Leadership Development that Creates Ecosystem Change: Nexus BCLI Announces 6th Cohort

For more than 15 years, Nexus Community Partners has been dedicated to building more engaged and powerful communities of color. Through the work of BCLI, Nexus has continued to build sustainable and replicable models for community engagement and community orientated leadership development that strengthens communities.

The BCLI is a seven-month leadership program designed to identify, train, and support placement of dynamic leaders of color and underrepresented communities onto publicly appointed boards and commissions in the Twin Cities. BCLI fellows help advance a racial and economic equity agenda across several sectors and issue areas.

We’re pleased to announce our 2018-2019 cohort of 16 racially and ethnically diverse leaders. They come from the community, nonprofit, private, and public sectors and represent the Twin Cities metro area. The sixth BCLI cohort members are:

  • Aarica Colemannominated by BCLI Alumni
  • Abdi Alinominated by Center for Multicultural Mediation
  • Annie Chennominated by YWCA Minneapolis
  • Bao Leenominated by BCLI Alumni
  • Carmeann Fosternominated by Rebound Inc.
  • Christine McCleavenominated by National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition
  • Clara Ugarte Perrinnominated by Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
  • Courtney Schroedernominated by Project for Pride in Living (PPL)
  • Jamaica DelMarnominated by  Jeremiah Program
  • Kameron Lindseynominated by BCLI Alumni
  • Oluwatobi Oluwagbeminominated by The Office of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton
  • Roshawn RenfroeRamsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative
  • Sara Thomasnominated by BCLI Alumni
  • Tenaya Crenshawnominated by BCLI Alumni
  • Vincent Henrynominated by Simpson Housing Services
  • Ying Lee nominated by Minneapolis Parks & Recreation

The BCLI continues to build momentum within local governing bodies by creating opportunities for community members to become active decision makers. The incoming BCLI fellows join a network of 69 alumni, 38 of which have to date been successfully appointed on a board or commission or hold a high-level policy position, and all of whom are building and pushing racial, social and economic equity in the community.

Biographies of each fellow can be found on Nexus’ website here.

For more information about the BCLI, the launch or ways to become involved, please contact the program director, Ms. Terri Thao at or program coordinator Mr. Chai Lee at

See below for an infographic of the 2018-19 BCLI cohort’s demographics.