NM Women of Color Nonprofit Leadership Initiative

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What is this Initiative?

In a region as diverse as northern New Mexico, women of color are under-represented in nonprofit executive leadership. We are working to change that. Developed with an advisory committee of current nonprofit leaders, the Initiative is designed for established and emergent women of color looking to broaden their skills and create community, while deepening their leadership in a peer-based, supportive environment. The long-term goals of the Initiative are to build the leadership capacity and practical skills of participants and, ultimately, to see a sustainable increase in nonprofit executive leadership roles filled by women of color.

Participation is by application and women are encouraged to apply on their own behalf as well as to encourage colleagues. With a maximum of 20 participants, each cohort is focused and intimate. The format includes seven, biweekly two-hour sessions and periodic gatherings for all alumna, as well as focused gatherings for Black Woman & Femme Leaders. All fall 2022 sessions will be offered in a hybrid format that incorporates some in-person time together, public health permitting. The series includes a Speaker Salon comprised of national and regional guest speakers, tied to curriculum content that addresses:

  • Narrative Development
  • Community-Based, Culturally Responsive Leadership
  • Women of Color Leaders as Conveners
  • Mentorship Ecosystems
  • Money, Worth and Negotiation
  • Team Building: Do-It-Yourself to Do-It-Together  

The Individual Leadership Plan (ILP) is a tool that each participant will develop over the course of the program. Facilitators and fellow participants will help you assess your current skills and needs, and you will create a long-term actionable plan to support your leadership vision and goals.

Who leads this Initiative?

Dr. Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Ed.D., leads this Initiative.  Mi'Jan, Gabrielle Uballez and designated alumni co-facilitate cohort sessions. Click here to read their bios and the cohort testimonials.  

Who should apply?

The ideal candidate is a New Mexico-based, self-identified woman of color in a leadership role in the nonprofit sector who is seeking mentorship, peer connection, hard and soft skills, and the time and space to focus on her own specific leadership path. This includes emergent leaders who are actively working on growing their career and looking for opportunities to deepen their practices. The Application Review Committee is comprised of the entire Facilitator team who works thoughtfully and intentionally to create a cohesive cohort, with the goal of striving to support deep connections and ongoing relationships. Our intention is that program participants will continue to champion one another as they advance in their leadership careers. Applicants do not need to be nominated, however those referred by alumnae will be prioritized. We do invite you to encourage those peers and colleagues who you think may be a fit for this work. Click here to view sample application.    

Cohort members will:

  • Be currently employed in the nonprofit sector in New Mexico.
  • Have a demonstrated history of commitment to community work and the New Mexico nonprofit sector. • Have the support of their employer and be available to participate in all program sessions.
  • Be able to commit to follow up assignments between sessions.
  • Be ready to work on clarifying their own skill and leadership development needs.
  • Be committed to drafting and implementing an Individual Leadership Plan (ILP)  

What is the time commitment?

Participants should expect to spend 2-3 hours on prep work between biweekly sessions and additional time with their mentor, identified from the community. Sessions for the cohort include seven bi-weekly virtual and in-person sessions, beginning in the fall. Cohort members commit to attending all sessions.    

What are the program fees?
Program registration fees are required for each cohort member and considered an investment in leadership development and professional community-building. Fees are set on a sliding scale, based on your organization’s annual budget: 

·    Tier1, Organization Budget Under $150,000/year: $155

·    Tier2, Organization Budget $150-500,000/year: $265

·    Tier3, Organization Budget Over $500,000/year: $395   


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Yolanda Cruz

Philanthropy Hub Coordinator