As a region, we have the resources to ensure that everyone can thrive and prosper. To make that happen, we need to increase the political participation and decision-making power of low-income communities and communities of color. Enter the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI).

The BCLI trains leaders committed to advancing social justice, helps them get onto local and regional boards and commissions, and provides individualized support throughout their commission service.

We deeply invest in each cohort beginning with the BCLI training, which helps participants understand complex and intersecting policy arenas, navigate the culture and language of commissions, and build effective relationships. After completing the training, Urban Habitat staff help participants get appointed to serve on a public board or commission and support commissioners throughout their service. 

Cultivate Leaders of Color

Urban Habitat has built a robust and highly engaged BCLI alumni network. Alumni help one another as they navigate the halls of power and its unique dynamics. They share best practices and mutual support throughout the year to ensure that their actions result in government accountability and responsiveness to low-income communities of color.

Support Advocacy Campaigns

The BCLI supports advocacy campaigns and social justice movements by connecting emerging commissioners to community-led solutions. Throughout the BCLI training, fellows learn from and collaborate with grassroots leaders, policy experts, and other advocates in their communities and across the region. As a result, they deepen their policy expertise, increase their knowledge of the region, and develop relationships with allies that help them advance solutions grounded in community experiences. 

Advance Equitable Policies

BCLI-trained commissioners ask critical questions about who benefits and who is burdened by policy decisions, and they provide solutions that integrate community participation and perspectives. By making race and class analyses a part of commission decisions, BCLI-trained commissioners help to ensure that decisions benefit communities who have been historically marginalized.