Clark Atlanta University now accepting applications for HBCU cohort to develop Black college leaders

Clark Atlanta University now accepting applications for HBCU cohort to develop Black college leaders

BCN Staff – Oct. 18, 2021 – The HBCU Executive Leadership Institute (HBCU ELI) at Clark Atlanta University is accepting applications for its second class of Community Fellows that is part funded by billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Chan.

The first-of-its-kind program launched its first cohort in April 2021 that included a roster of 58% women, making it the nation’s most diverse cohort of future HBCU leaders. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms was named the program’s first honorary fellow.

Funded in large part by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the program seeks to identify qualified candidates to fill vacant HBCU presidencies and other executive leadership positions. The Chan Zuckerberg initiative is a nonprofit foundation established and owned by Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan with an investment of 99% of the couple’s wealth from their Facebook shares over their lifetime.

Slated to begin its second cohort in January 2022, ELI’s best-in-class program continues to serve as an incubator for recruiting and developing the next generation of leaders for over 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with fellows receiving coaching and mentorship from past and present HBCU leaders. Interested participants may apply online today with a Oct. 25 deadline.

ELI’s robust curriculum immerses qualified candidates in the various competencies of effectively leading an HBCU. This includes operations, budgeting, academics, fundraising and development, as well as board governance, and racial and social justice. Several ELI Fellows offered the following reflections on her experience in the HBCU cohort.

“You will quickly find yourself in a professionally supportive space to explore and advance your leadership attributes such as crisis management, institutional advancement, and board governance, while also acquiring a keen understanding of how these multifaceted aspects of leadership can be successfully navigated as an HBCU President,” said Lampkin-Williams.

“America needs the human and financial capital that HBCUs have produced for nearly two centuries. Our HBCUs need talented, visionary institutional leaders who have integrity, competence and imagination to sustain that amazing track record of excellence,” said Dr. Robert M. Franklin, president emeritus of Morehouse College and HBCU ELI seminar speaker.

“We look forward to preparing the second cohort of fellows for the next generation of leaders for HBCUs,” said Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins, executive director of the HBCU Executive Leadership program.

Before the Civil Rights movement, HBCUs offered Black Americans one of their only routes to a college degree. These institutions helped Black people pursue professional careers, earn graduate degrees, and advance their education. ELI helps preserve and strengthen HBCUs as a hub for education, opportunity and uplift in the communities they serve, organizers said.

In addition to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the HBCU leadership cohort is supported by the ECMC Foundation, Microsoft, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Toyota, The Rich Foundation Inc., and the United Methodist Church.


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