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SAVANNAH, GA (Dec. 16, 2022) – United Way of the Coastal Empire is pleased to announce the graduates of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) Nonprofit Leadership Symposium. Eighteen leaders graduated from the program during the graduation ceremony. The leadership and career development program was conceived in early 2021 in partnership with local Black nonprofit leaders to advance opportunity throughout the region.

“BIPOC Leadership has been many things and offered much for nonprofit leaders such as ways to resolve conflict, grant preparation and implementation, tools of strategic planning and development, and so much more,” says Yolandra Shipp, Executive Director and Founder of Academic Girls Empowering for Success, Inc, who participated in this year’s program. “It also allowed nonprofit leaders time to converse with others and hear how they too were dealing with various issues. These resources will be very useful moving forward.”

The program framework was designed by the BIPOC Leadership Council: Alicia Johnson, Executive Director of Step Up Savannah; Cheri Dean, Vice President of Direct Services with United Way of the Coastal Empire; Destiny Bradshaw, Founder and Executive Director of Ready2Connect; Doris Williams, Executive Director of The Rape Crisis Center of the Coastal Empire Inc.; Moncello Stewart, Founder and Executive Director of OneSeed, Inc.; and Zelonia Williams, Founder and Executive Director of Future Minds Literacy and Adult Education, Inc., along with United Way Community Investments staff.

“As a new nonprofit, I value this amazing learning experience to support our foundation, to encourage best practices, and to ensure our sustainability,” says Carla B. Simmons, Executive Director and Founder of The Spel-Well Foundation, Inc. and one of the BIPOC Nonprofit Leadership Symposium participants.

“One of the strengths of Savannah’s BIPOC nonprofit community is their passion for their missions and their willingness to learn and improve to strengthen their organizations. UWCE’s BIPOC Nonprofit program provides an amazing opportunity to connect BIPOC leaders with the training and resources they need to be successful in providing services to the Savannah community,” says Del Bharath, Assistant Professor of Public Administration at Savannah State University and one of the BIPOC Nonprofit Leadership Symposium facilitators. “As a Savannah State faculty member, it allows for the opportunity to connect our students with the community and learn about the good work in the community.”

The program officially kicked off in October when the BIPOC cohort met for the first time as a collective to attend the Opening Ceremony. The cohort then met to conduct organizational assessments, the first in a series of free workshops over 3 months. The lesson plan included topics on strategic planning, budgeting, program evaluation, incorporation options and alternatives, fundraising, marketing, and communications. During the Closing Ceremony, participants will have the opportunity to meet with local funders.

United Way of the Coastal Empire will be extending additional development programs to graduates of the BIPOC Leadership Symposium and other community members in 2023. The launch of the third annual BIPOC Leadership Symposium will begin in the fall of 2023.

View all event photos here!

Congratulations to our 2022 BIPOC Nonprofit Leadership Symposium Graduates:
Adriana Tatum-Howard, Park Place Outreach, Inc.
Amberly Cooper, Neighborhood Improvement Association
Angela Dorsey, Summer Bonanza Partnership, Inc.
Carla B. Simmons, Spel-Well Foundation
Crystal Auguste, Elevate Savannah
Denise Howard, Living Independence for Everyone (L.I.F.E), Inc.
Edna Scott Walthour, Boys & Girls Club
Ja’Nae Brown, Brightside Child & Family Advocacy
Jeanelle Brown, Step Up Savannah, Inc.
John S. Brooks, Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club
Katina Wheeler, Movement Matters Coalition, Inc. and Greater Savannah Black Chamber of Commerce
Kelvin Ausby, Foster Beelief
Reverend Larry Duncan, Savannah Community Land Trust
LaTeashia Steed, Coastal Coalition for Children
Melanie C. Thompson, Hinesville Housing Authority
Tasha Wei, Forsyth Farmer’s Market
Veronica Styron, Goodwill Southeast Georgia
Yolandra Shipp, Academic Girls Empowering for Success

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