UofL, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Metro United Way launch fellowship


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville, Campaign for Black Male Achievement and Metro United Way have launched a national fellowship program that will provide professional development opportunities to improve life outcomes of black men and boys.

    The inaugural class of the Black Male Achievement Leaders-in-Residence Program was selected in January. The program includes 10 mid-to-senior-level black male achievement field leaders from diverse backgrounds and experiences.

    The program was launched with seed investment from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

    “We must equip our present day and future leaders who work with black males with the necessary skills and tools that position this vulnerable population for educational and life success,” said Ralph Fitzpatrick, UofL’s vice president for community engagement, whose office is helping to coordinate the effort.

    Members of the first class include:

    • DeWarren Langley, executive director, Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation, Durham, N.C.
    • Rahman Branch, executive director, Office of African American Affairs, Washington, D.C.
    • Shawn Gardner, founder, 2NOT1 Fatherhood and Families, Inc., Louisville
    • Monique Liston, chief strategist, Ubuntu Research and Evaluation, Milwaukee, Wis.
    • Alphonso Mayo, founder and executive director, Mentoring Mentors, Randallstown, Md.
    • Darrell Johnson, Louisiana Development Director, Father Flanagan’s Boys Home/ Boys Town Louisiana, New Orleans, La.
    • Lillian Al-Bilali, senior program director, Children’s Arts and Science Workshops Inc., New York, N.Y.
    • Judy Touzin, founder and lead organizer, The ExceptionAL Project, Flushing N.Y.
    • Anael Alston, assistant commissioner, New York State Education Department, Albany, N.Y.
    • Reginald Caldwell, educational consultant, Louisville

    “CBMA is passionately committed to investing in both emerging and established leadership that in turn will create sustained impact in the Black Male Achievement field,” said CBMA CEO Shawn Dove. “We congratulate all of the fellows and are excited to provide a rewarding experience that adds even greater value to their work on behalf of Black men and boys. CBMA is also thankful for the support of the University of Louisville, Metro United Way and William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust to ensure that black males are able to fulfill their greatest promise and potential.”

    The class is on campus this week for the first of 16 in-person and online sessions that will explore such topics as organizational development, succession planning, resource development, strategic communications and public policy. This month’s topic exploration on leadership is being led by UofL College of Business faculty Nat Irvin and Lyle Sussman. The group will also meet with community leaders and tour the Muhammad Ali Center.

    The year-long program will culminate with the class participating in think-tank activities and presenting a project that addresses a community problem in a “Shark Tank” inspired competition.

    The inaugural class was selected through a national search. Ideal candidates are high-performing, well-established black leaders working toward change. CBMA broadly defines leaders as men and women with 15 years of experience in senior management and executive level roles who are responsible for advancing black male achievement (BMA) outcomes within their organizations, networks and communities. Other candidates are emerging leaders with five years of experience who plan to stay with their organizations post-fellowship to implement the BMA framework.

    “The partnership with the University of Louisville brings the nation’s greatest and most talented minds on black male achievement to contribute to the landscape and also learn from leaders on the ground in Louisville. This is a game changer. The hope of this work is to continue to build on the sea change that is happening with Black men in an attempt to recapture and reorient the soul of America and build a more equitable future for all,” said Anthony Smith, executive director of Cities United and an anchor partner of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

    For additional information about the program or applications for future classes, visit https://www.blackmaleachievement.org/our-impact/initiatives/lir.

    About UofL:

    Founded in 1798, the University of Louisville is a state-supported research university located in Kentucky’s largest metropolitan area. The university serves more than 22,000 students each year through undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in 12 colleges and schools. The university has been recognized and honored for efforts in research, community engagement initiatives and commitment to diversity. UofL is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference for both academics and athletics. For more information, visit louisville.edu.

    About CBMA:

    The Campaign for Black Male Achievement is a national membership network that seeks to ensure the growth, sustainability and impact of leaders and organizations committed to improving the life outcomes of Black men and boys. CBMA work sits at the intersection of field building and network building with a growing membership of 5,000 leaders, and more than 2,700 organizations amplifying and catalyzing the movement. CBMA focuses on providing capacity building and technical assistance through podcasts, webinars, monthly membership calls, and member spotlights via newsletters to share best practices and strengthen the Black male achievement field.


    Brandy Warren
    Brandy Warren is coordinator for marketing and communications in UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing, where she manages special events and promotes UofL’s Division of Student Affairs. She previously worked at daily newspapers in Kentucky and Alabama.