How do you understand and manage people’s perceptions of you? How do you talk across differences?

Leadership requires exceptional skills — from critical analysis and communication to self-awareness, interpersonal acumen, and situational awareness. Being a leader also requires humility, curiosity, compassion, and courage. The Black Leaders Program curriculum helps you discover and develop these skills and values.

Black Leaders Program has developed a highly-specialized curriculum. Explore perceptions of identity, learn how to use your power, and transform your leadership skills and career trajectory. Sessions focus on the issues of race and leadership, power and relationships, communication, and cultivating networks to help Black leaders address the most critical and complicated issues you may face in the workplace.

The program also includes a capstone project where you:

  • Identify career advancement goals and develop and refine your action plan 
  • Work in self-directed small groups from September - November for feedback, coaching and accountability
  • Gather as a class in a culminating session with faculty director and peers to share and celebrate your progress

Program Highlights

Below is just a sample of the sessions you’ll experience as part of the program

Clarifying Goals & Self-Awareness: Reflecting on Identity

Successful leadership in today’s fast-changing and challenging environments requires leaders who are intentional about developing their leadership competencies, clearly articulating their values, and are successful at building their personal support systems. This session will be a conversation. To identify who you are and who you would like to become. To identify what matters and what is important to you.

Blackness and the White Gaze

In this session, we will discuss how Black Americans’ concerns about the judgments and evaluations of White Americans affect how they carry themselves and how they interact with and treat other Black people.

Honing Your Communication

Business leaders can struggle to convey their messages in a clear, concise, and compelling manner. When your communication resonates with your audience in a well-organized and clear way, it is far more likely to be impactful and acted upon. In this session, you will learn how to design and integrate your messages in service of your story and speaking goal(s)—regardless of delivery modality (e.g., emails, memos, slides, or answers to questions).

Networks of Support vs. Influence

In these sessions, you’ll learn the difference between mentorship and sponsorship and why it’s important. We’ll then consider how race and gender impact the way we organize our social connections, thereby impacting our ability to leverage the professional support we need to succeed.

You’ll also learn a framework for assessing the health and optimization of your social networks. Then, we will discuss the importance of reframing networking as a relational activity and how we can use that lens to create closer and more authentic relationships with others.

Influence Without Authority

The ability to exert influence without relying on the power of a formal title can often be critical to effective management. In this session, we will analyze strategies and tactics that will help you influence others when you lack formal authority.

Know What You See with Brian Lowery

With so many of us now working at home or on a hybrid schedule, the line between our employment and our personal lives has been blurring. What does work/life balance mean when the boundaries keep shifting? What does our nostalgia for pre-pandemic workplace comedies like The Office say about who we are and who we used to be? And is the dystopian drama series Severance a warning or a kind of wish fulfillment?


James Perkins
Director, Programs Executive Education