Board Access and Empowerment Summit

Board Access and Empowerment Photo.jpg

The Denver Foundation's Inclusiveness Project, in collaboration with the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce's (CBCC) Chamber Connect Leadership Program, sponsored "The Board Access and Empowerment Summit." The summit was a board-matching opportunity, a mechanism for emerging African-American leaders to explore nonprofit board participation and for Metro Denver nonprofits to connect directly with potential board candidates. The nonprofits that participated were seeking to diversify their boards as they work to embrace a culture that showcases a commitment to inclusion throughout all aspects of business. The event was well-attended and well-received.

"We had a very authentic, honest conversation at our table. It was a nice mix of nonprofit and Chamber folks talking about the expectations and reality of board service."

"For the first time, I was able to really understand what we need to do to become more inclusive of people of color."

Angela Davis, an inclusiveness consultant in the Denver area, designed the summit, which included time for nonprofits to exhibit their program/organization materials and for CBCC leaders to visit each table to introduce themselves, ask questions, and exchange information. The second part of the summit had the entire group participating in an electronic polling experience about what makes a successful volunteer experience, what are barriers to keeping people of color engaged, and what were participants' individual motivations in attending the summit. Small group discussions followed the presentation of the polling results.

The Denver Foundation's Inclusiveness Project is committed to forging new partnerships between nonprofits and potential board members to build greater inclusiveness on nonprofit boards. Events, such as this summit, will continue to be a focus of the IP's work plan.

View YouTube video of Angela Davis speaking about leadership and the pipeline.

Order Real Talk: News from the Pipeline (, a publication for leaders of color.