Boards & Commissions Leadership Institute

We believe that when we make decisions that affect all of our lives we must share the power in making those decisions.

Nexus Community Partners believes that when we make decisions that affect all of our lives—across race, place, gender, and more—we must share the power in making those decisions.

But for too long, systems of governing have rigged the rules to concentrate power & wealth in fewer and whiter hands. They’ve put up barriers to shut out Black people, indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) from decision-making, as well as women, queer folks, disabled folks, low-wealth folks, and other historically marginalized and oppressed people.

The Nexus Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI) is a 7-month leadership program that works to build more engaged and powerful communities in our region by equipping BIPOC and other shut out community members to serve on city, county, metro and state boards and commissions.

Publicly-appointed boards and commissions in local, regional and state government are a “hidden” level of power in most communities. “Publicly-appointed” means that elected or appointed government officials—like the mayor or county commissioners—choose and place the members of these boards and commissions, instead of those members being directly elected by, and responsive to, the people.

To make the biggest impact in BIPOC communities, we specifically target boards and commissions in these focus areas:


Economic Development








Workforce Development

Who Can Apply

You’d be a great fit for BCLI if:

  • You care about your community, and your community trusts you too.
  • You have been personally focused on advancing equity for BIPOC and other communities usually shut out of governing.
  • You understand that racism exists in our current governing structures, and believe that people who govern have a responsibility to dismantle those practices and create a more just system.
  • You feel accountable to your people, and want to make a positive impact in your community by building your governing skills.
  • You believe it’s possible to make a difference for our communities from inside the current governing system.

In addition, you need to meet some basic requirements and commitments:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Meet the residency requirements of the board or commission you are interested in sitting on (i.e. live, work, own business, etc.)
  • Commit to attending all monthly trainings and events
  • Commit to serving on a board or commission after completion of the BCLI
Please note that the BCLI does not target or place fellows onto nonprofit boards for nonprofit organizations.

the Team

Connect with the Boards & Commissions Leadership Institute.