built a local and national network of social justice activists on the practice of this innovative leadership model.






Be Present™ Peer Support Groups are the most basic unit of leadership development. Each group is made up of three to seven people who meet on a regular basis as determined by the group members. The agenda for the Be Present™ Peer Support Group© is each person’s personal growth and leadership development.


It is the responsibility of the other people in the group to simultaneously listen to and understand each person, while also being aware that what s/he is saying may bring up feelings and past experiences that can cloud their ability to really hear her/him. It is this awareness, and willingness to work on these issues as they arise, that allows people to stay present with one another and support each other’s growth and development. This process allows each member of the Be Present™ Peer Support Group to speak honestly and openly; to develop personal plans for change; and to receive support in a safe and trusting environment that sustains their movement forward. For information on how to start a Be Present™ Peer Support Group download the Be Present™ Facilitator’s Guide.



Regional Organizing Core Groups are Be Present’s community building vehicles for diverse leaders, activists, and community members to organize, mobilize, and support local efforts. Individuals who are active in Peer Support Groups and want to expand their leadership skills can join a Be Present™ Regional Organizing Core Group. Members meet monthly to recruit, develop, and expand group development by organizing events, as well as building alliances and coalitions with local organizations. They receive intensive facilitators’ training in the Be Present Empowerment Model™ to work through organizational issues and group dynamics, as well as to strengthen their organizing and advocacy skills. For more information on Core Groups visit the Regional Organizing Core Group Page.





The Present Empowerment Model™ Training is the core training for all Be Present™ programs. It provides a safe environment where people can explore how their personal histories and the social contexts of issues such as race, gender and religion influence and effect our attitudes and behaviors toward each other. The trainings support the analysis of how these behaviors manifest in relationships, communities and institutions and create the systems in which we live. For more information click here


The Black & Female Leadership Initiative, launched in 2013, encompasses training programs below that increase the visibility of Black women leaders and address the constructs of race, gender, power and class in social justice movement building. For more information about Be Present’s Black & Female Leadership Initiative click here.


National Training Institutes establish a community of practice in learning how to build trust and relationships between people of similar and diverse backgrounds; address the interconnected issues of race, gender, power, class, identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, among others; and build collective leadership skills. Thirty participants meet for six four-day intensive training sessions over an 18-month period and facilitate a National Conference for other community members upon completion of the series.


Black & Female Leadership Institute convenes Black women and girls, and increases the visibility of the vision, perspective, experience and practice of leadership of Black women in various fields including community organizing, civic participation, education, advocacy, among others.


Race, Gender, Power & Class Institute brings together a diverse cross-section of children, youth and adults from different socio-economic backgrounds and communities and provides a forum for emerging voices essential to building broad-based, collaborative movements.


Effecting Achievement and Equity in Education Training Institute engages students, parents educators, youth-serving professionals, policymakers, advocates and faith and community leaders in a learning process to support youth to stay and succeed in school, and address inequities so people can work more effectively to create culturally responsive, positive school environments.


Sustaining a Community of Practice for Engaged Transformative Philanthropy, facilitated by members of the Be Present™ Vision-Based Social Change Fund Development Team, a cross-class partnership of board, staff, and long time supporters with financial wealth, brings together people from all backgrounds to examine issues that influence fundraising and giving practices while raising money for shared visions.


Black and Female: What is the Reality? explores the realities of being Black and female in a society tainted by racism, sexism, classism, homophobia and other forms of oppression. It provides safe and nurturing spaces for African American and African descent women and girls to explore, affirm, and celebrate sisterhood.


Sisters & Allies provides safe and nurturing spaces for all women and girls to acknowledge and celebrate similarities and differences across lines of race, gender, power, class, identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, and religion.


Breaking Silences, Building Relationships brings together Jews, Blacks, Whites and People of Color to explore the impact of racism, anti-Semitism, gender, power and class on our individual and collective well-being.


National Network Train-the-Trainers brings leaders within the Be Present network together on an annual basis in to receive the next level of leadership training, to share knowledge and best practices, and to develop strategies for next steps.


Children’s Learning & Play, Be Present’s family engagement framework, embraces the range of diversity within families and builds the capacity of families (children, youth and adults) to improve communication, strengthen systems of support, enhance partnerships, and increase engagement of families in the life of their communities. The Children’s Learning & Play Team comprised of trainers and facilitators engage with children, youth and adults to support everyone’s participation in all Be Present™ programs. Be Present™ Family Camp connects families through practice, creativity, indoor and outdoor play and community celebration. Read more about Be Present’s Children’s Learning & Play program.


Mothers & Sons/Daughters & Fathers explores the issues that have an impact on our interactions, and allow us to build conscious relationships that lead to better understanding and appreciation with the men and boys in women and girls’ lives.


Girls’ Leadership Training Program supports leadership development and relationship building among girls, ages 8-18, from diverse social, economic, and racial communities. Girls gain skills in learning how to be with each other in positive ways; learn to develop peer interaction and communication skills; and work through issues that stymie their efforts to see themselves as valuable leaders for personal and collective change.


Men & Boys Leadership Training Program. Be Present. has intentionally and systematically included the participation of men and boys in our community organizing work as facilitators, trainers and members of the local and national network leadership. Read more about the participation of men and boys in Be Present’s history here. The organization’s current work centers on building the leadership capacity of a core group of men and boys to deliver the next level of training to other men and boys and other male-serving organizations throughout the country.


The Black Men & Boys Leadership Initiative explores the visions, experiences and opportunities of Black men and boys as leaders in social justice movement building, and in navigating the intersectional divisions of race, gender, class, ethnicity age, among others to strengthen connections and foster collaboration in achieving personal and organization goals.


Contact us for more information about Be Present™ Training Programs.