Bailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute (BSLI)

About the Bailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute Fellowship

BAEO created the Bailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute (BSLI) in 2004 in honor of two dynamic, young and politically astute women, Deirdre Lynne Bailey (1970-2003) and Lisa Yvette Sullivan (1961-2001), who helped found BAEO and guide the organization's efforts to support Black emerging leaders.

The BSLI Fellowship, which was re-launched in 2013, seeks to address the need for more Black advocates equipped to champion reform initiatives in the Black community. After a successful inaugural program, we are recruiting another cohort of 20 leaders that are committed to our mission. Throughout the yearlong fellowship, they will be prepared with advanced skills and knowledge that will allow them to serve as passionate and effective advocates for change.

WHY: What Makes the BSLI Fellowship Unique?

1 |    BSLI POSITIONS BLACK LEADERS TO BE AUTHENTIC VOICES IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES
Though in the service of low-income and Black families, few key voices in the education reform movement look like the communities they are serving. BSLI is an answer to that dearth by providing authenticity in its advocates.
2 |    BSLI IS TRAINING ADVOCATES RATHER THAN ACTING AS A VOCATIONAL PROGRAM
BSLI's focus is on producing a generation of advocates in the education reform movement, rather than solely producing education reform organization heads, as many other leadership institutes do.
3 |    BSLI HAS PROFESSIONAL DIVERSITY IN ITS COHORT
By recruiting fellows from different vocational, experiential, and regional backgrounds, BSLI will provide an opportunity for its cohort to communicate with a breadth of education reform movement stakeholders.
4 |    BAEO'S NATIONAL NETWORK PROVIDES BROAD OPPORTUNITIES FOR ITS BSLI FELLOWS
Fellows will have the support of their national cohort of peers, as well as that of the broader advocacy community, to which BAEO will introduce them. Fellows can become part of the work that BAEO is already doing in its key states by providing direct support on-the-ground.
5 |    LEADING FIGURES IN EDUCATION REFORM ADVOCACY CONDUCT WEEKEND SUMMITS
Noted authors, speakers, movement leaders in education reform will conduct sessions, giving fellows the most relevant information about advocacy work across the country. Post-institute professional development will be made available to all fellows to continue their work.

WHO: Our Vision of a BSLI Fellow

The cohort of 20 fellows will be a cross-section of Black leaders (ages 25-45) that represent a depth and breadth of advocacy potential:

BLACK COMMUNITY LEADERS AND ORGANIZERS | Parents, Coalition-builders, Organizers, Activists, Pastors and Assistant Pastors

BLACK PROFESSIONALS AND RECENT GRADUATES | Civic and Business Leaders, Political Staffers and Aspiring Elected Officials, and Recent College or Graduate-school Graduates

Fellows will have a commitment to their community and an understanding that quality education is the best chance for changing the lives of Black children and families. Some will be well versed in education reform issues already and others will be newer to the movement.

WHERE: Our Focus Cities for 2014-2015

Part of our strategy with the program will be to organize mini-cohorts of fellows in cities where reform movements are unfolding. With this design, BSLI will have lasting, national impact. This year, we will recruit exclusively from the following cities:
Birmingham, Alabama | Camden, New Jersey | Memphis, Tennessee | New Orleans, Louisiana | Washington, DC

WHAT: Expectations of Fellows in Cohort 2

Participate in five weekend summits from December 2014 - October 2015, garnering a total of 19 days of face-to-face training consisting of group-work, case studies, and communications strategy
Complete a group capstone project that is relevant to the reform climate in their city (will be determined during the first weekend summit). Each project will have oversight by a BAEO-approved mentor.
Complete professional development assignments throughout the year to remain engaged with the work

WHEN and WHERE: BSLI Fellowship Weekend Summit Overviews

THEME AND DATE LOCATION
1. Building the Foundation - History of Education Reform in America and the Struggle of Black People to Get Educated
Thursday December 4 2014 - Sunday December 7 2014 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2. BAEO Annual Symposium
Thursday March 19 2015 - Saturday March 21 2015 Memphis, Tennessee
3. The Choice - A Survey of Parental Choice and the Brown vs. Board
Thursday April 23 2015 - Sunday April 26 2015 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
4. Organizing and Mobilizing - Key strategies around engaging communities around transformational education reform initiatives
Thursday June 4 2015 - Sunday June 7 2015 TBD
5. Advocacy for Reform -
Thursday October 1 2015 - Sunday October 4 2015 TBD

HOW: Nominating potential fellows

For more information about how to nominate a candidate for the BSLI Fellowship, including eligibility criteria, deadlines and application requirements, please contact: BSLI@baeo.org.