The Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Board Leadership Training program will open this fall as a part of DCSLOC's greater educational mission. Credit: Diversity Coalition of SLO County

The Diversity Coalition of San Luis Obispo County (DCSLOC) is launching its inaugural Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Board Leadership Training program this fall. The Coalition hopes to create a pipeline of diverse professional leaders prepared to serve on nonprofit boards and government commissions, according to a news release.

Created in 2011, the Diversity Coalition’s mission is to build and maintain a coalition that seeks a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community through advocacy and education, with the BIPOC Board Leadership Training program being a part of that education

The program is built for BIPOC professionals to gain skills “in board governance, fundraising, nonprofit finance, and strategic management,” according to the DCSLOC website

At the helm is program director Vickie Prothro. Formerly the director of communications and operations for the African American Board Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, Prothro looks to aiding underrepresented communities.

“We’re positioning ourselves to create a safe space for the BIPOC individuals in the Board Leadership Training program so that they can be authentic to themselves in the learning process,” Prothro said. “We intend to provide support to nonprofit organizations by equipping them to welcome and ideally retain BIPOC professionals.”

The training program includes two days of immersive training and plans to offer two training sessions per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. For BIPOC professionals outside of San Luis Obispo County, the program is prepared to offer training to any individual willing to travel for the training, according to their website.

Four specific models will be the archetype for instruction: board governance, nonprofit finance, fundraising and networking and strategic leadership management.

Pricing for the training program has not been announced, but Prothro said she strives to make the class affordable with a case-by-case basis of possible scholarship support.

The program is in the process of recruiting BIPOC professionals to participate in the training as well as nonprofit boards looking to diversify their organizations. A comprehensive application will be offered for both sides to complete in order to successfully match trainees to a nonprofit board based on interest areas. 

“The broader goal is for boards to evolve into more representative bodies that reflect the community they serve,” Prothro said.

For those interested in participating in the training program, DCSLOC has an interest form for applicants to fill out.