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Read more about the Black & Female Leadership Initiative here.


Read more about the Black & Female Institute here


The five-year BLACK AND FEMALE LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE (BFLI), launched in 2013, raises the visibility of Black women’s leadership as key to social justice movement-building in the United States. It highlights the process and the achievements of using a collective leadership approach.  It specifically demonstrates the leadership of Black women in partnering with diverse people to create sustainable change that serves everyone in our communities.

The BFLI illuminates Black women who pioneered the Be Present Empowerment Model™ 40 years ago, developed by Lillie P. Allen, and practice of that Model in building Be Present, Inc. – a diverse movement for social justice. Read more about our mission, values and story  here.

  • We see the transformative power in our stories to energize change: In the fields of health, midwifery, reproductive rights, criminal justice reform, education, domestic violence, family law, community organizing, philanthropy, performing arts, among others. Here are some of our voices, experiences, and leadership.  We will continue to gather and share more reflections and learnings from people in the Be Present™ movement as part of this initiative.

  • With the clarity from diverse voices, perspectives and experiences, we systematically use the Be Present Empowerment Model™, a platform for learning, dialogue and authentic exploration of the core issues of race, gender, power, class, among others, that have an impact on well-being and effectiveness at the individual, team, and organizational/community levels.

  • Change become lasting, spreading through us diverse Black women, and then across race, gender, class and power borders to create a just world.





From gatherings to trainings to intensive 18-month Institutes, the BFLI seeks to raise the visibility of Black women leaders and address the constructs of race, gender, power and class in social justice movement building. Be Present™ programs convene Black women, white women, women of color, and men, boys, and girls of all races in a transformative learning process to strengthen self-knowledge, build and sustain effective relationships and underscore the importance of each person becoming visible in her/his leadership toward moving social justice agendas.


We look forward to seeing you in the circle! For more information about BFLI training programs visit our Leadership Development Page and Upcoming Events Page.


Black & Female Leadership Institute

Read more about the Black & Female Leadership Institute's guiding philosophy and design by clicking here.


In order to collectively build a more gender-inclusive racial justice agenda, it is critical to invest in the lives of Black women and girls who are vital partners in sustaining comprehensive change efforts and creating neighborhoods of opportunity. 

Black women and girls of similar and diverse backgrounds met for a Weekend Training Retreat on June 11-14, 2015. The retreat was facilitated by The Black & Female Leadership Team, consisting of Black women and girl leaders in various fields throughout the U.S. Many of those who attended committed to the 18-month training series. The first of six training sessions began in February 2016 and the National Conference was held in June, 2018.. 


Regional dialogues “Black Women's Leadership: A Dialogue on Black Women Leaders Building Social Justice Movements”

Gather with Black women and girl leaders in different fields to share visions, perspectives and experiences in leadership. Learn more about enrolling in the Black & Female Leadership Institute. Contact us for information about a regional dialogue in your area.



Race, Gender, Power & Class Training Institute

On September 24-27, 2015, about 100 people from 17 different states and a full range of class experiences, ethnicities, and abilities convened for a National Conference on Race, Gender, Power & Class, facilitated by a diverse Leadership Team, ages 3 to 81. 


Be Present™ Family Camp

Connect with a diversity of families in play and community celebration. This three-day experience empowers adults, youth and children to build trust and connection, improve communication and help family members transform challenging moments into learning opportunities. Contact us for information about Be Present™ Family Camp in your area.  Read more about Be Present’s Children’s Learning & Play program.


National Network Leadership Convening and Training

Join social change leaders throughout the country, each year in November, to address key issues that have an impact on moving forward in action and leveraging successful partnerships for social justice across the country.




Click here to connect with a Regional Organizing Core Group and learn more about forming or joining a Be Present™ Peer Support Group.


Click here to support the Black & Female Leadership Initiative

with a financial contribution.