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Black Legacy and Leadership Enrichment

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The Initiative participant is a leader, healer, artist, or agent of change whose extraordinary accomplishments and investments in the Black community are now being celebrated, acknowledged and reciprocated with the opportunity to take 12 months of time out for yourself. This is an investment in you, so that you can continue to make a difference in your community.


The enrichment resources include an unrestricted grant of $55,000 for you. The enrichment resource for you to apply to your community-action(s) is $15,000. Your community-action(s) fund is for you to allocate to specific responsibility-bridging activities as you take care of yourself. The purpose of the enrichment resources is to help you: 

  • strengthen and sustain your vital role in the community's continued recovery

  • define your own vision and create a unique reciprocal plan to build and enrich the skills, and build the key relationships, and 

  • make your vision and the vision of the community, ultimately leading to the continued resurrection of culture and community, a reality. 

About You 

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The Initiative Experience 

Your Initiate journey begins with a study of your own life’s mission, vision, and values.  The aim of this self-study is to begin to connect your work with your cultural calling and for you to become conscious of what your leadership and vision could mean for the transformation of your life and the life of your community.  


Each initiate will receive $55,000 in unrestricted funds which can be used to refresh and recover. Selected refreshment experiences or activities may include retreats, covering additional living expenses, travel, Family and childcare, and any other resources needed for resting and recovery. A $15,000 community- building fund is provided, to each initiate, to be used to support and sustain efforts benefiting the community while you are taking care of yourself. 


The Initiative Process runs for 12 months. During that time, participants will be invited to take part in scheduled activities, including monthly group reflection check-ins with care guides and cohort members, as needed. Topics for discussion and learning will include Cultural Renewal, Writing from the Heart, Art is Oxygen, and Healing the Historical Memory. Other opportunities for learning and discussion, as requested, may include time with Cultural Elders, and connections with Health, Skills and Talent Champions. Please note Elders and Champions will be identified and curated for Initiates as needed with assistance from Cultural Wellness partners.


Participants will be invited to a meet and greet community reunion event at least once within the 12 month period to meet one another, build community and reflect on the insights and experiences each has gained through the Initiative experience.


Special Note: IRS regulations require the Initiate funds to be received as income without a plan for cost reimbursements.  If received as income the funds will be reported to the IRS as taxable income.  

Deadline & Information Session

2023 Black Legacy and Leadership Enrichment Initiative applications close at 11:59pm Central Time on January 30, 2023.  We encourage anyone interested in applying to review the FAQs and the Information Session from January 9, 2023 (click the link below).


Information Session Recording (click the link) 

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All applicants must complete the eligibility form prior to applying

How to Apply 


The Letter of Experience

  • Think of this as in lieu of a resume. This should be no longer than two pages. It should include (not necessarily in this order):

  • Tell us something about your own life's mission, vision, and the values you hold dear,

  • Tell us how these connect to your community work,

  • Tell us about the skills, talents, and experiences you bring,

  • Tell us the experience of your work being acknowledged, nurtured, or supported within or outside of the community,

Mention details such as the justice, healing, and community recovery movements you have been a part of and will continue to be a part of. 



Application Essay

This is your opportunity to dig deeper into why the Black Legacy and Leadership Enrichment Initiative will nurture your growth and sustainability. This should be no longer than five pages. Include:

  • How did you end up on the path you are on?

  • What does the future look like if you are able to invest in your refreshment, restorative, and regenerative abilities and leadership transformation?

  • Who, where and what will you share once you complete this experience? Where will the transformation lead you? 

  • What will determine you are where you want to be in your life or in your leadership? Please elaborate.

Letter of Recommendation  

Provide a one-page letter of recomendation from a community-based organization you are affiliated with, a community group you are a member of, or a group of elders you are connected to from your cultural community.  

Submitting your application 

  1. Please complete the online form to confirm your eligibility. All applicants must complete and submit the online eligibility form. It will also confirm your contact information and your intent to apply.

  2. When you're ready to start your application, review the requirements for the Letter of Experience, Applicant Essay and Letter of Recommendation. Your responses to the Letter of Experience, and the Applicant Essay along with your submission of the Letter of Recommendation make up your applicant package. 

  3. Download the Letter of Experience, Applicant Essay and Letter of Recommendation to a computer, storage device or cloud/online drive you own. 

  4. Add your responses to the questions in the Letter of Experience and Applicant Essay; also send the Letter of Recommendation to the community-based organization community-based organization you are affiliated with, a community group you are a member of, or a group of elders you are connected to from your cultural community. 

  5. Remember to save your Letter of Experience and Applicant Essay as you edit. It is also recommended that you complete a grammar and spell check prior to submitting your applicant package. 

  6. When you are ready to submit your Letter of Experience, Applicant Essay and Letter of Recommendation you will need to rename your documents as follows: Add your first & last name in the file name and add your first & last name to each document (i.e. Letter of Experience-Jemal Jones, Applicant Essay- Jemal Jones, Letter of Recommendation-Jemal Jones).

  7.  Submit your application by email to Please only send one email with your full applicant package. Your applicant package must include the final version of all three documents - we are not able to review other versions of your package and cannot consider other documents.

  8. You will receive an email confirmation within 48-hours of your applicant package being successfully submitted. 


We understand this process may present a barrier to some applicants, and we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate particular needs on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us as soon as possible, but no later than one week before the application deadline, to discuss your specific circumstances. We cannot make accommodations after that deadline.


SUBMISSIONS DUE BY January 30, 2023, 11:59:59 PM


2025 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA


Thanks for submitting!

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